Sweet Dreams - The Cinnamon Roll

I’m a late-night baker. I often set my alarm for 11 PM and bake throughout the night. Most often, it is during these times you can find me in the kitchen with Aretha Franklin ballads playing softly, pouring my all into whatever I’m working on. This particular masterpiece was created from love. In my experience, love is so imperfect, devastating, complicated, beautiful and oh so worth it. It’s forgiveness and acceptance, peace and joy. Love stands the test of time and y’all, love is patient… so patient. I know love because God is love and I’m currently in love and believe me when I say: this recipe is love, made with love.

To be completely honest, I didn’t realize what I had done until it was over. The first night I made this I was feeling all the emotions. I cried my way through as Aretha sang through, “Never Loved a Man” & “Ain’t No Way” and by the time I took the songs off repeat, this was on my counter. Once we took our first bites, I knew this was going to be my Holy Grail recipe. They aren’t overly complicated to make, but these cinnamon rolls take time, effort and are worth everything you’ll put into them… just like relationships!

Because I’m obsessed with what I’ve affectionately named “Fairy Dust”, I threw it in for good measure. Fairy dust is a mixture of lavender and rose petals. Jerome swears lavender is for relaxation and sleep. I don’t know much about the sleep, but it actually does help you relax. I believe the combination of rose and lavender compliment each other so well that not adding it to the dough would be a unacceptable.

I seemed to find love in a hopeless place… a bag of Golden Oreos. Who would believe that these cookies could be so perfect for cinnamon rolls? Not me. I don’t know what pushed me to do it, maybe it was the hysterically crying that caused me to try it but it works! I incorporated the Oreos and lavender in the dough, filling and frosting. The rose petals are in the dough and garnish but not the filling. Oh, and my trick for the best cinnamon roll filling is super simple. I add a pinch of nutmeg and ground cloves to the brown sugar & cinnamon. It upgrades your life and is absolutely dynamic. My grandmom used to do it and she was never wrong, so that’s that on that!

I’ve made about 5 batches of these cinnamon rolls in a 3 day period because everyone that has one, wants another and I had to make sure these measurements were perfect! You can make your cinnamon rolls as big as you like or as small as you want. You don’t have to limit yourself here. I make 8-10 big cinnamon rolls because EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas. I couldn’t decide on a name so I asked Aerica and Jerome for help. Everything J came up with sounded like phrases fit for a funeral home so he’s officially not allowed to name anything else. But my girl Aerica, never lets me down. She came up with the name for these cinnamon rolls and a few more recipes that drop this week.

I really hope this becomes your new favorite, as it’s easily become mine. I hope that when you can’t sleep at night, you take a bite of this lavender and rose petal infused cinnamon roll and know that Sweet Dreams are around the corner.

With all my LOVE,

Brittney

THE RECIPE

Makes 8-12 Cinnamon Rolls

Instructions for the Dough:

  1. Get your warm water and sprinkle the yeast on it. The water should be steaming, but not so hot that it burns.

  2. Add 1 ½ teaspoon of sugar to the yeast water, stir & sit. If you use the yeast I use then it takes 3-5 minutes for it to bubble and activate. If not, you’re not using my brand or it’s old… wait another 5 minutes.

  3. Whisk the yeast mixture, milk, remaining sugar, egg, egg yolk and vanilla together. If you have a stand mixer, now is the time to use it. If not, you can do this by hand.

  4. Stand Mixer: Use the dough hook to slowly mix the flour into your wet ingredients. Add 1 cup at a time, alternating between flour, butter and fairy dust. Do this until the dough is smooth and the sides of your mixing bowl are clean. Add the oreos last and mix until they are distributed evenly throughout.

    By Hand: In a large bowl, mix the flour into your wet ingredients. Add 1 cup at a time, alternating between flour, butter and fairy dust. Add the oreos last and mix until they are distributed evenly throughout. Turn the dough on a clean, floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. This takes about 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased [use butter] bowl. Cover with plastic and sit on top of a warm oven until the dough has doubled in size. I turn my oven to 425 and wait about an hour… do that!

  6. Punch down the risen down and transfer to clean working space. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Turn your oven down to 350. This is the baking temp and it needs to be right!

Instructions for the Filling

  1. Use a bowl to mix all the ingredients together… leave the butter out the mix!

  2. Spread the butter over the dough.

  3. Sprinkle your sugar and cookie mixture on top and press gently.

  4. Starting at the side opposite of you, roll the dough into a log. Slice the log equally.

  5. Place rolls on a greased or parchment paper lined baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest on top of a warm oven for 45 minutes. They should have risen and puffed up. If not, give it a little more time.

  6. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls for 27-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Allow rolls to rest for a few minutes before you frost them.

Instructions for the Frosting

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

  2. Add salt, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and completely smooth.

  3. Spread over your cinnamon rolls.

  4. Top with Golden Oreos and Fairy Dust!

For the Dough:

  • ½ c. water, warm

  • 2½ tsp. active, dry yeast

  • ¼ c. + 1 ½ tsp. sugar

  • ½ c. whole milk, room temperature

  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

  • 6 Tbsp. butter, salted and softened

  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 c. all-purpose flour

  • ¾ c. Golden Oreos, chopped

  • ½ c. fairy dust [half lavender, half rose petals]

For the Filling:

  • ½ c. butter, salted & softened

  • ½ c. brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground

  • 1 Tbsp. nutmeg, ground

  • 1 Tbsp. lavender

  • 1 tsp. cloves, ground

  • ½ c. Golden Oreos, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 c. powdered sugar

  • ¼ c. butter, salted & softened

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • Golden Oreos + Fairy Dust, to garnish

 

Note: I use Platinum Superior Yeast by Red Star. It’s by far the BEST on the market so I’m not touching anything else. If you can’t find Platinum in your stores, grab it from Amazon. I won’t endorse any other yeast in my cinnamon rolls so use what you have available, but this is all I use!

White Chocolate Pound Cake

Alright. I'll tell you a little secret. My country ass LOVES pound cake. It's simple, I know I have all the ingredients in my house and it satisfies my sweet tooth. I win! Now, more than pound cake, I love white chocolate. Y'all can keep the milk & dark chocolate to yourself as long as you save me some white chocolate.

I was sitting in my kitchen thinking about what I could do with it and boom, it hits me... add that chocolate to your pound cake and watch God move in your life! And so it was created, White Chocolate Pound Cake.

I'm going to "learn" you about pound cakes like my grandma "learned" me when I was a 4th grader because there are rules to baking a pound cake and if you break any rules, your cake will be ruined and it'll be all your fault.

  1. It's called a Pound Cake because you use a POUND of the major ingredients.
  2. Eggs make your cake silky. 8 is always great.
  3. Too much sugar makes the cake "fall".
  4. Too much flour makes the cake "dry".
  5. Ingredients should be at room temperature... all of them.
  6. If you overheat your eggs, your cake will crumble.
  7. Sift the flour. Sift the sugar. But, don't sift them at the same time.
  8. Start with a COLD oven.
  9. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS grease and flour your cake pan.

THE RECIPE

  • 1 lb. + 2 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 lb. Sugar
  • 1 lb. + 2 Tbsp. Butter, unsalted
  • 1 lb. Large Eggs (8 to be exact)
  • 8 oz. White Chocolate, melted
  • 2 oz. Sour Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  1. Beat the pound of butter in or with a mixer or medium until the color becomes a pale yellow. Add the sugar slowly until it's all mixed together. Scrape the sides and mix again for good measure. You'll have a light and fluffy mixture.
  2. Change the mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time until they are fully incorporated into the sugar & butter, making sure to scrap the sides of the bowl after egg 4 and egg 8. To save time, crack the eggs BEFORE you begin and pour them over. Remember, no over mixing!
  3. Add the vanilla, sour cream and melted white chocolate and incorporate well.
  4. Slowly add the pound of flour and mix until it's fully incorporated and smooth. The batter is very thick, so make sure your mixer is getting to the bottom.
  5. Spread the excess butter and flour to your cake pan. Make sure you coat the entire pan with butter first and then flour.
  6. Add the cake batter to the pan, smooth the top with a spatula and lift the pan a few inches then drop it to remove the air. 
  7. Place the cake on the middle rack in a cold oven then turn the oven to 300 degrees. Cook for approximately 2 hours or until you can insert a butterknife into the cake and when it's removed, it comes out clean. The cake will be golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave it alone for 30-45 minutes. Place a plate on the open side, flip it and lift the cake pan away. Slice it and enjoy with ice cream or some type of glaze. Be fat! Eat the cake, Anna Mae!

Buttered Ribeye Steak

This is the most simple meat to cook for me. It doesn't need much other than a little salt & pepper and they cook fairly quickly. I love my steaks Medium, not Medium Rare because it's too pink and definitely not Medium Well or Well Done because there is simply not enough pink. I love my steaks Medium. Yesterday's steak was perfectly cooked and basted in butter. The crust came out the perfect color of brown that I needed. I spent more time with the butcher picking out steaks then cooking them. It took 12 minutes from start to finish and I have several different meals that I'll be using these steaks for this week.

I specifically went to the grocery store with the intention of choosing 3 perfect ribeye steaks to cook. It took me 45 minutes at the counter arguing with the butcher behind the glass. I ultimately ended up leaving with 3 steaks for under $50.

As soon as I got home, I patted the steaks dry and seasoned the absolute hell out of them with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. That's it. Nothing else. Salt and pepper for the win. I seasoned both sides and let them sit on my counter for about 30 minutes to allow them to come to room temperature & fully absorb the seasoning on them.

After heating my cast iron skillet on high heat with Avocado Oil, I added the steak and basked in the ambiance of the sizzle until it was time to flip it over.

It was not until after the first flip that I realized that multi-tasking between cooking, making a video for snapchat and photographing this entire process was hard. I was stressed out trying not to miss anything for you guys and everything happened so fast.

The final result (once I added a fried egg and homestyle potatoes) was L-O-V-E. I couldn't wait to dive into my plate. I added a tablespoon of sour cream and went all the way in. Don't judge me, sour cream and potatoes are everything. You should seriously try it when you make this recipe... I hope you enjoy!

THE RECIPE

  • 16-24 oz. Ribeye Steak
  • 1/3 c. Avocado Oil
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter, unsalted
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Herbs of your choice
  1. Using paper towels, completely dry the steak.
  2. Season on all sides and edges with kosher salt and pepper. Don't be stingy. The steak appreciates the love you have to offer. Allow the steak to sit at room temperature with salt & pepper for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Heat the avocado oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat until smoke begins to rise.
  4. Slowly add the steak to the oil. At this point, you should flip the steak about every 2 minutes until you see a crust golden in color. This takes about 6-7 minutes.
  5. Add butter to the skillet and allow to cook. Remember to flip the steak once every 2-3 minutes to prevent over browning. If there are any lighter spots on the steak, tilt the pan so the butter collects at the bottom and pour it over the steak.
  6. Once the steak has reached the desired temperature (130 for medium rare, 140 for medium) immediately take it out of the pan and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Allowing a steak to rest is essential as it allows the juices of the steak to redistribute back to the meat.