observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls ~ not good for the diet but good for the soul!

If you have a New Year's resolution to diet and exercise more, then maybe you want to skip this post.  That's my disclaimer.  I don't want to set you up for a fail.  Come back next December and make these for Christmas morning. (That's when I usually do!)   No guilt on Christmas, only rewards.
A few weeks back Dino asked me to make these again while he was home on vacation.  I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook and promised to post the recipe later that day.  Then I got the flu.
Here is the long-ago promised recipe.  It is based off of a Pioneer Woman's recipe.  The icing is all mine.  I don't like sweet icing.  This one is just gooey goodness.

Cinnamon Rolls

2 Cups Whole Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 pkg of Active Dry Yeast (2 big tsp)
4 Cups plus 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 TBSP Salt

1 Cup Melted butter, plus 2 TBSP more for pan
1/8 Cup Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Sugar

1. Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat; don't boil. When hot and sugar has dissolved, set aside and cool to lukewarm.

2. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for 1 minute.

3. Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover with kitchen towel, and set aside in warm place for and hour. (I usually heat my oven on low while mixing this, then turn off and put the bowl inside oven for the hour.)

4. Remove towel from bowl and add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup flour.  Stir thoroughly to combine.

5. Remove dough from the bowl.  On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30" x 10".

6. For filling, pour 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the butter.  If you feel like it needs more of any of these three ingredients, go for it!

7. Beginning at the end farthest from you...the 30" end, roll the rectangle towards you, like a jelly roll.  You have to use both hands and work slow, trying to keep the roll tight.  Some of the filling might ooz out, don't worry about it.

8. When you finish rolling, flip it over so that the seam is on the bottom.

9. Place a cutting board under your roll and make 2" slices.  You will get about 20 or so rolls.

10.  Pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter into a lasagna size pan and coat.

11. Place the sliced rolls in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd.

12. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

13. While they are rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Remove the towel and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

While rolls are baking, make your favorite icing.

This is my icing, if you want to try:

1 Stick Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 TBSP Sour Cream
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Cream first four ingredients together with a mixer until well blended.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar or more to your liking. 

When the rolls come out of the oven, let cool just slightly.  You want them to be warm but not hot.  Generously spread icing over the top and around the edges.  The longer they sit, the better they taste.  We love them cold out of the fridge which is weird! 

You can also make these and freeze them.  Cover well and freeze.  When ready to use, just put them frozen in a 250 degree F oven for 15 minutes.   My friend freezes them with the icing and says they are good.  I freeze them without and make icing that day and are also very good.  Whatever works best for you.  You'll love them!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Wow, I really blew it with blog posting.  And I completely missed updating on Early Work Mercantile this month.  I didn't even realize I missed it until the 6th of January! 
After the fall/Christmas rush to get things made, then the hurry to get Christmas shopping done, and the house ready for Christmas Eve, plus those other little things in between, I guess I needed a pit stop. 
All of last season is tucked away for another year, and cheerleading is done (taxi service is off duty for the season).  I am now in a rest and renewal phase.  Enjoying quiet time with my family. Feeling blessed and grateful.  Catching up on things that got left in the dust last year (like my dead potted mums still in the garden). Starting to make good home cooked meals again.  Need to bake for fun, knit something, read my stack of books...at least one of them, do a little decorating, and maybe some dreaming.  
Clears my mind for new ideas.  Gets me excited and motivated for what's to come.
I am loving this break.
Happy New Year blessings to you and yours!

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