In the Clouds

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Sometimes we all need to eat something so decadent that you gain weight by just looking at it. Cinnamon rolls are my first choice of instantaneous weight gain food. There is something so comforting about those warm, fluffy rolls drenched in icing. You can clearly see that I do not delicately drizzle the icing.

After making this recipe, I'll never use another! There are so many cinnamon roll recipes out there with cream cheese icing but this recipe actually incorporates cream cheese into the dough. The tart cream cheese icing clearly comes out in this dough. Furthermore, this dough is brioche-like which means that it is fluffier and not so bready like so many cinnamon rolls.

This is not the easiest recipe, but every minute is worth it! One of the best things about this recipe is that it allows you to refrigerate the dough overnight and bake it in the morning.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
adapated from Saveur
I don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer, so I adapted this recipe to not use one. The original does however make life easier with the use of a Kitchen Aid mixer.
makes 8 rolls

1/4 cup of water
1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
3/4 tsp. fine salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar
¼ cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water heated to 115°F. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk together until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt. Stir together until the dough just comes together. Knead dough with your hands for 5 minutes. Add the butter gradually and continue kneading until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to your hands, about 10 minutes. Don't worry, the dough does come back together with the kneading. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 ½–2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl; stir to combine. Set filling aside.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it's no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary, about 1 minute. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10" x 10" square. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with a rubber spatula until it's smooth and spreadable. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square; then fold square into thirds as you would fold a letter to fit it into an envelope. Take the open ends of the resulting rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square. Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll into a 10" x 20" rectangle.

Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you. Brush the top of the dough with the 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Then brush the maple syrup onto the dough. Sprinkle the reserved filling over the dough, leaving a 1" border at the edge farthest away from you. Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Place dough cylinder, seam side down, on a cutting board and, using a thin, sharp knife, trim off the ends; cut cylinder crosswise into 8 equal-size slices. Nestle the slices, cut sides up and evenly spaced from one another, into a buttered 9" x 13" light-colored metal baking pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 375°. Uncover the rolls and let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. The rolls will have not risen; they will rise in the oven. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the rolls comes out clean, about 30 minutes. 

Make the icing: While the rolls are baking, whisk together the sugar and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth.

Transfer the pan of cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack; brush with 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle or drench the rolls in the icing. Enjoy!

Shared: here, herehere, here, and here. Thank you!
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Remember this? I have been wearing Kayla's necklace all the time! It has just never been photographed. I'm not sure why. This delicate necklace has tons of personality. 

As for this color, I think that I can learn to love orange. Most of my clothes are neutral. This was "out there" for me. Yes, I'm adventurous! Anyhow, the cardigan tones down the color quite a bit.

These loafers deserve love! I wear them almost everyday. They are comfortable and practical. It helps that they match nearly everything.

*Gasp* No cardigan! ;)

Shell: LOFT
Cardigan: Target
Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger
Shoes: Eastland

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lazy Days

This is my ideal lazy day outfit. I love how the pants are comfortably slouchy and loose. The top insures that the outfit is not too casual.

Shell: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Gap
Pants: Tommy Hilfiger
Shoes: Target

Shared: The Pleated Poppy
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Scarves Here, Scarves There, Scarves Everywhere!

Spring is coming! I love to wear scarves in the spring when I don't necessarily need them, but dislike them in the winter. Necessities are never as fun as frivolities. Still, spring scarves are not so bulky and chunky. They are usually more delicate. 

Anyhow, I've been seeing adorable scarves everywhere! I've gathered up some of my favorites. The first two even have versions that won't break the bank. Go ahead, thank me ;)

click on the number to reach the link
These scarves are lovely, but even lovelier is the fact that there are some versions of them that won't damage your wallet quite so much.

1. Is this one not self explanatory? I certainly can't resist polka dots. In fact, I'd go as far as claim you can never have too many polka dotted (a word?) items!


2. Target's version of the above scarf is just as adorable for a fraction of the price! The dots are a little bit larger, but both scarves are rectangular with gently fraying edges.


3. Maps are one of my obsessions! I love it on most everything from stationary to umbrellas. Actually, I already own a scarf printed with a map. This is unique in its square shape though.


4. Notice a pattern? Once again, Target has come to the rescue! Target's version is navy blue and white. The colors are still ones I love, but they do differ from Madewell's pale green and black.

click on the number to reach the link
These last scarves are just as lovely. I simply can't find a version of them that will offer a better value.

5. Kate Spade's rectangular scarf has an image of the roads of New York with some blocks colored. First of all, I love New York. Secondly, the muted colors are perfectly balanced with some bursts of pink/red.


6. This crossword puzzle scarf is perfect! I'm afraid of color; well, at least I have difficulty wearing it. This scarf makes it so easy to wear though! The pops of color are not too overwhelming. Plus, look at what phrases are found in the puzzle. He loves me. He loves me not. It's too cute!


7. Animals are another print that I would fall for in a heartbeat. Flamingos aren't something you see too often. This alone makes the scarf worth it!


8. Madewell's square scarf has a colorfully diagram of the different city blocks in New York. This is similar to number five, but suited for those who prefer color. This bold and vibrant scarf is sure to be noticed!

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Lilly in Watercolor

All around there are trees ready for their first green leaves to unfold. Flowers prepared to bloom. Grass all set to be rid of their brown and yellow blades.

I would readily agree to join those plants in their eagerness for spring. I'm more than happy to trade winter in for sunshine and warmth! Sadly, there's still two months left of bleakness. I needed a way to usher in spring early.

There's nothing that I associate with spring and summer more than Lilly Pulitzer. Her prints are vibrant and bold. I look forward to wearing her clothes as much as I look forward to the unfurling of those first leaves in their fresh young green.

Then, I spotted a great idea here. It was perfect; Carly used watercolors to paint some of her favorite Lilly prints. I tried my hand at watercolors with Lilly prints in mind also. The experience was more or less successful. It was lots of fun however.

I'm certainly no artist, but it was pretty fun to go out of my "boundaries". Do you ever try to do anything new and unexpected?

shared with 123, & 4. thanks!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Tidbits

It is finally Friday! I've had a miserable long week. Let's just get to the catch.

1. I am obsessed with rain boots! We have just moved to Virginia at the start of this school year from Texas. Rain was not exactly a problem in Texas. It's a whole different story here. More recently, it has been raining often. Too often. I shudder to think of the spring. The rain might bring gray skies and dreariness, but I'm absolutely sure that it would all be tolerable with a pair of adorable rain boots! 

2. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely is my most current read. It provides insight on humans' tendency to behave irrationally though we consider ourselves rational creatures. There are certain things that just make us tick. As a result, humans' irrational behavior is predictable. Mr. Ariely's writing is not only illuminating, but humorous and enjoyable to read as well. I highly recommend this one!

3. A certain package made my week so much better! Thank you yet again. 

4. Valentine's day celebrates love. In all truthfulness though, it mostly ignites my love for chocolate! Ever since the swap, I was introduced to Riesen chocolates. A chewy carmel center is surrounded by rich dark chocolate. It's a better Rolo. At least for me, seeing as I prefer the dark chocolate and chewy carmel. Thanks Kayla! Now if I can only stop eating them.

5. Finally, I feel so blessed! This week I've been reminded of how wonderful my family and friends are. They listen to me even when I'm pretty sure I should have shut up already. They remind to keep perspective in mind. They even support my crazy ideas. Needless to say they are invaluable!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Personalized Mug with Sharpies!

I have been seeing these adorable personalized mugs all over Pinterest. When I signed up for Caroline and Alissa's Valentine's Day swap that was mug themed, I knew that I had to try this!
First, the perfect mug had to be found. Thank you Target! This one was my favorite, because I adore the feminine details. The scalloped edge, rounded shape, and the handle are the things that make this mug special.

I chose to use colored sharpies instead of black ones. Also, a pencil was necessary to trace the outline of the design.
This would be the failed attempt to show the pencil. Instead, I painted it on in Photoshop so that you can get the basic premise of it.

I bake it for 30 minutes at 350F and that's it! 

I actually forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Thankfully, my swap partner, Kayla, posted some pictures of the finished product. Thank you!
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