Sunday, January 8, 2012

Morning comfort

I have several things that I am totally nuts is chocolate (especially dark chocolate with almonds!  I come from a long line of chocolate loving women!) and the other is a really good CINNAMON ROLL!

 I love pastries, almost any kind....but my top choice is always a warm, moist, gooey, cinnamon-y ( is this a word? If not, it should be...) roll with sweet, sticky icing.  To me, nothing says "good morning, today's going to be a great day" better than a warm, homemade cinnamon roll, orange juice and a cup of joe!  I've been experimenting over the last couple of months with finding the one that my family deems the best.  There are so many to choose from!  I love working with yeast dough, I find it very therapeutic to knead out that dough....turning and smooshing, taking out my day's frustrations.  "Smooth as a baby's bottom" is what my grammy used to say.  My biggest challenge in finding the best cinnamon roll recipe is usually the time committment.  Many recipes have dough that requires you to mix, knead, rise for an hour in the bowl, then punch down and shape, and again let rise an hour before baking!  In my quest to find something quicker, I came upon this recipe from  These are so easy and go from beginning to eating in just 90 minutes!  That means fresh baked, warm, homemade rolls in less time, with the same tasty and moist results.  I find that these are best eaten warm, right away, but if you would like to bake them the night before, go ahead!  Just cover tightly with plastic wrap and then rewarm each one in the microwave for a few seconds.
I made a double batch of these last week to send with my son to his early morning basketball practice.  I baked and frosted them the night before, covered them well and sent them along the next morning.  They were a huge hit with the boys and the rest of my family was happy too, as I kept a few back for us for breakfast. 
These rolls are light and airy, and the brown sugar that is used in the filling makes them caramel like in the middle.  I have made mine in a 9 by 13 pan instead of muffin cups and it works fantastic.  So worth 90 minutes!  For your glaze, simply mix up powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and a bit of milk to get the frosting consistency that you like.  We like ours a little runny, so I can just pour it over as opposed to spreading it over. 

90 Minute Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted from

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup margarine, softened

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in margarine; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, softened margarine.
  4. Roll out dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle. Spread dough with margarine/sugar mixture. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Remove from muffin cups to cool. Serve warm
Try these delicious cinnamon rolls for your family and let me know what you think!  This is a great reason to START your day with time around the table! 

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