Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Buttery Cinnamon Rolls

Each new year brings something special. I often find myself looking forward to the coming spring, even though fall and winter are my favorite times of the year, but I begin to yearn for the warmer days, the first seedlings to sprout from my garden, and the canning, pickling, and barbequing that will be upon us before we know it. The new year symbolizes a new start. A time to reevaluate our lives and re prioritize. Not just a time to make resolutions that we will soon forget, but a time to take baby steps in our lives toward larger goals we dream of accomplishing.
I am sure we all have big goals for the year, in conjunction with small steps toward life-changing goals. I want to learn to sew this year, and I want to learn sign language. Two bigger goals, to go with my smaller goal of drinking 8 glasses of water each day. I may not master sign language, but each step in self-improvement helps us to be a better person.
Something I really, really want to do, is have one breakfast a week that we are all together as a family. With our busy schedules, breakfast is the one meal that is pretty difficult to get everybody together for. Unless I want to wake up the little guys extra early. No thanks. So here is a delicious way to wake up, and, the best part is, you can do all the work the night before, and leave the rolls in the fridge for their second rising. Homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast? I think yes.
If you make these the night  before, be sure to set them on the counter while the oven is preheating. You also might have to cook them a little longer.

Rich Breakfast Dough
1/2 cup warm whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk at room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick very soft butter

31/2 stick butter, very soft
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 oz soft cream cheese
3/4 stick softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Make the dough: Combine the warm milk and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over ht op. Whisk by hand to blend well. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until the yeast is activated and foamy or bubbling. And the egg and yolk and whisk by hand until well blended. Stir in the flour and salt with a silicone or rubber spatula. Attach the dough hook  and knead on low speed for 2 minutes. The dough may look ragged at this point. Increase the speed and knead for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the soft butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Knead for an additional 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough looks soft and silky.

Rise the dough: Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the dough inside. Cover with a damp linen towel and allow to rise until double in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down and dust your work surface with flour. Turn the risen dough out of the tub and onto the flour. Press down firmly with your hands to expel as much of the has as possible, but don't knead the dough. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough into a 10- by 16- inch rectangle.
Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and spread over the dough.
Roll the dough into a cylinder, lengthwise. Turn the seam side down and use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 10 equal  pieces.
Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray and place cut rolls into pan.
Second Rise: Cover the pan with your linen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 and position and oven rack in the center. Bake for 30 -35 minutes, until the rolls are deep golden brown.
Set on a baking sheet and allow to cool until you can handle them.
Make frosting: Combine butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spread on warm rolls.

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