Do you ever bake for yourself? Like you know that what you’re baking wasn’t requested or ordered by anyone, but you want it and you love it so now it’s in your oven and you’ll totally step up and take one for the team and eat the whole batch because you’re THAT selfless? Yeah, me either... Except that’s totally what I’m doing right now! Because sometimes you just gotta have it! In my case, it’s a morning bun/cinnamon roll situation. I have been craving them for two to three-ish weeks now, so I made both. (Plus my Facebook memories reminded me of when I made these at work a few years ago and it just solidified my need to bake them!!)
I generally don’t make cinnamon rolls at home because they tend to be involved and a bit time consuming, and when I want them I want them now. What can I say, I can be pretty impatient about shoving pastries in my face (can you tell that I was raised on canned cinnamon rolls?). But I solved that issue in two different ways this week. The first batch that I made (and immediately ate) used rapid rise yeast so the dough was ready to go in about 20 minutes. Woohoo!!
Rolling dough out is one of my favorite things to do because it’s a bit of an arm workout and I don’t feel quite so bad about consuming all the sugary things if I broke a sweat while making them. For these rapid rise cinnamon rolls, I covered the dough sheet in a significant amount of butter and liberal amounts of cinnamon sugar, then rolled it up into a hungry caterpillar of sorts and sliced them into mini rolls. I did bake this entire batch all together, (and maybe ate one or two during the photo shoot) but for the most part I gave these babies away since my craving was satisfied. Look how plump the baked up to be!! #ProudMama
While those guys were baking and cooling, I got to work on my batch of strawberry morning buns. This dough took about an hour and a half to rise, and just before rolling it out I put my paw print in the rising dough, which is one of those small life happiness makers for me. #ItsTheLittleThings Hand modeling career, here I come!
Then I smeared some strawberry jam on the rolled out dough, spread some fresh cut strawberries on it, and rolled it up like a burrito. Or more like a rug, since I didn’t tuck the sides. Whatever, you get it; it’s rolled. And now sliced. Normally, this is the part where you’d let the buns rise a bit more before popping them in the oven, but I decided to throw the whole pan into the freezer so I could choose a later date to eat them. (That later date was the very next day :D But since I only baked two of them, I will be able to enjoy these tasty treats several more times before they’re gone.)
I know we’re well into the holiday season and desserts and sweets abound, but I really needed to do this for myself. Most of the time I don’t end up eating the cakes and cupcakes that people order or that I make for special occasions like birthdays and promotions, so it’s not often that I get to fully satisfy my sugar fix. I feel that it’s important to sometimes tell yourself “yes!” when it comes to things like this anyway (don’t forget, I am a next-level enabler). Self care is a big movement right now, and I am here for it!
The reason why I’m mentioning the fact that I baked the whole batch of cinnies and gave them away/only baked a few of the morning buns so I didn’t have the chance to eat them immediately (and instantly turn myself into a big dough ball), is because I don’t want to promote any unhealthy habits. You see, my first job right out of college - before pastry school - was working for bariatric surgeons (they performed medically necessary weight loss surgeries) and I very much learned the importance/necessity of portion control. If you have a good education about the amount of food you need to eat and can consciously choose to only consume that amount of food over the amount you WANT to eat, you can eat just about anything. Which is why, since I was baking for myself this week, I gave away most of the first batch on the day I made them, and the next day I chose to only bake two of these little babies for myself and saved the rest for a later time and/or someone else.
I practice this method with cookies, too. Very rarely do I bake an entire batch of cookies in one setting. I almost always have cookie dough in my freezer, though, so I never have to wait very long if I want a fresh baked cookie or two. This is my tip of the week for you: be prepared! Just about any time I have unexpected company, I can always offer them a fresh baked treat because any time I make cookie dough (or maybe strawberry morning buns), I roll the whole batch into dough balls and freeze them on a sheet tray. Once they’re frozen solid, I label a freezer safe bag with the type of cookies they are and the date I made them, stuff all of the cookie dough in, and store them in the freezer until I need them.
Also, if you bake a whole batch of deliciousness all at once, you are going to be strongly tempted to eat the whole thing while it’s fresh. And really, who wouldn’t want to eat all the cookies while they’re fresh?? So do yourself a favor and only bake what you need then save the rest for later, and I promise it will come in handy. Plus with the holidays coming up, having prepped desserts in your freezer will be a real time saver for sure!
Happy eating, y’all!
I wanted to share this yummy photo of when I actually started to eat my strawberry morning buns. I had some leftover vanilla icing and thought, "why not?!" So I smeared it on and thoroughly enjoyed myself! What have you baked for yourself recently? Share with me in the comments below!