Why does hardly anyone make homemade cinnamon rolls anymore? Because they are a pain, that’s why. Just kidding. They aren’t really that bad. Well, yeah, they sorta are. When I am in the middle of rolling out the dough and filling it with the getting-all-over-everywhere cinnamon sugar, I always think, “Why am I doing this?” Then, when I am washing the mixer bowl so I can make the cream cheese frosting (because cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls are at a whole ‘nother level), I think, “WHY am I doing this?” But when I am sliding the cute little pillows of twirliness into the oven, I think, “I’m so glad I did this.” And when I smell the yeasty, cinnamon-y aroma as they bake, I think, “I’m so GLAD I did this.” And, naturally, when I bite into a warm frosted cinnamon roll I just swoon and go beyond the ability to think in language, so I guess there is my answer.
Then my family scarfs them all down at an alarming rate and asks, while licking frosting off their fingers, “Why don’t you do this more often?” and I want to kill them, but that’s another story.
So, maybe make some cinnamon rolls. Let your family scarf part of them, and take the other part to somebody who could use some cheering up, because scarfing cinnamon rolls is one of the most cheering activities I know.
Now, get up and go cook something.
Lori’s Cinnamon Rolls
makes 3 dozen
6 ½ — 7 c. bread flour
scant 1 ½ T. dry yeast
1 ½ t. salt
½ c. dry milk powder
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. butter or margarine, cut into 5-6 pieces
scant 1 ¼ c. water
In a heavy-duty standing mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and eggs. Insert the dough hook and begin to mix on low. Slowly pour the water down the side of the bowl with the mixer running. When the ingredients are mixed fairly well, increase the speed to #2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. You are going for a fairly soft dough that doesn’t quite clean the sides of the bowl as it kneads.
Turn the dough into a large greased bowl. Flip it so the top is greased. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (I use the top of the fridge) until it is doubled in size – about 1 hour.
Punch down; divide dough into thirds. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll dough into a 12” x 8” rectangle. Spread with 2 T. or so soft butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (1/4 c. granulated sugar mixed with 1 t. ground cinnamon). Or, you know, double the butter and cinnamon sugar. Or triple it. I won’t tell. Roll up from a long side. Pinch seam to seal. Using clean dental floss or a sharp knife, cut roll crosswise into 12 even pieces. Arrange rolls, cut side up and not quite touching, in a greased 9” x 13” casserole dish. Sprinkle any escaped sugar mixture over the rolls. Repeat with remaining dough to make 36 rolls. Freeze un-risen rolls to rise and bake later, or bake immediately.
To bake immediately, cover rolls lightly with clean kitchen towels. Let rise in a warm place til nearly double – about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover rolls. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm, or cool and frost with cream cheese icing. These freeze well.
Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ c. butter or margarine, softened
3 ¾ c. confectioners sugar (1 lb. box)
2 t. vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a standing mixer and beat with paddle attachment until creamy and smooth.