February 2, 2004

Super Cinnamon Rolls

When the Patriots are in the Super Bowl (and often when they're not) cousin Bob deep fries a turkey. That's good eating! This Super Bowl Sunday was no different. Yes, the New England Patriots won, and yes it was a very exciting, nail-biting game. However, the highlight, for me, is always the food.

I arrived at the party late - that is to say, just before kickoff. I was delayed because I wanted to make sure my offering to the pot luck affair would still be warm when the guests were ready to eat them. My offering was, of course, my signature Cinnamon Rolls. It's the only dessert I make that doesn't have chocolate in it which Maggie is eager to consume. This year I made a double batch, because I wanted leftovers to give to various people. The dozen that one batch makes usually get eaten within 5 minutes of the unveiling at the party, so there are no leftovers if you put them all out. Making 24 was a challenge, but a worthy one.

These rolls are a copycat of Cinnabon rolls. The only difference is, mine are more better.

You can see a sample in the image above. It's clear, from the messy application of icing, that I was in a rush taking the picture. Such is the case when you have a hungry wife and daughter hovering over you with forks and knives as you're trying to practice your mad skills as a food photographer. Needless to say, Gourmet Magazine will not be calling for my services any time soon. However, my specialty is not presentation, it's flavor. And these rolls are top notch.

I've included the recipe in the remainder of this entry, for the interested and adventurous. It's not a difficult recipe, but you must be somewhat comfortable with yeast and it is a little bit of work. I encourage all those inclined to persevere and try it. Practice makes perfect.

[PS: Bob did deep frya turkey, of course. By the time I got there, everyone had had their shot at it. Perplexingly, no one had touched the wings! I helped myself to a big chunk of white meat and both wings, which were, by far, the best turkey wings I have eaten in my entire life.]

Cinnamon Rolls

ROLLS
1 pkg of dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (105 F to 115 F)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour

FILLING
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

ICING
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz) cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the sugar, butter, salt, eggs and flour
  3. Lightly dusting your hands with flour, knead the dough until you can form a ball. Let it rise for an hour in a covered bowl, until it doubles.
  4. Punch down the dough and roll out the dough flat until it is about 21 inches wide and 16 inches high. (It should be about 1/4 inch thick)
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together in a bowl.
  7. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over the surface.
  8. Working carefully from the top (a 21 inch side), roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
  9. Cut the rolled dough into 1 3/4 inch slices and place 6 at a time, evenly spaced, in a lightly greased baking pan. You should end up with 12. Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown on the top.
  10. While the rolls bake, combine the icing ingredients. Beat well until fluffy.
  11. When the rolls come out of the oven, coat each generously with icing.

JAMES' ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • In step 1, you may want to proof the yeast before adding the other ingredients.. Give the yeast a few minutes to wake up.
  • I have always used butter instead of margarine and the recipe works fine. Since I have never tried it with margarine, I don't know if it is an improvement or not.
  • I have found my dough very slow to rise in this recipe.
  • In step six do not spread margarine on the bottom 1/4 to 1/2 inch of your dough rectangle. Instead, use milk for that strip. This makes that last lip sticky so that when you roll up the dough, the cylinder holds together closed. This will make your life **MUCH** easier when you are cutting the individual rolls.
  • Once you place the rolls on their pan, you may want to allow them to rise, covered for a little bit before baking. I haven't tried this, but I believe it will improve the rolls.
  • I have used low fat and nonfat cream cheese and no one could tell the difference. That's because these things are basically all fat already. And sugar. And fat. Did I mention the sugar?
  • These rolls freeze very well.
Posted by James at February 2, 2004 4:12 AM
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Comments

James,

The picture you posted is not there.

Any of those cinnamon rolls left? C'mon, hook a fellow blogger up.

Posted by: David Grenier at February 2, 2004 11:51 AM

The remaining rolls are spoken for. But try the recipe! How bad could it go wrong?

I can see the picture here at work, and at home. I'm guessing it was a momentary lapse of service at pbase.com.

Posted by: James at February 2, 2004 1:31 PM

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