Back to Colorado where Fall is actually happening, where the nights dip down into the temperatures that make you grab a sweater on your way out the door.
Weddings are celebrations that I catalog in my mind. Was the wedding creative? Beautiful? Simple? Elegant? And then of course there is the list of less than desirable adjectives. Was it Tacky? Extravagant? Self-Indulgent? Boring?
As a writer, I've been taught to develop my critical mind. I've been encouraged to pick apart my own stories and the stories or works of other writers. As a thinker, I've been taught to examine what is put before me, be it an idea, a tradition, a movie or a book.
And so when I go to weddings, I can't help but leaving my writing and thinking caps on. Despite the drinks and the cake and the warm wishes, I still analyze, still ponder, still question the act I'm taking part of.
It can get annoying being judgmental. Sometimes I just want to be a bundle of enveloping joy.
And so in hopes of infusing my spirit with some sweetness, I baked a pan of banana cinnamon rolls. They are messy and fragrant and will overwhelm even the most critical bite.
But out of chaos came beauty. (This is a lesson I need to hold onto in my areas of my life).
The rolls look a bit pitiful when you put them in your pan, but as soon as you let them rise...magic.
Even better is the fragrant smell of banana, cinnamon and sugar browning in your pan as your dough turns to a rich golden brown.
These could easily be enjoyed with or without frosting. But since I like to take pictures of my food, I have a tendency towards embellishment. If you like frosting, please slather a thick layer on top. If you hate it, well...you know what to do.
And as for the wedding and my harsh, critical eye...I'm reminding myself what weddings are all about: being in love.
2 packages of Instant or Active Dry Yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter (or oil)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 ripe bananas
3 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1. In a small bowl, combine your yeast with your warm water and 1 TBSP of sugar and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until creamy and foamy. In a separate bowl, mash together the banana with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cover and set aside.
2. In a large bowl fitted to your stand mixer, combine your sugar, salt, butter and egg with your yeast mixture. Add in flour gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon. After flour is incorporated, use your dough hook to knead dough for 5-10 minutes. You may have to add additional flour to reach the desired consistency. Your dough should pull away from the sides and form a smooth, elastic ball.
3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
4. On a well floured surface, divide dough and roll into two rectangles. Distribute filling on both surfaces, being sure to leave a 1 inch border around the edge. Carefully roll up your dough into a long log and cut each log into eight equal pieces. (This is where it gets messy). Place your cut rolls into two greased 9 inch cake pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
5. Bake your rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until rolls are a light golden brown.
For frosting: mix one cup of powdered sugar with 1 TBSP milk or cream. Stir together and pour into a zip loc bag. Cut the corner of the bag and drizzle over cinnamon rolls. Simple, huh?
Anecdotes and Apple Cores
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