Cinnamon Rolling

5 Jan

As I mentioned in my 2011 Resolutions post, my parents surprised me with a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas. They were worried it was too “adult-ish,” but I assured them that this beautiful and powerful mixing machine was the perfect accessory to my baking obsession. This weekend I took Kitchy (ok, it doesn’t have a name, yet) for a test drive. I tried the “Cinnamon Swirl Rounds” recipe in the KitchenAid manual on pg. 37. I paired it with cream cheese icing from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (pg. 154 in my edition) instead of the recommended caramel glaze. I was just in a traditional cinnamon roll kind of mood. Although these rolls take a lot of work, the end product is delectable. And even if you don’t have an adult-ish but super fun mixer you will still be able to whip these up on a Saturday or for a special brunch or party. Read on to witness true baking magic!

1. If you want to be super on your game, set your eggs out before you start so they will be room temperature when you add them to your dough.

2. You actually start with a “Basic Sweet Dough” recipe (found in the KitchenAid manual, pg. 36). To begin that journey, heat ¾ cup milk, ½ cup sugar, 1 ¼ tsp salt, & ½ cup butter in a saucepan until the butter is all melted and the mixture is smooth, not grainy.

3. Dissolve 2 yeast packets in warmed bowl. Fun trick: to warm bowl, just rinse it with hot water.

4. Add the milk mixture (should be lukewarm), your room temp eggs, and 5 cups flour to the yeast.

5. This is when the KitchenAid magic starts! You don’t have to get your hands dirty (although, kneading dough is kind of fun). If you have a mixer, use the kneading hook on speed 2 for two minutes then gradually add another ½ cup to 1 ½ cups flour until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.

6. Pam up another mixing bowl (I love using “Pam” as a verb), and roll the dough in greased bowl surface (so all sides are covered with the greasing method of your choice).

7. Now here’s the part that makes me miss the ease of slice and bake rolls. Cover bowl for an hour. I place mine in a cool oven. No drafts in there.

8. After you’ve played a game, made another dish, or watched a ‘sode for about 45 minutes, it is time to jump back into action or in other words, make the filling. Add 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of flour to your handy dandy mixing bowl. Okay fine, the recipe also calls for ½ cup walnuts, but I’m not nutty about nuts (see what I did there??) in baking, but you can make your own choices. This time, use the flat beater and mix everything up on speed 2 for about a minute.

9. Now take a peek at your dough, and if it has doubled in size, PUNCH IT IN THE FACE!

10. Then, roll it out to a 10 x 24” rectangle.

11. Spread the delicious filling over the dough. Your mouth should be watering by now.

12. Roll it up to a giant worm like thing. And try your very best to cut the roll into 24 evenly spaced slices.

13. Place those slices into 2 greased 9 x 13” pans. And then let them rise for ANOTHER hour. I know we’re all missing the ease of pre-made rolls right about now. But trust me, this process is worth it, at least every once in a while. Like I said, it is a good Saturday project.

14. Pre-heat the oven to 350, and when the hour is up, bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes. If at this point you realize you don’t want 24 rolls sitting there tempting you, my Better Homes & Garden cookbook told me that I could freeze baked yeast rolls for up to 3 months. So that’s what I did. Next time, the rolls will be slightly more instant. Just thaw, and then cook for the normal time.  Oh yeah, the finished product looks a little something like this.

15. Then, if you want to make a cream cheese icing mix 3 oz of cream cheese, 2 TB butter and 1 tsp vanilla. Gradually add 2 ½ cups powdered sugar and milk by the teaspoon until you have a perfect spreading consistency. I used the flat beater again, on speed 2 until the icing reached the right drizzling potential.

16. Ice the rolls while they are hot!

Happy times!! Sit back, and enjoy the sweet things in life.

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