02 September 2010

Autumn, Are You Here Yet?

Sweet, sweet maple syrup.  I didn't start using the it (i.e., the real, pure, not-corn-syrup-based-and-squeezed-from-a-woman-shaped-bottle stuff) until rather recently--sometime within the last few years, in fact, after becoming vegan--but I do so love it, in all its saccharine glory.  Yes, it is a bit pricey, but what better way to imbue food with distinct maple flavor than a dose of dark amber, grade B sweetness?  I can't find pure maple extract easily, and the imitation extract is just not the same in terms of quality, so pure maple syrup is my best bet when trying to achieve maple-y goodness.  Also, the flavor instantly provokes nostalgia, reminding me of those blissfully cool autumn days, crisp air, and crunchy fallen leaves (well, not here along the season-less southern California coast--I'm thinking of my university days spent further north).  It also reminds me of those pre-vegan, late night hunts for maple-iced donuts... In any case, I greatly enjoy cool weather and the warmth of spices and kitchen creations that usually accompany them, so with the arrival of September already upon us, I am in full anticipation for autumn to make its official appearance.

Since enjoying that maple-frosted cinnamon roll last week, I have had cinnamon rolls on the brain--specifically, maple-flavored ones.  Practically right on cue, Alisa over at One Frugal Foodie posted a couple of tempting photos of Maple Oat Bread, along with an accompanying recipe.  With a few minor alterations to the recipe, I was making a batch of maple oat cinnamon rolls.  I substituted unsweetened almond milk for the water (presumably for softness in the finished product) and used grade B maple syrup (to ensure that the bread would have optimum maple flavor).  After the first rise, I rolled the dough out into roughly a 1/2"-thick rectangle, brushed the surface lightly with canola oil, sprinkled it liberally with 1/3 c brown sugar mixed with 2 tsp ground cinnamon, rolled it all up as I would for regular cinnamon rolls, then cut the log into twelve equal pieces.  I placed the pieces in a lightly greased rectangular pan, then covered them and placed the pan in the refrigerator overnight.  The following morning, I removed the pan from the fridge for 30 minutes before uncovering it and baking the rolls (which had risen somewhat) in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
To finish the rolls, I whipped up a simple icing using 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup, and just enough almond milk to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.  I dressed the warm, baked rolls with the icing, then topped them with a combination of toasted walnut and pecan pieces.  The resulting treat was soft, sweet, and crunchy all at once.  The maple-cinnamon blend was a harmonious one, and absolutely delicious in the final product.  Admittedly, next time I'd like the icing to be toned down if not omitted completely, due to the extreme sweetness of the entire package, but it does emphasize the maple flavor if the subtleness of it in the roll itself isn't enough.  I'll be sure to try the original bread recipe as written sometime, too.

13 comments:

  1. Oh that looks absolutely delicious!!

    What a perfect prelude to autumn!

    I just might have to try making this...

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  2. Oh my god. I love posts like this. I remember my own university days...on campus they made the *biggest* and the *best* iced cinnamon buns I've ever had anywhere. You'd get thinking about them and then just couldn't stop...and the place that sold them was open all freaking night...needless to say I weighed 20 pounds more then than I do now. But definitely felt it was worth it at the time ;-)

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  3. I wonder why I always end up craving baked goods when I visit your blog....LOL

    The maple rolls look wonderful.

    Ali

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  4. I need to make those. I need to make those. I need to make those. Okay, I'll stop now :D

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  5. Cinnamon rolls are almost national food here, but it never occurred to me to make them with maple syrup. They look really yummy! :)

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  6. wow, these just made my mouth-water! and i love me some maple syrup!

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  7. My stomach started rumbling as I read this post. Sometimes (I think right now, actually) Amazon has really good specials on Coombs Farm maple syrup.

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  8. I loooove maple syrup. These cinnamon rolls look absolutely scrumptious.

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  9. Those cinnamon buns look awesome, and I just asked my husband that same question yesterday! Is it fall yeeeet? I wanted to put up some pumpkin decorations at the home we are staying at :) I love real maple syrup too by the way!

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  10. Yum! I wish I'd made these instead of the regular-old cinnamon rolls I made the other day. These look much better! I'll give them a try next time I have a maple/cinnamon craving.

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  11. wow, these just made my mouth-water! and i love me some maple syrup!

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  12. Oh that looks absolutely delicious!!

    What a perfect prelude to autumn!

    I just might have to try making this...

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  13. Cinnamon rolls are almost national food here, but it never occurred to me to make them with maple syrup. They look really yummy! :)

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)