my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

August 26, 2012

stupidly easy cinnamon rolls

after a bit of crazy and a lot of absence, i am hoping to get back into this posting thing. school starts in two days, and with that comes a pretty solid routine that allows for some free time during the day. still, i have found the time to play with sugar and my oven, and i figured i'd try to put things back to normal by sharing my latest experiment.

i've been going through my pantry and fridge and freezer, marveling at all the random things i've purchased for recipes that i never made. there are cans of things and odds and ends of so much stuff that i feel i really need to start using more and wasting less. not that the stuff in the pantry gets wasted, because it has such a long shelf life, but the stuff in the fridge sometimes languishes in a dark corner on the bottom shelf, and when i pull it out i cringe at the long passed expiration date.

like the last time i went grocery shopping, i bought apples, and when i brought them home i put them in the crisper drawer. it's sad to say it's been so long since i've bought something to put in that drawer, i didn't realize i had a tube of crescent rolls stashed there. ones that had expired a few weeks ago. and i just happened to find this tub of dough a few days ago, but i left it in there because i kept thinking it might still be kind of good.

i know this might sound gross to some people, and might make them change their minds about eating things i make, but honestly, when the food in question is so processed with chemicals, as long as it doesn't smell sour or look off, i figure it will still be ok to cook with. and especially when it's something that's baked, it'll be cooked thoroughly, and the most that happens is that the leavening agent is so old it doesn't puff up like it should.

and so, after thinking for a few days about what exactly i should do with this magical tube of fun, i settled on something different that i wanted to try. and when i searched for recipes to try, i couldn't find any. which just meant i'd have to make it up as i went along.

i love cinnamon rolls, always have, always will. when we went to the beach a few weeks ago, there were coupons for the recently constructed cinnabon, but i was very bummed that i was unable to find it. and i have made different versions of cinnamon rolls of the years. i've made the standard yeast version that i talked about in my old post. i've made ones with biscuit dough. and today, i used creasent roll dough.

seriously, i have no idea why i've never done this earlier. all i did was pop the dough out of the tube and put it on a piece of wax paper so it wouldn't stick to my count. parchment paper would work, as would a rolling mat, or even some flour sprinkled down (but i was feeling lazy and didn't want to clean flour from everywhere). then i rolled it out it help close the seems and make a bigger rectangle. i actually had to put another piece of wax paper on top of the dough because it was so sticky, but i think it was extra sticky because it was so old. once it was nice and thin, i spread soft butter and sprinkled over cinnamon and sugar. then i rolled it up and cut it into 12 pieces, put it into a well greased 8x8 pan and baked it. because i couldn't find another recipe like this one (and there might be one out there because i didn't look very hard), i baked it at 375, which is kind of my standard baking temp. and, as my mother says, i baked until done, which meant golden brown and delicious.

i used probably way more butter and sugar than i needed, and it baked out of the bottom of the rolls. once cool, this just gave them a crunchy, crusty, sugared bottom. and i liked them enough like that so i didn't even bother with an icing glaze. they didn't puff up much, but i wasn't really expecting them to. i think if i ever try to make these again, i'll use the new creasent sheets they came out with, that don't have the perforation to make rolls. then i could skip the rolling pin step and get them into the oven in less then five minutes. all in all, not bad for for a random recipe i made up on the fly to try and waste less.

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