She still snaps and edits every image that
appears on her site and in her cookbooks.
Fans of Drummond’s site, mostly hailing
from urban and suburban locales, are drawn
by her seemingly romantic ranch life, while
her conversational writing style, cooking
instructions and lighthearted daily musings
keep them coming back for more.
A 2007 Weblog (aka “Bloggie”) Award
caught the attention of book publishers and
resulted in several book deals with
HarperCollins: three cookbooks, a memoir
about her love story with Ladd and an ongoing
children’s book series about her family’s hound
dog Charlie. Not to mention, she somehow
finds time to home-school her four children.
When Food Network rang in 2009, it
took a few years, but she decided there was no
harm in giving it a shot. The Pioneer Woman
first aired in 2011 and has been on Food
Network ever since. The show, she says, is an
extension of her blog, featuring instructional
cooking segments and scenes of her family’s
life on the ranch.
Organized by holiday, her latest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of
Holidays, features her favorite meals, yet is
versatile enough to crack open any day of the
year. Her make-ahead tips, which she uses to
keep her family’s holidays running smoothly,
help simplify the daunting task of preparing a
feast. “It’s hard for one person to pull off a
huge spread of food in a few hours, and that
was one thing I really wanted to get across in
the book. Giving people examples of things
they could do well in advance just makes it so
much easier,” she says.
As one would expect of a famous foodie,
edible gifts are a holiday pastime. She’s upheld
Tablet or smartphone?
Scan or click here for more
recipes from Drummond’s
new cookbook. (See page 5
for scanning details.)
her mother’s tradition of giving homemade,
ready-to-heat cinnamon rolls (see recipe). “I
don’t try to say that all my recipes are the best
version of what they are, but I do say that my
cinnamon rolls are the best cinnamon rolls on
the planet. It’s been scientifically proven. I
have independent verification of this,” she
laughs. “But I can’t take all the credit because
they started with my mom.”
When asked what’s next for the Pioneer
Woman, she says she is preparing to write and
photograph her fourth cookbook, while con-
tinuing to film her TV show, update her blog
and raise her family. She says, “I don’t have
any big frontiers that I want to tackle or
haven’t tackled. I’m just happy with what I’m
½ batch Basic Dough
4 Granny Smith apples
½ cup ( 1 stick) butter, plus more
for greasing the pans
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup ( 1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Make the caramel apple filling:
Dice the apples pretty finely, then
throw them in a skillet over medium-high heat
and stir them around to cook. After 3 to 4 minutes,
when they’ve gotten nice and golden brown,
remove them to a plate.
Throw a stick of butter and the brown sugar into
the same skillet over medium heat, and stir it
around until the butter is melted and the sugar is
dissolved. Pour in the cream, then stir it around
and let it bubble up and thicken for about a minute. Turn the heat down to low, then return the
apples to the skillet and sprinkle on the cinnamon.
Stir the mixture and let it thicken for another 1 to
2 minutes, then spoon it into a bowl to cool.
Make the rolls: Preheat the oven to 375 F and roll
out the dough in a rectangle about 10 x 30 inches.
Spoon the caramel apples over the dough and use
your fingers to spread them evenly over the surface. Roll the dough toward you into a nice, tight
roll and pinch the seam when you get to the end.
Turn the seam over so that it’s face down against
Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls
Slice the dough into rolls ½ to ¾ inch thick.
Grease 3 round, disposable foil cake pans with
butter. Place 7 to 8 rolls in each pan, being careful
not to crowd them. Set aside to rise in a warm
place for 20 to 25 minutes. Bake for 15 to 18
minutes, or until they’re nice and golden brown.
Make the Caramel Icing: While the rolls are baking,
melt a stick of butter in a saucepan over medium
heat and add the brown sugar. Let it melt, then
whisk in the cream. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking
constantly, then remove from the heat. Sift in the
powdered sugar and salt, and stir until you have a
Remove the rolls from the oven and immediately
spoon a good amount of icing over the top. Use a
knife to spread it evenly and watch it slowly
seep into the cracks and crevices. Makes about
Basic Dough and Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls recipes
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
(William Morrow Cookbooks, 2013)
Note: Make Basic Dough prior to making Caramel
Apple Rolls. You’ll need only half the dough to
make the rolls, so you can reserve the other half
for a second batch, or use it for Drummond’s Hot
Cross Buns recipe in her new cookbook.
4 cups whole milk
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
9 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages ( 2¼ teaspoons each) active dry
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
Combine the milk and canola oil in a large pot.
Add the sugar and stir. Scald the mixture (heat it
to almost a boil), then turn off the heat. Let the
mixture cool until it’s warm, but not too warm.
Add 8 cups of the flour along with the yeast, and
stir until it’s all combined. It’ll be super sticky, but
just have faith! Cover the mixture with the lid of
the pot or a dish towel and let it sit for an hour or
so, until it’s risen.
After it’s had a chance to rise, sprinkle in the
remaining cup of flour, the baking powder, the
baking soda and the salt, and stir gently to combine. It takes a little while to get it stirred together.
I do say that my
cinnamon rolls are the
best cinnamon rolls on
the planet. It’s been
PHOTOS COURTESY OF REE DRUMMOND