Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heavenly Cinnamon Rolls

This is how I make cinnamon rolls:

First, I make this dough:
Joyce's Buns

When I took these pictures I was making a double recipe.  You can make a single recipe, the choice is yours.

After you make the dough and let it rise in the fridge it will look something like this:

Next you need to flour the surface where you are going to roll out the dough.  Don't be shy, use plenty of flour.  You don't want them to stick to the surface when you start rolling them out.

Punch the dough down then divide it in half or quarters.  Remember, I made a double recipe so I divided it into quarters.  If you make a single recipe, divide the dough in half.  Just use a big knife and cut it up. 

Now it's time to roll the dough out.  This might take a tiny bit of muscle and a little bit of patience.  The dough might bounce back when you roll it, but don't be discouraged, just keep rolling until the dough is pretty thin and you have sort of a rectangle, kind of like this...

Now the real fun begins!  Spread 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter...real butter...onto the dough.  Make it go all the way to the edges.  Every bite should have yummy, delicious butter!

After you've spread the butter, spread 3/4 cup brown sugar over the butter, again going all the way to the edges.

Now sprinkle 2 t. cinnamon over the brown sugar.  Just sprinkle it all around then rub the whole thing with your hand to make sure the cinnamon is evenly dispersed.   Sorry, this is a blurry picture.  My hands were shaking just thinking about all this butter and sugar!

Now you're ready to roll.  Start from one of the long ends and roll that baby up like a snake.  Not like a snake!  I hate snakes!  Roll it up like a cinnamon roll!  I love cinnamon rolls!

Here's a nifty trick for you.  Instead of cutting them with a knife, which will only squish them and make them flat, cut them with thread or dental floss.  I used red thread so you could see it in the picture.  Just slide the thread under the snake, I mean cinnamon roll, and cross it over itself then pull.  It will cut it perfectly every time.  Cut them about 1" thick, maybe a little bit thicker. 

Place them in a greased 9x13 pan.  You can fit a dozen in each pan.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.  Now let them rest and rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Here are all 24 of my little guys waiting to rise and then be popped in the oven.  

The ends of the snake...I mean roll...are always kind of ugly and deformed.  I put all the ends in this pan so I could give away the pretty ones and feed the ugly ones to my family.  Is that mean?  No, that's not mean.  They taste just as good as the pretty ones.  Don't judge a cinnamon roll by it's cover!  

Here are the pretty ones after they have finished rising.  The warmer it is in your house, the faster they will rise.

Now bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown.  Just wait until you smell them baking.  They will make your house smell heavenly.  That's why I call them heavenly cinnamon rolls.  That and the fact that when you eat them you think you have died and gone to heaven.

Now for the icing.  Mix 1 stick softened butter with one box of powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla and enough milk to make it the right consistency.  Don't add too much milk to start.  Begin slow and keep adding until it's the way you like it.  You want it a little thinner than regular frosting but not runny.  How pretty are these little cinnamon rolls?  And they taste better than they look!  Oh, and once they are no longer warm from the oven, just pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and they will taste like you just baked them.  They taste much better when they are warm, but they're still good even at room temperature!

Here's a picture of the ugly ones after they were baked.  The picture isn't very good, but you can see that once they have risen and been baked they're not so ugly any more.  My family scarfed them down big time!  It was a cinnamon roll feeding frenzy, yes it was!

From whence it came:  The fabulous dough recipe came from my Aunt Joyce, and one day, quite a long time ago, I figured out how to turn it into heavenly cinnamon rolls. 

Why it's blogable:  What a silly question!  These really are just so yum-e.  I made them last week for The Spy Who Loves Me.  He had some secret spy meeting with all his little spy friends and they turned it into a spy potluck breakfast.  Spys do potlucks!  Who knew?  Anyway, The Spy Who Loves Me signed up to bring these, and being the good spy wife that I am, I made four dozen.  The feedback from the other spys was positive, so I guess we can conclude, after a top secret investigation, that they are spy worthy.   

Don't be afraid to try making these.  They do require a little bit of work, but they are not difficult, and they are so so worth it!  My teen daughter is a huge fan of them, and my teen son loves 'em, too!  Oh, and my sonny-in-law is also a member of the cinnamon roll lovin' club!  Basically, they're always a huge hit!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

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