Christmas Baking

I did a bit of baking today, to the tune of Christmas carols and coffee. Lots of coffee. First I made "Caramel Heavenlies."

I borrowed the recipe from my friend Jo but I think hers turn out much better than mine. They are delightful caramelized bar cookies with marshmallows, coconut, brown sugar and almonds. They also have a hint of cinnamon which really deepens the flavor, in my opinion.

Next up was a batch of Cinnamon Rolls. I have a tried and true recipe that I absolutely adore. All of my pastry school colleagues agreed that if these rolls were the only thing we took home after spending thousands learning about dessert, it would be worth it. So, you can imagine my sense of guilt when I tried a new recipe today. Before you throw me under the bus for my infidelity you should know I went to a very reputable woman for this recipe which I totally stumbled upon while reading her blog. She is my hero in the world of all things domestic. Check out for some serious eye candy. Pioneer woman is seriously and I mean seriously gifted. Martha Stewarts got nothin' on her! Oh, she does have a name other than Pioneer Woman. She is known as Ree Drummond and I would highly encourage you to check out her blog. It is a lot of fun.

This recipe is good. It is very good. I hate to say this but I think it is better than my pastry school recipe. Here is a little glimpse of the sweet dough rolled out. Filled with Irish butter, Vietnamese cinnamon and brown sugar (which I added.) The rule of thumb for the butter is this. If it isn't oozing out when you roll the dough up, you haven't used enough! Yikes! I really liked working with this dough because it was very tender and light due to the addition of baking powder and soda.

I made about 5 pans of these babies. I put a few pans in the freezer and then we ate this one. All of it.
The icing is fabulous because it has maple and brewed coffee in it. I will use that icing when I know adults will be eating them. Kids aren't always crazy about the coffee flavor (a mortal sin, in my opinion!)

These met with Jaimey's approval.


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