Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

Yummy!!! Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite treats. They are good for breakfast, a mid day snack, a late night snack, any time really. I'm always surprised how infrequently I make or eat them, since I love them so much!

I guess the best and worst part of the recipe for these is that it makes 2 dozen rolls, and you can't really divide the recipe in half! So, we are either stuck eating 24 rolls and end up feeling awful, or I have to wait until I can bring these somewhere. This week at work provided the perfect opportunity to bring a treat in. Believe it or not, I actually bribed our maintenance crew to do their job. We are in the beginning of our busy season, and I said that if they stayed on schedule over the weekend I would bring in cinnamon rolls. They were ahead of schedule when I got back on Monday. They were a huge hit, and yes, they are still ahead of schedule. I was able to save a few for Greg, and he did snag one fresh from the oven during game 5 of the Stanley Cup. What a lucky guy.

Greg actually acquired this recipe from one of his old Kentwood co-workers, Rena. She would bake them every so often and bring them into morning briefing. I was surprised that she gave Greg the full recipe; a photo copy of the original! We've kept the base recipe the same, and just messed with the filling and glaze. We love these rolls because they are sweet and buttery, and stay soft and moist!

We've talked about making a chocolate version, with mini chocolate chips and a chocolate glaze, and possibly using a hazelnut drink powder instead of cinnamon. I think it would be fun to make a chocolate dough, too. I also found out the hard way that they bake much faster in a clear pan.

Cinnamon Rolls:
2 packets of active dry yeast
1/2 C. warm water (~110 degrees)
8 C. flour
1 3.5 oz package of vanilla pudding mix
2 C. warm milk (~110 degrees)
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil

1/4 C. Melted butter
White Sugar

2 C. powdered sugar
2-4 TBS milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 TBS melted butter

Disolve yeast in warm water. Add flour, instant pudding mix, warm milk, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and salt. Mix well. Place in a grease bowl, turn to coat and let rise in a warm place until double (about an hour). Punch dough down, roll onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half, make each half into a log and roll out into a 12x8 inch rectangle.

Melt the 1/4 C. butter. Brush on each rectangle. Now for the filling; sprinkle sugar on the melted butter so that it dissolves. Add enough so that it looks grainy. Cover with cinnamon. Rub the cinnamon and sugar together (yes, your hands get dirty).

Roll each rectangle into a log. Slice each log into 12 rolls, placing them into two greased 9x13 pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about another hour.

Once they have risen again, bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, cool on cooling racks. Start making the glaze.

Mix all glaze ingredients together. Once the rolls are warm to the touch and the pan is not hot, cover the rolls with the glaze.