"Sin"amon Rolls

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I will warn you right now...these cinnamon rolls are not healthy. But, tomorrow I will have a breakfast recipe that is the epitome of healthy, and still tasty. But for now, I will tell you how unhealthy these are: I didn't even bother to use wheat flour because 1. I didn't think it would make a bit of difference and 2. I wanted these to be so perfect, I was scared the wheat flour might mess something up.
As of late, I've become obsessed with the pioneerwoman blog. I'm sure some of you already know what it is. I live under a rock and didn't know about it until a couple of months ago.
I modify a lot of her recipes and don't bother to make the rest (she cooks with a lot of cheese and beef), but I'm addicted to reading everything she writes. She's funny, quippy and her pictures are some that I will never ever be able to aspire too...sigh. (This is not me being pessimistic, but realistic, thank you.)
In any case, a couple of months ago I made her cinnamon rolls. Then I died and realized that life was complete. Then I made them a second time the other weekend and they turned out even better.
My recipe follows hers almost to a T, but I made a couple modifications, or decreases, actually. She would probably kill me if she heard this, but I decreased the amount of butter and sugar- just way too much for me. In this recipe I've also halved her original, which makes about 4 dozen cinny rolls. My halving makes about 2 dozen. It is wise to make the entire batch because you can freeze them and trust me, you'll want them later. But, sometimes, we don't want that temptation lying around, frozen or not. Plus, I advice you to go to her recipe anyway and see her cinnamon roll post. Then explore her whole site. Finally, feel free to never come back to this blog again because looking at her blog is like eating a homemade cinnamon roll and comparatively, mine will "taste" like that store bought kind. Again,not pessimism, just fact.
Let's get on with it, shall we?

Combine 2 cups whole mike (I'm still experimenting with using low fat.), 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup sugar. Scald the mixture (get it almost boiling, but not all the way- otherwise the milk will create this weird crusty film thing on the top. Why is milk so weird?!) Then, let the mixture sit on the stove until it's lukewarm. The type of pot you use will determine how long it takes to get to this point. The outside of the pot and the actual liquid should be warm, not hot to your touch.

When the mixture is warm, add 1 packet of active dry yeast.

Let this sit for a minute while you scoop 4 cups of all purpose flour and dump it into the pot.

Cover this concoction and let it sit for an hour while you play on facebook, pay your bills, or go for a run. (I encourage the last one- helps with the guilt you'll feel later.) And while we're on the topic of running, soon I'm going to post a book review on a book about running...you'll love it.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, 1 hour later...

Add 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir it up!

Generously flour a board, lovely granite counter top, etc. Grab your rolling pin, and flour it. (Let's pause for a funny story: The second time I made these I did it at work. I had no granite island and no rolling pin- I thought everyone owned a rolling pin. I did this on an oversized cutting board and used a drinking glass to roll the dough. It was ridiculous. However, where there is a will, there is a way. Cinnamon rolls are worth this.)

Break the dough into two balls and roll one out into a long rectangle. This is sort of a rectangle. Yes, I did actually learn my shapes in kindergarten.

You want it pretty thin, but not so thin that the dough starts to become transparent.

Now for the delicious part #1...drizzle 1/2 stick melted butter and 1/3-1/2 cup sugar onto the rectangle. Next, sprinkle cinnamon all over the dough- you can use as much or as little as you want...don't get all freaked out because i didn't give you a measurement. Roll with the freedom, my little chefs.

Grabbing the long end furthest from you, roll the dough towards you, like a jelly roll. Make sure it's pretty tight. Next, cut the dough into 3/4 inch pieces.

Repeat the rolling, sprinkling, cutting with that second ball of dough.
Place the little cuties into a well greased circular, or square baking dish. Yoiu can use glass, metal, or disposable. I like to use the disposable ones (you can get them in the baking section of the store) for two reasons. First, they usually come with lids and second, they make them easy to freeze and give away.

Let them rest for 20-30 minutes (put a towel over them, if ya like.)

Then, bake these guys at 350 for about 18 minutes, depending on how many are in there and how large they are.

We're not done yet!
While they're baking, mix 1/2 bag of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup of milk. Make sure all those lumps are gone and when your rolls are cooled, drizzle on that frosting.

Note...you can freeze the rolls before you bake them, take them out when you decide you need a fix, and hen bake them and frosting them.
I know this seems like a lot of steps. Okay, it IS a lot of steps, but some of them are not time invasive, and hello, they're cinnamon rolls...totally worth it.


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