Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The wrong kind of inspiration

Things haven't changed too much around here.  I still am having trouble getting my brain around the fact that in 9 days the movers will be here packing up my house.  In 10 days we'll be on a plane.  It still hasn't sunk in yet.

So I'm spending my time nursing and feeding the baby and rereading books that I've already read before.  The only hint of inspiration that has been in my life is baking.  And it's baking that I didn't even do myself.  My mom did it.  While she was here she baked and cooked and left us with a full freezer and cupboard.

So even though this isn't kind of blog where I really share recipes I figured that any of you who are also in the process of blocking out major sections of your life might want to take the time to make these bad boys.

These were a staple at our family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and I assure you, that you won't be sorry that you made these rolls (which are really more like a dessert than a roll, but hey, it's the holidays and if you can call something that contains cool-whip a salad you can certainly call a roll that is like a cinnamon roll but with orange instead of cinnamon a roll instead of a dessert.)

Orange Butterhorns

1 T yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 T sugar

1 c. water
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
4 c. flour

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (melted)
zest from 1 orange

Mix the first three ingredients together and set aside for 5 min.

In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. Mix water, melted butter and eggs with the first three ingredients and pour the whole shebang into the dry ingredients.

Pay attention here.  This is a special and important step.  Before you turn on the mixer let it all sit together for 10 minutes.  There is a scientific explanation to this that you can read all about in Cooks Illustrated but I will just say that I swear it makes a difference.

Now that you've waited mix the ingredients and knead the dough.  You can either do this with the mixer (my chosen method) or dump it out and do it on the counter.  Knead for about 5 min.  The dough will be wet and sticky.  That's good.

Now put the dough in a bowl, cover with a towel and pop it in the microwave, oven or any other place that doesn't have a draft and leave it for an hour (or an hour and a half--however long it takes for it to about double in size).  Punch it down and leave it again for about the same amount of time.

After the second proofing roll our your dough into a large rectangle that's about 1/4 of an inch thick (depending on the size of your kitchen counter space this might be easier to do in two batches). And spread the filling on the inside.  Now, when we made this the hubbs said, "I know that you have to have a certain filling/bread ration for proper cooking but I think we should push the edge."  That's true.  Make as much filling as you can squish into those rolls.  The more filling the better--just keep that 1:1 ratio of butter and sugar. Then roll them up, slice them up and put them in muffin tins.

Let rise for 30-45 min and cook for 12-15 min at 375.

These freeze beautifully (if you have any left to freeze that is)


  1. God bless Joan! (And Cook's Illustrated!)
    Also-- send me your new address when you get a minute. :)

  2. Actually, when I make them, I keep the ration of sugar to butter in the filling at 2 to 1...so 1 cup sugar to 1/2 c. butter. Also, the filling spreads more easily if you totally melt the butter before adding the orange zest and sugar. Happy baking.

  3. Also, I don't think the recipe tells you put the rolls in greased muffin tins. I usually do that but sometimes I just lay them out on a cookie sheet. That works too, but the rolls in the pictures were cooked in muffin tins.

  4. I am making these! What were some of the freezer meals? I want to do that but I don't know what's good to freeze.