Chow Bella

Heather Hales, What Are You Baking?

Even if your oven sits cold all year, chances are you're considering firing it up, right about now. As a holiday twist on our "What Are You Eating?" feature on Chow Bella and "What Are You Wearing?" on Jackalope Ranch, this holiday season we brought you "What Are You Baking?" Complete with a recipe, so you can DIY. This is the last installment, but you can check the archives, which include baking moments with holiday revelers like Laurie Notaro.

Today Heather Hales shares her recipe for Moment's Notice Cinnamon Rolls. Hales is a personal chef to three little people and a grown man; she enjoys baking and has a bit of a cake problem. She's also a self-taught freelance designer -- you might have enjoyed her sweet work in the graphics she does for CenPho shops Frances and Smeeks. Oh, and she blogs

What are you baking for the holidays this year?

We're going to my Dad's house for Christmas, so thankfully I can be a guest and avoid a lot of the baking this year! Christmas Day is also my birthday, so people usually avoid asking me to do too much! The only thing I am planning on baking are a few batches of sugar cookies to give away.

Favorite holiday treats?

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts; we eat them every year on Christmas Eve.

Get the recipe for speedy cinnamon rolls after the jump.

Least favorite holiday foods?

There is no such thing. All holiday food should be consumed with vigor!

Any food items on your holiday wish list this year?

I'm totally lame, I asked my husband to buy me a pancake griddle. I think it's going to revolutionize my grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas!

Any food-related New Year's resolutions?

To pay more attention to cholesterol, I've got to live to see my grandchildren.


Moment's Notice Cinnamon Rolls

A few years back a girl friend gave me a recipe she called "moment's notice dinner rolls". You could have yeast dinner rolls on the table ready for butter in about 45 min. I love the recipe and wondered if I could adapt it to speed up the cinnamon roll process. I played with it and am very happy to report that you can have warm cinnamon rolls ready in about an hour.

1 1/4cup warm water
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
3 1/4 cup flour (you may need a bit more)

Mix water, oil, sugar and yeast together and let sit for 15 min until yeast is bubbly. Add salt, baking powder, baking soda & egg, mix well. Add flour one cup at a time. Dough should be a bit sticky -- not smooth like bread dough. Let dough rise for 15 more minutes.

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4" to 1/3" thick. Spread with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and roll into a log. Cut rolls about 1.5" thick- this recipe makes about a dozen cinnamon rolls. Place in GREASED baking pans.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees, when temperature is reached, turn oven off and place rolls in warm oven to rise for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 min (or until golden brown) at 425 degrees.

1/4 cup soft (spreadable) butter
2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix ingredients together, adding powdered sugar a 1/2cup at a time. When rolls are cool, frost and eat!

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at