Thursday, January 30, 2014


Like most dabbling bakers, I have a mental list of things that I'd really like to try. Some day.  Between the Daring Kitchen, Sourdough Surprises and The Secret Recipe Club, I've been really lucky to have the opportunity to try lots of them, but there are still plenty more I want to try.

For a long time, rugelach has been on that list.  Rugelach is a crescent-style pastry with some sort of filling.  I actually haven't eaten rugelach for years, but I have still wanted to try it.

Last week, I finally had the occasion that called for something special, so decided to tackle this pastry.  What was that occasion? I'd reached the final class on a Groupon I had for a local, awesome Zumba studio. And I wanted to thank both the amazing instructor and the awesome, friendly woman at the front desk. What better way to thank someone than with a tasty treat?

There are many recipes out there for the actual pastry dough for rugelach, ranging from very simple to very complicated. But most that I saw were of the simple variety, with only a few ingredients.  Flour, a touch of salt, maybe some sugar (I used brown sugar) and lots of butter and cream cheese.

These were mixed together in the food processor until they almost form a cohesive dough...

 ...and then I did a quick, final knead to really bring it together. The dough is enough for two sets of pastries, so I divided it up and popped it into the fridge.

Now... there was just one problem.

All that butter and cream cheese. While I was making these treats to share with the lovely folks at the studio, I still wanted to save a few for my family.  But with all that butter and cream cheese, there was no way that little man could eat these.

So I made a quick half-batch just for him. Dough came together exactly the same...

...but with two slight ingredient substitutions.

Okay, so that's not so slight. In place of butter, I used coconut oil, and in place of cream cheese, I used a vegan cream cheese alternative.

It was actually really easy.

The vegan dough went into the fridge right next to the other one, and there they all rested overnight.

The next day, it was time to get rolling.


Each disc is rolled out into a circle about 1/8 of an inch thick, then spread with any filling you choose.

My first filling was one that is relatively traditional for rugelach - chocolate and cinnamon sugar.

Once the topping is spread over the dough, simply cut the circle into wedges (I used a pizza cutter - super easy!) and roll each wedge up crescent-roll style.

A quick egg-wash and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar...

...and these were ready for the oven to turn into flaky deliciousness.

As the first batch baked, I started on the second flavor.  I re-mixed some of the brown sugar-chai masala filling that I'd used for the chai-spiced cinnamon rolls and used that.

And these baked up just as beautifully.

And finally, it was time to roll the vegan dough.  The coconut oil made this dough a little tougher to roll, and it cracked a lot more while I was rolling it, but I was finally able to work it into a thin circle, which I spread with blackberry preserves.

To keep these vegan, I skipped the egg-wash and, instead, brushed these with a bit of coconut milk.  The preserves leaked out more than the other fillings, but other than that, they didn't look too bad.

Now, seeing that this was the first time I'd ever made these, I had to taste them before packaging them up! And I was super happy with the results. Even the vegan version were crisp and flaky.  The chocolate and cinnamon sugar ones were my favorite, but all three had a really nice flavor and were really fun to eat.

So I was super happy to share these to thank the wonderful folks at the Zumba studio. And luckily, they told me that they liked them - so I'd say it worked out pretty well.

(based on

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks (vegan alternative: coconut oil)
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks (vegan alternative: vegan cream cheese, such as Tofutti brand)
any filling of your choice (about 1/4 cup filling per portion of dough, more or less to your preference)

Combine flour, sugar and salt in your food processor, pulsing a few times just to combine.
Add chunks of butter and cream cheese slowly, pulsing to combine as you add. Once all of the butter and cream cheese has been added, run the food processor until the dough forms large curds.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead it lightly just a few times to bring it together.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces, form each into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough at least two hours or overnight.
When you are ready to prepare and bake the rugelach, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Roll each section of dough into a circle approximately 1/8 of an inch thick. Spread the dough with the filling of your choice (chopped chocolate, cinnamon sugar, jams - the choices are limitless!). Cut the dough into wedges (a pizza cutter makes this simple). Each circle can make 12-16 wedges.
Roll each wedge, from the wide end toward the tip. Place each rolled piece onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
If desired, brush each piece with egg wash (or, for the vegan pastries, coconut milk) and sprinkle them with a touch of cinnamon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took about 22 minutes).
Transfer pastries to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool a bit before tasting. They will crisp up a bit more as they set.

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Daring Bakers' Challenge - Baumkuchen

You know what I love? 

When a cooking or baking challenge is something with which I am completely unfamiliar before reading the challenge.

And guess what?

That's what happened this month with the Daring Bakers' Challenge!

The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

The layered cake that inspired this challenge is not what most of us think of when we think "layer cake." I mean... when I think layer cake, I think a cake or two, or maybe even three, maybe each cut in half horizontally to make them thinner, with frosting between them.

That's not what this is.

This is a cake where all the layers are baked right on top of each other. 

I'll show you.

First, a batter is prepared. Most baumkuchen cakes include marzipan and many, many eggs. With little man's allergies, I pretty much knew that there was no way to make this work for him, but, even so, I found a recipe (here) that didn't include marzipan (didn't want to take the nut-contamination risk).  But, like the other recipes I'd found, it involved lots of bowls, separating eggs and careful measurement.

Once those egg whites were incorporated, the batter was then divided evenly in half.  One half was flavored with a touch of vanilla extract, the other with cocoa powder.

And then it was time to bake! The batter was thicker than I'd expected, but bear with it - it'll work!  I took about a quarter cup of the chocolate batter and spread it thinly on the bottom of my springform pan.

I used only enough batter to cover the pan - I wanted to stretch my batter to as many layers as possible!

The pan then goes into the oven. And since it's such a thin layer, it bakes quickly.

Four  minutes later, I took this out.

And then we build.

Another quarter cup of batter, this time the vanilla one, scooped right on top of the baked chocolate layer. And because the cake is hot, it actually spreads very easily this time.

And so on and so on until all of the batter is used.

Alternating layers, I actually was proud to wind up with an even number of chocolate and vanilla layers.

The whole thing then has to cool completely. I didn't dare remove the springform pan's outer ring until the next morning.

Okay, didn't look too impressive straight out of the pan. But with this one, it's what's inside that counts.

But before we could get there, I had some decorating to do. I had a little bit of ganache leftover in the fridge, so I heated it a little big to a pourable consistency and used it to top my cake.

And then added some delicate candy peals to finish the look.

But it wasn't until our family dinner that night that we got to really see the results. As my father in law cut in the cake, I had my fingers crossed so tightly, just hoping that it worked.

And guess what??

It did!

But how did it taste?

Pretty good! The cake was a little dense, but definitely tasty. Next time I make it (I will try this again!!), I may use the broiler, cooking the cake only from the top, rather than the regular oven cycle, since the bottom layer, while not burned, was definitely cooked more than the higher layers (had a bit more of a cookie-like consistency than cake, if that makes sense).

Francijn, thank you so much for introducing me to this super fun cake. I can't wait to try this again. You were truly a wonderful, helpful and encoraging hostess!!

If you'd like to see the other amazing and impressive baumkuchens baked in the kitchen month, check them out here.

And to see the challenge as it was presented to us, with a more traditional and impressive recipe, check it out here.

(batter ingredients and preparation method from La Reposteria de Miguel, baking process from The Daring Bakers' Challenge)

250 grams butter
250 grams sugar
7 eggs, separated
150 grams flour (recipe calls for pastry flour, I used all purpose)
100 grams cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Beat butter with sugar until doubled in volume and mixture becomes very light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture.
In a seperate bowl, beat the egg whites, with the salt, until stiff.
Slowly add the flour to the egg yolk, butter and sugar mixture until incorporated. Then fold in the stiffly-beaten egg whites, in two separate additions.
Divide the dough into two equal parts. Into one part, add the cocoa powder. Into the other, add the vanilla extract.
You are now ready to begin assembling and baking the cake.
Start with about 1/4 cup of one of the batters (I started with the chocolate batter) and spread it on the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. The first layer is the toughest one to spread, and it will be a thin layer. This is okay. Use just enough batter to very thinly cover the bottom of the pan.
Bake this layer for 4 minutes (for me - watche it, though - if it starts to brown too much, pull it!).
Remove the pan from the oven and create a second layer, with your other batter (the vanilla) and spread it over the first layer. Since each layer is now hot from the oven, each subsequent layer will be much easier to spread.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 4 minutes (again, times may vary - keep an eye on it!).
Repeat this process, alternating batters, until all of the batter is used up, baking each layer for approximately four minutes and spreading a new layer on after each is cooked. I wound up with eight layers in a 10 inch springform pan.
Once your final layer is baked, allow the cake to cool completely.
I covered my completely cooled cake with ganache and decorated it with little candy pearls. The ganache is relatively traditional, but you can cover, frost or prepare the cake however you'd like.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

A week and a half ago, a friend of mine had a baby. A super adorable, totally sweet, teeny, tiny, just-want-to-snuggle-her-all-day-long little girl. And, as luck would have it, she and her family let us come visit them a few days after they returned home from the hospital! Yay!

Now, I never like to go anywhere empty handed. Especially not when going to see parents of a newborn baby!. Really especially when they already have two older kids to chase around while operating on the schedule of  an up-every-few-hours newborn.

So, in addition to a super cute little sleeper for the baby, I also brought some muffins. I figured they could be breakfast or dessert or snack... something easy to grab, something they can eat with one hand if needed...

The muffins I chose were based on this pumpkin pie bread recipe. I simply halved the recipe, used a muffin tin instead of loaf pans and reduced the bake time.

And they came out really, really well.

But then little miss got sad.  Because, of the batch of 15 muffins, we brought a dozen to our friends. Leaving only three for home. One for her, one for little man, and one for mama.  And she wanted more than one.

So what's a mama to do?

Well, as "luck" would have it, we've had a bit of extra time on our hands the last few days thanks to the many, many inches of snow that have fallen. And frozen.  So today, we made more muffins!

The muffins call for pumpkin pie spice. but I generally don't keep pre-mixed spice mixes on hand, especially ones for which I need each of the componant ingredients on a regular basis. So I added each of my spices individually.

Which also makes for a cooler picture, don't you think? But do what works for you.

Then my mini-assistant whisked all of that together. He loves helping!

Then, in my mixer, I beat the wet ingredients, then added in the expertly-whisked flour mixture.

Once the batter was in the pan, I added my own little touch. I had a little bit of leftover brown sugar-chai masala mixture left over from my chai spiced cinnamon rolls, so I sprinkled some on top.


And then they bake!

And then you receive an e-mail from your daughter's school regarding make-up school days for all the snow days they've had to call due to the crazy winter storms and totally miss the timer going off. Oops.

I was only a minute or two late. I promise.

But... I may just purposely make that mistake again.  The extra minute or two gave these a nice little crunch on the outside (not just the top, which I was expecting from the sugar topping), but the inside remained deliciously moist.


Pumpkin Pie Muffins
(based on Pumpkin Pie Bread from

1 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar (I used 1 cup white, 1/2 cup brown)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (1/2 of a 15 oz. can)
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12-well muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin puree. Stir in flour mixture alternately with water. Full muffin wells about 3/4 full. This is actually enough batter for 15-16 muffins, so you can bake the extra in an additional muffin pan or in a mini-loaf pan.
I sprinkled mine with spiced-brown sugar, but this is optional. You can use streussel topping if you'd like, too - that'd be delicious!
Bake muffins in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Monday, January 20, 2014

January Sourdough Surprises - Sourdough Focaccia

This month's Sourdough Surprises was awesome. Pretty basic, really, as far as sourdough recipes go, but delicious and super fun to make. As a result, this post is going to be pretty photo-heavy. 

This month we made focaccia. Focaccia is kind of like pizza dough, but... that's selling it a little short. It's crisp on the outside, deliciously airy, and can carry almost any variety of toppings. So not just pizza dough... but it's the closest comparison I can make. And I think focaccia was just made to be made out of sourdough. Seriously, it is the perfect bread to make with your sourdough starter.

The dough is pretty simple. It starts with flour, water and, of course, sourdough starter.

Just dump 'em all in a bowl.

Then just mix it all together.

So far so good. The resulting "dough" is pretty wet and very loose, but as long as it's all incorporated, you're good, so take a little break. Because the dough needs to rest.

After about half an hour (or so... if you get caught up in a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders, that's okay, too), turn the dough out onto a (clean) counter, sprinkle on some salt and pour on some oil.

Yes, it will be messy.

Again, that's okay.  And then you knead.  This is a very wet dough. The best way to knead a high-hydration dough is the "slap and fold" method. Pick up the dough as best as you can, hit it down on the counter (careful of that oil-puddle - you don't want that splashing all over the place!), fold one end over the top, then repeat. Sound odd, I know, and it is messy at first, with wet dough sticking all over the place, and I promise, you will get to a point where you wonder why you are doing this. But then, something will happen.

As the gluten develops, the dough starts to smooth out. And look like real dough. And you also start to feel like you've gotten a good arm workout. Or maybe that's just me. Regardless, keep this up. It's a great stress reliever.  Once your dough is smooth (still sticky) and lovely, pop it into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest. I let mine rest all afternoon, then popped it into the fridge to continue its rest overnight.

Whenever you're ready to actually prepare the focaccia for baking, all you have to do is choose your topping. Now, you don't need toppings. All you need is oil and salt on top. But toppings make it fun. And you can choose anything. Seriously, google it or look on any of the food-photography sites - endless possibilities.

Me? I chose cherries.

Yup - cherries.

I cut the cherries in half, removed the pits, and pressed them into the dough. And then, of course, added my oil and salt.

Pink salt. Because... if you have it, why not??

I also sprinkled on a dash of thyme right before popping it into the oven because... again... why not??

And then we bake!

Holy rise! I guess my starter is pretty healthy, because man did this grow in the oven!

And even better? The inside.

Oh, the beautiful, airy holes.

This bread was so crunchy yet chewy, so airy yet delicions.

As I said - it is like this bread was just designed to be made out of sourdough.

Even little miss, who claims to hate sourdough, liked it. Even her friend who was over rainbow-looming with her liked it. Even little man liked it. I think I ate half the bread myself within the first hour.

I can't wait to make this again.

So what toppings did you choose? I can't wait to see all of the deliciousness! Link up and share!

Sourdough Focaccia

4 cups bread flour
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups of water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for the top once bread is formed)
your choice of toppings – herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables - the choices are endless!

Mix flour, water and sourdough starter together in a large bowl until it comes together into a wet and sticky dough. 
Let this dough rest for 30 minutes.
Add salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dough. Then slap and fold the dough on your counter (the slap and fold technique) until a thin opaque film can be stretched from the dough between fingers (the windowpane test). The hydration of this dough is roughly 80% so it will feel really wet and sloppy to start with, but give it time and it will become smooth (this took me about 20 minutes or so). (The dough will still be sticky.)
Cover the dough and let it ferment until it grows to more than double it’s original size. It should look a little bit bubbly on the top. This can take between six hours and a day, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight for a slow, cold fermentation.
Once the dough has risen, scrap down the sides and carefully turn it onto a baking tray lined with a baking sheet (or parchment). Press and spread the dough out evenly with wet hands to maybe an inch in thickness. Be as gentle as you can so the dough doesn’t deflate too much. Finally sink your finger tips into the dough to make deep dents (that's the fun part!).
Put on your toppings (I used sweet cherries) then drizzle a good coating of olive oil over the top. Don’t skimp on the olive oil – it’s part of what makes focaccia awesome! Sprinkle over any spices you want. I used fresh-ground pink sea salt and a bit of thyme.
Preheat your oven as hot as it can get, preferably between 450 and 500 degrees.
After the dough has rested about 30 minutes and the oven is nice and hot, put the focaccia into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick your focaccia is. Mine took about 22 minutes. When the crust is set on both the top and bottom, and you can pick it up without it bending or deforming, and it sounds hollow when you tap on it, it should be cooked through. You may want to cover it with a piece of foil if it starts to brown too much to your liking.
Let it cool just a bit (so you don't burn your mouth) and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January Daring Cooks' Challenge - Arancine

Once upon a time, almost four years ago, the Daring Cooks had a risotto challenge.  I actually can't believe that it was four years ago... because it was both the first time that I'd ever made risottoe... and the last. Not on purpose, though! I enjoyed it very much and have wanted to make it again, but just... haven't!

But this month I got just the push I needed to jump in again!

January’s Daring Cooks’ challenge was a ball! The lovely Manu from Manu’s Menu brought our taste buds to the streets of Sicily and taught us her family tradition of making arancine – filled and fried balls of risotto. Delizioso!

Now, Manu gave us some super, amazing and delicious examples, and I kind of wanted to try them all. But I didn't want to stuff my arancine with cheese, because then little man couldn't enjoy them. And since daddy is still doing the low-carb thing, I didn't want to reduce my audience any more than that.  So I thought... dessert.

Believe it or not, dessert risotto is not uncommon. It's like super creamy rice pudding, all in one step. One long step, but one step.

I started by lightly toasting the arborio rice in coconut oil, then adding my flavorings - sugar and vanilla (along with some hot water).

And for my broth, I used coconut milk.

Scooping, stirring, scooping stirring... until...


Now, in a perfect world, I would have given myself lots of time to do this. And I could have - I decided on the flavor two weeks ago. But with how busy everything has been, lots of time just didn't happen.  So I had to rush a bit. Ideally, the risotto would not only cool completely, but would sit for a long time. Like... overnight. Me? I just let my risotto cool through.  And then I set to shaping.

I scooped up big balls of the risotto, added a few chocolate chips to the middle, re-rolled them, then rolled them in a bread crumb and coconut mixture.

All that's left is to fry them up!

Now... since my risotto didn't fully set and congeal (in a good way), my arancine were very... soft. So they didn't hold their shape very well. Or... in some cases... at all.

Despite that, these were a real treat!

They were also really rich, full of flavor and very filling. The only problem with that being that they're best right away... and there are only so many my little family can eat. Next time I'll know to make these for a crowd. And next time, I seriously want to do an all-arancine meal - meat filled ones, cheese filled ones, dessert ones... the possibilities are endless!

Manu, thank you so much for this super fun, super delicious challenge. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect host!

To see the full challenge as presented this month, you can check it out here.

And to see the other delicious arancine cooked up in the Kitchen this month, you can check those out here.

Vanilla Coconut Risotto
(from Just For Licks)

2 tablespoons butter (I used coconut oil)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot water
2 cans (about 3 1/2 - 4 cups) unsweetened coconut milk

Heat coconut milk medium saucepan. In a larger saucepan, melt the butter (coconut oil) on low-medium heat. Add the rice and coat with butter (coconut oil). Add the hot water, sugar and vanilla. Cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently. Add a ladle-ful of the milk and stir until it is almost absorbed. Continue this process until all of the liquid has been added to the risotto. It should take approximately 30-40 minutes and the risotto should be slightly al dente. Mine took a good hour, but be patient - it will work!
It's delicious as is, but for the arancine, allow it to cool fully. Preferably overnight (in the fridge once it's reached room temperature).

For the Breading:
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup honey-crunch wheat germ
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Combine all breading ingredients together, set aside.

To prepare the Arancine:
prepared risotto
prepared breading
chocolate chips
frying oil of choice

Heat frying oil in a frying pan.
Take a generous scoop of the prepared and cooled risotto and form it into a ball in your hands. Using your thumbs, create a hole or indent in the risotto ball. Place a few (I used 5 or 6) chocolate chips into the hole, then seal the risotto ball back up.  Roll the ball in the prepared breading then fry in the hot pan until the breading is golden on all sides. Repeat with until all risotto is used.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

About a week and a half ago, my friend's husband told me he wanted to make cinnamon buns. He took out his phone and pulled up the recipe that he wanted to use so that I could take a look and see if it looked like a good one. We discussed yeast, bread making, glazes, fillings... it was actually a pretty funny conversation.  

As a result, he went home and started baking, and made cinnamon rolls that, according to my friend, were so good they should be illegal. And according to her husband, were the best things he's ever made.

As a secondary result, I've been totally craving cinnamon rolls.

Unfortunately, daddy's been on a low-carb diet. Which, in case you're curious, is working tremendously and is really fascinating, from a food perspective.

But cinnamon buns, at least the kind I wanted to make, are decidedly un-low-carb. So I haven't wanted to make them. Because I didn't think it would be fair.

But the other night, I just couldn't resist anymore. So I whipped up a batch of my favorite sweet dough and set to pondering about what kind of filling I should make.

Chocolate? S'mores? Berries? Biscoff?

And then it hit me.


I have become addicted to homemade chai tea and just knew that the spicy, sweet flavor would make the perfect filling for my sweet rolls.

Now, I don't have any process-photos for this, since I prepared them at night. And since I was really making them on a whim and not thinking about blogging...

But the next morning when I took these out of the oven to come back up to temperature, I kind of knew I was on to something cool.

And after taking them out of the oven, I was darn sure of it.

Now, no cinnamon bun is complete without some glaze, so I quickly heated some coconut milk with a hint of chai masala and a dash of vanilla extract and used that liquid to make my glaze.

Holy deliciousness. Sweet with a touch of heat from the pepper in the chai masala, these were amazingly delicious.  Especially accompanied by a nice, hot cup of... yeah... chai tea.

Ooey and gooey, warm and delcious... perfect for a cold winter morning.

And to make sure that they weren't around tempting daddy too much, I boxed a few up for the friend who inspired all of this in the first place. And a couple for one of my zumba insstructors. And a couple for the secretaries at little miss's school.

And now I want to make more.

Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough:
1 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and butter. Heat until slightly warm to the touch then remove from heat and stir in the yeast. I found that I had to let the milk mixture cool a bit before adding the yeast, as the milk got pretty hot in order to dissolve the sugar. Once the yeast has been added, let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Mix in the eggs, oil and the yeast mixture. Mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn once to coat. Cover and let stand in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

For the filling:
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons chai masala

Mix chai masala into brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

To prepare cinnamon rolls:
Prepared dough
Prepared filling
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Once the dough has risen, gently deflate it.
Roll the dough into a big rectangle.
Spread the butter over the dough.
Sprinkle the spiced brown sugar mixture over the butter. You will likely not need all of it, but that's okay.
Starting with one long end, roll the dough into a log.
Cut the log into 12 pieces, and place each piece, cut side up, into a 9" x 13" pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator overnight. (Or, let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes and proceed to the baking directions.)
In the morning, take the tray out of the refrigerator and allow it to come up to temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the cinnamon buns for 25-30 minutes.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon chai masala
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat all three ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until heated through, allowing the coconut milk to soak in the flavors of the spice and vanilla.

Combine 1 cup of confectioners' sugar with a few tablespoons of the heated milk mixture, stirring until a glaze forms. Add more of the milk mixture if you need to make a good drizzling consistency.

Drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.

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