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Cinnamon Rolls

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Packaged cinnamon roll kits from the store don’t often provide enough frosting.  And store-baked cinnamon rolls from the bakery aren’t typically fresh.  If you are looking for the perfect weekend breakfast, or if you have time in a regular morning (Zach got up at 3 today to make these for August for Valentine’s Day), try this recipe.

Makes 12

• For the filling:

1 cup of light brown sugar, packed

4 tbs. of melted butter

1 tbs. of ground cinnamon

1 tsp. of vanilla

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well incorporated.  Set aside this filling mixture for use later.

• For the dough:

4 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. of lukewarm water

1/4 cup of sugar

4 large egg yolks at room temperature

1 large whole egg at room temperature

4 tbs. of melted butter

1 tbs. of active dry yeast

Butter for greasing the pan

Pinch of sugar

Canola oil for proofing

Put the lukewarm water in a bowl with the active dry yeast and the pinch of sugar.  Let it sit for 7 minutes to activate.

Whisk the cream, sugar, egg yolks, whole egg, and butter (from the dough ingredients list) in a separate bowl.  Put 4 cups of flour in a metal stand mixer bowl.  Add all the wet ingredients (the yeast and egg mixtures) to the flour and mix with a dough hook for 8-9 minutes, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.  The dough should feel soft and moist, but not sticky.  Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 30 seconds.  Lightly oil a large bowl with canola oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let double in volume for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Grease a 9″x13″ glass baking dish.  Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you.  Roll into an 18″x12″ rectangle.  Mix the 4 tbs. of melted butter and vanilla for the filling, then brush the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border along the edge.  Sprinkle the filling mixture over the buttered dough, leaving a 3/4″ border along the edge.  Gently press the filling into the dough.

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Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.  Firmly pinch the seam to seal, and roll the cylinder seam-side down.  Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.  Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2″ rolls, yielding 12 rolls.  Arrange rolls cut-side down in the greased baking dish.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 16 hours).

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into the fridge they go

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is off.  Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set it on the rack below the rolls.  Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy (about 30 minutes).  Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

proofed

proofed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.

done

done

• For the icing:

1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

1 cup of softened cream cheese

4 tbs. of softened butter

1 1/2 tbs. of heavy cream

While the rolls are cooling (but don’t let them get too cold), whisk the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.  Add cream and whisk until combined.  Sift in the powdered sugar and continue whisking until smooth.  Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

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Snickerdoodle Cookies

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The cookie recipe from last week seemed popular, so we thought we’d give you another one.  These snickerdoodles are firm yet soft, giving to layers of texture.

Makes 22-24

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup salted butter (room temperature)

2 large eggs

2 tsp. cream of tartar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

For cinnamon-sugar coating: 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon combined in a separate bowl

Preheat oven to 335 degrees F.  Put butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and start to mix, beginning on low speed going up to medium-low, for around 3 minutes.  Continue mixing, adding one egg at a time, then the vanilla extract.  Scrape the inside of the bowl so that all ingredients can incorporate evenly.  Increase speed to medium and mix for another 3-4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, cream of tartar, and baking soda.  Add this to butter in the mixer, and mix on low for 15-20 seconds.  Scrape the inside of the bowl again, and mix on low for another 20-30 seconds, until a malleable dough forms.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop cookies and roll in cinnamon-sugar coating before placing on ungreased cookie sheets; you need two for twelve cookies on each.  Bake for 16 minutes, and let cool before depanning.