On Monday night, I was joined by some of my friends for delicious baking night.

Those of you who used to read learning to garden, will remember them from previous events, such as Blueberry Muffins and Chocolate Chip cookies.

Well, we decided to kick it up a notch.  Monday night was our first group attempt at yeast breads.  One of them had made yeast breads as a kid and the other had an ex-boyfriend who used to make his own pizza dough.  I have been experimenting with yeast breads most of my life.  Growing up in a family of 6, my mom used to make four loves of bread at a time.  At least once a week.  And on top of that, every once in a while, she would get up early and make us cinnamon rolls.  From scratch.  They were the most delightful, sticky, nutty, raisin cinnamon buns ever.  But she never made the cream cheese icing to top them with.   So, together we combined our baking skills and set forth to make these Super-Amazing-Unhealthy-Pumpkin-Cinnamon-Rolls (with cream cheese icing).

I had found the recipe on the internet a few days earlier and decided I needed to make them.  It is the beginning of fall, after all.  Of course, here in San Francisco, the daily high has been in the mid-20s (Celsius) for the last week.  But I was feeling the autumn-ness of the calendar, and thus we launched into making these buns.

{Photo by me}

We mixed the dough together in the Kitchenaid mixer (which makes kneading so much easier ’cause you hardly have to do any!) and after each taking a turn at kneading it (evoking memories of our past.  Bread making is such a delightful, tactile experience), set it aside for its first rise.  A warm Californian (atypical San Franciscan) night meant the rise took just a little longer than the season premiere of Glee that we watched in the meantime.

We rolled the dough out on the table I oiled with a bit of vegetable oil so that it wouldn’t stick.  And then the ridiculousness begins.  the recipe called for spreading A WHOLE STICK OF BUTTER onto the dough.  That’s a lot of butter.  But, no complaining was to be heard.  We each grabbed a knife and spread it around.  Then we sprinkled the amazing smelling sugar and spice mixture over it and rolled it up into a delightful roll full of sugar and butter and spices.

{photo by me}

You know it’s a good sign when the log of dough looks and smells good enough to eat.

We sliced the log up into 15 pieces and set them aside to rise.  We spent the time that took making the icing and discussing serious matters.  Like what we would bake next.  And how expensive it is to eat out in San Francisco, but how much we do it anyway.  Seriously.  It’s been 2 days that I haven’t eaten out yet and I think that’s a record for me.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  I like to cook and eat at home, but the food is just so darned delicious and accessible in this city.  And there’s such a variety!

{Photo by me}

Then, the finished rolls came  out of the oven.  And even though there was intention to only eat half of one, we each ate a whole one.  They were so good fresh.  The icing melted into the cracks between the layers and they were gooey, sticky and the sugar had caramelized on the bottoms and I could have eaten the whole pan if that wasn’t ridiculous.

{Photo by me}

The verdict: these are delicious.  And they stayed delicious for the next two days because my Prince Charming and I managed to only eat one a day.  Good thing I have good friends who took some home because there’s so much butter in them that I think I gain weight just by looking at them.  But you should make them (although, maybe put less butter in the middle of them.)

Here’s the recipe from Good Life Eats.  (Which, by the way, on the front page of their website today is a recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Pots.  Which sound amazing.  And might be next week’s recipe.)

Happy autumn, everyone.

-AvH

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