Monday, June 3, 2013

For those Awkward Moments...Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Do you ever see something happening, like you know someone is going to say exactly what you don't want them to and it is probably in front of that guy you dated for a month or so, but you can't stop them?  Like you have the mental image of a football player coming from out of nowhere to tackle the person right at the moment someone is going to say something completely embarrassing or awkward that just makes you want to slide out of the chair you are sitting in and hide under the table like a 5 year old?  Oh and wait you are sitting directly across from that person and there is no where to run...Well crap.  That's life. 

What about that moment when you are excitedly talking about the awesome party you threw last weekend to an office friend who was there, and that one person you didn't invite walks up behind you in the kitchen...or worse that person is you...

Or this...

Sometimes you just have to deal with what life throws at you.  Whether its feeling completely and 100% awkward OR when you plan for a pool day, but its cold and cloudy...and you still sit out there shivering OR that moment when you get to the office, throw your bag on your shoulder and realize your water bottle has been slowly leaking in said bag leaving the entire side of your skirt wet.  Sometimes it feels like life has it in for you, BUT it always turns around.  Tomorrow is another day, and I keep having to tell myself this.  So, for those tough days, those "that's life" days, I feel like a little sugar and carbs can help...maybe even a cinnamon roll or two.

Truthfully I made cinnamon rolls, because I LOVE them, and have been having a few of those I want something, cinnamony and sugary and loaded with carbs to take my mind of those awkward moments days... These cinnamon rolls did just that, and were worth the time and effort.  Truthfully, I am typing this and wishing I still had one to dig my fork into.  So, if you're a cinnamon roll fan try one of these to take your mind off of what life might be throwing at you for a minute.  Enjoy!

So excited to finally be using my mixer...dry ingredients in first...

With the wet ingredients hanging out on the stove warming up.

Time for the dough hook...this thing is totes going to do most of the kneading for me.

Filling...really whats better than cinnamon and brown sugar?

One punch to get my aggression out.

Loving my new rolling pin too...

Spread with melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon combination....Time for rolling.

Gently rolL this up...

Cut and into the pan to rise again overnight.

Ready for the oven and then to the office.

Classic Cinnamon Rolls: (recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Glaze:
1/4 cup 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons skim milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast.  In a small saucepan, combine milk, the 1/3 cup butter, the granulated sugar, and salt. Cook and stir just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter is nearly melted.  Mix in the butter mixture until combined; then add in the eggs one at a time.

2. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon (or in a stand mixer switch to the dough hook), stir/mix in as much of the remaining 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups flour as you can.

3. If using a stand mixer, allow the dough hook to knead the dough for about 3 minutes on low speed, until dough is moderately soft, smooth and elastic.
*If not using a stand mixer, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total).

4.  Shape into a ball.  Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (1-1/2 to 1 3/4 hours).

5. Then, punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.

6. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and the cinnamon.  Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.

7. Roll dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter evenly over the dough.  Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving 1 inch unfilled along a long side.  If desired. sprinkle with raisins and pecans.  Starting from the filled long side, roll up rectangle.  Pinch dough to seal seam.  Cut into 12 slices. Arrange in the prepared baking pan.

8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. Chill in the refrigerator over night or for at least 2 hours.  Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. (Or for immediate baking, don't chill rolls. Instead, cover loosely; let rolls rise in a warm place until nearly double in size - about 45 minutes.)

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  While cinnamon rolls are cooling prepare the cream cheese glaze.

10.  In a medium bowl, cream the cream cheese.  The whisk in the skim milk.  Once the tow are well combined, whisk in the powdered sugar until all lumps are gone.   Spread over warm cinnamon rolls and Enjoy!

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