While we don’t agree on preferred temperatures, we do agree on what to make for brunch on these chilly kind of days. My picky eater (read more on that here) is never picky about our favorite tummy-filling comfort food: homemade cinnamon rolls. This is one of those cases in our food/cooking relationship where it's all sweet and no sour. As for what to serve with these gooey bits of goodness, I usually fry up some potatoes and bacon (of course). It takes a couple of hours from start to finish, and because the anticipation is torture, it also takes some serious patience. I promise you the wait is well worth it.
The keys to success with this recipe are (1) good quality ingredients and (2) not telling the fussy-about-food-textures picky eaters for whom you may be cooking that that there is cream cheese in the frosting. (After they've taken the first heavenly bite, feel free to reveal all ingredients). A hefty mixer is a must, unless you have He-man/She-Ra arms. I am obsessed with my cobalt blue Kitchenaid Mixer, but any strong mixer will do.
Total time required: Around 2 hours
1 cup 2% milk
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1/3 cup melted butter (slightly cooled)
4-1/2 cups bread flour (unbleached if you can find it)
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar plus 1 tsp (for yeast)
Little bit of vegetable oil to coat bowl
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
ICING (this makes a ton, but that’s how we like it)
½ tub cream cheese (room temp)
1 stick butter softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp real vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
2. Stir in 1 tsp sugar and yeast until dissolved. Set aside.
3. Put flour, salt, and ½ cup white sugar in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn on low just to mix these together.
4. Put the eggs, melted butter, and yeast/milk mixture in the bowl. (make sure your butter is not too hot or you will cook the eggs)
5. Turn the mixture on to a medium setting until everything comes together.
6. Switch to the dough hook attachment and turn mixer on a medium/high setting. Leave this for about 10 minutes as you prepare a large bowl. (this will take care of any kneading)
7. Find a large glass bowl. Coat the bowl with a little bit of vegetable oil.
8. Once the dough is smooth and kneaded, place in the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and leave until the dough has doubled in size. Anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.
9. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
10. When the dough is done rising, lay it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 16X21 inch rectangle.
11. Spread the cinnamon/sugar/butter over the dough. This can be tricky so I usually use my hands.
12. Roll up the dough and cut into 12 even rolls. Lay rolls in a lightly greased 9X13 inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to let rise. This should take about 30 minutes.
13. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
14. Place rolls in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
15. While the rolls are baking, make the icing. To do this, just place cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of your mixer with whisk attachment or use a hand mixer. Slowly incorporate all ingredients until combined. Turn mixer on high for about 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
16. Place rolls in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
17. When golden brown, remove rolls from oven. Spread a light layer of icing over your rolls and place a bowl of the extra icing to the side to add later.
Now it's time to eat! These homemade goodies are especially yummy with hot coffee or a cold glass of milk (or in Melissa's case, organic soy milk :)).
I'll be back again next week with another edition of Sweet and Sour. In the meantime, I'd love to hear any and all stories from fellow food lovers who cook for
*Kitchenaid mixer image via Kitchenaid.
here or on the image above!