Saturday, November 1, 2014

Back to Business

Since we’re friends, we’ll just go along like it hasn't been, oh, FOREVER since my last entry, ok?  And while I have not miraculously discovered a way to eke out a couple of extra hours in a day, I have at least determined that putting in some extra effort to keep things updated here is worth a little extra in the motivation department.

So, just to catch us up, here’s what’s been happening…

This little man:

…has turned into THIS little man:

He’s celebrated two birthdays since then…

And Eureka!  I have (for now, anyway), ended my search for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.

I would have included a ‘glamour’ shot here, but as you can see, SOMEONE got to them first…

Quick Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

 2 packets Active Dry yeast (the ‘Quick Rise’ is fine, too)
¼ cup sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbs warm water (about 110°)
1/3 cup melted butter

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1 ¾ cups A/P flour

1/3 cup softened butter
½ cup (or so) brown sugar
¼ cup vanilla sugar (regular is fine, too)
1 tsp cinnamon

In the bowl of a mix stand, combine the first 4 ingredients.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes to give the yeast time to ‘bloom’.  Beat the egg slightly and add it to the yeast mixture, along with  the vanilla, salt and flours.  Mix on medium-low speed using a dough hook attachment until the flour is completely combined.  Mixture should be soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky.  If it is, add a little more flour.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead just enough for it to all come together.  Roll into a rectangle approximately 18” wide, 12” deep and about ¼” thick.  Spread softened butter evenly to within about ½” from the edges.  Cover evenly with the sugars and cinnamon.  Beginning with the long side closest to you, roll up jell-roll fashion, pinching the roll closed and evening out the thickness.  Divide evenly into 12 slices and place in a 10 x 13 baking pan (I usually line mine with foil to make for easier clean-up).  Cover with plastic wrap and place on top of the oven (the residual heat will help the rolls to rise).  Set oven temperature to 400° and allow the cinnamon rolls to sit for 15 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and place the cinnamon rolls in the oven.  Bake for 18 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool slightly before frosting and serving (and by 'slightly', in our house, at any rate, that generally equates to 'in the time it takes to cover them in frosting').

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz softened cream cheese
2 Tbs softened butter
¼ - ½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs milk

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  If too thick, continue to add milk until you reach the desired consistency.