Monday, December 24, 2012

Gingery Cinnamon Rolls

It's mah birthdayyyy! I made these cinnamon rolls yesterday because I think we both know I wasn't getting up early enough to make them today. I think we both know I ate one yesterday too.

I think my mom might be semi-appalled at me making my own birthday breakfast, but I just don't feel like it's work making cinnamon rolls. The only reason I don't make cinnamon rolls more often is because I like wearing skinny jeans.

The dough is a slight variation of one I've made before. You'll need: Yeast, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, butter, milk, salt, egg, water, and molasses.

Dissolve the yeast into warm water. After 5-10 minutes it should be super bubbly and foamy.

Melt the butter and mix it with the molasses. Molasses will lend depth along with sweetness.

Add the egg, milk, salt, and vanilla extract.

Mix until it's smooth and pretty.

Add two cups of flour and stir until just incorporated.

Stir in the yeast mixture and add more flour 1/2 cup at a time until a manageable dough forms.

What a beaut. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. It's still a little sticky at this point, but not so sticky that I can't do anything without it getting all over my hands. Knead the dough a few times until it's smooth and elastic.

Coat the bowl with a little vegetable oil and turn the dough to coat it. Cover and let rise until it's doubled in size, about 1.5-2 hours.

Assemble your filling when it gets close to time to use it. You'll need: brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and melted butter.

Stir the brown sugar and spices together.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. You're aiming for about 18x20.

Pour the melted butter over the dough and spread it with a spatula to the edges.

Sprinkle the sugar & spice mixture evenly over the buttered dough.

We're going to make big fat cinnamon rolls, so starting with the short side furthest from you, being rolling the dough as tightly as possible.

Cut the dough log into eight, roughly-even cinnamon rolls. Place them in a lightly greased dish an inch or two apart. See, they still have to rise again and need space to bake as well. Let rise until nearly doubled in size, about another hour.

Bake until golden brown on top. Your kitchen is going to smell awesome.

While the rolls cool off a bit, make the glaze. You'll need: cream cheese, orange zest, milk, and powdered sugar.

Beat the cream cheese until it's smooth.

Add the milk to loosen it up.

For best results, sift the powdered sugar into the bowl. For quick results (i.e., my results) sprinkle it in bit by bit and mix until smooth.

Stir in the orange zest.

Pure heaven.

Dollop the glaze over the still-warm cinnamon rolls and spread it with your spoon or knife.

The spiciness of the ginger really comes through when you get a good bite. And I adore orange and ginger together. Despite the hefty dose of brown sugar in the filling, these are not overly sweet. 

One heckuva breakfast.

Gingery Cinnamon Rolls (makes 8 big ol' rolls)

1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water (between 105º & 110º)
1/3 c unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 - 4 c all-purpose flour

6 tbs unsalted butter, melted.
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves

Heaping 1/4 c cream cheese
3 tbs milk
1 c powdered sugar
1 tbs orange zest
  • For the dough: Dissolve the yeast into the warm water in a small bowl or dish. In a large bowl, mix the butter and molasses together. Add the milk, egg, salt and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. 
  • Add 2 cups of flour and stir until just incorporated. Stir in the yeast mixture. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time until a slightly sticky but manageable dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil the dough bowl and turn the dough around in the oil. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • When dough has risen, prepare filling. Stir together brown sugar and spices in a small bowl. 
  • Punch the risen dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into an 18x20 rectangle. Pour the melted butter over the dough and spread to the edges. Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture evenly over the buttered dough.
  • Starting with the short side furthest from you, begin rolling the dough tightly toward you. Pinch the ends and the seam to seal it. Cut the log into 8 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased dish or dishes, about 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise again until almost doubled in size.
  • Heat oven to 350º. Bake risen rolls 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • While rolls cool slightly, make the glaze. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the milk and beat until combined. Sprinkle (or sift) in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. If you'd like a thinner glaze, add milk by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. Stir in the orange zest.
  • While rolls are warm but not hot, dollop on the glaze and spread over the rolls. Serve warm and with love.

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