The weather has changed so thinking… Cinnamon Rolls on a cool morning

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The weather has finally changed here in Arizona – remember we don’t live in the deserts of Phoenix but rather in a valley in the mountains in the north. We finally hit a freezing point overnight and there was a bit of rainy “slush” when I was driving home from my photo class late last night. This kids and I are working on several “projects” for November and trying to keep warm as we are still acclimating to coolness of this house – the entire house is tile and on propane for heat, so the thermostat is set to 64 degrees – no if ands or buts.

The green beans were successful and all 40 pounds minus the 3 meals that we ate off of them are cut, blanched, bagged and frozen. We ended up with 19 bags for the freezer and each of us (Lar, Shelby, Griffen, El and I) took turns cutting. I am so proud of my kids for wanting to help with this process. (We also had 40 tomatoes to cut up, bag and freeze which Shelby decided to take care of those for me.)

The kids wanted me to make some cinnamon rolls for them for tomorrow. Nothing in our house ever comes prepackaged so no refrigerator rolls here. So, they know that most “breads” need a day to come out, especially ones for breakfast the next day.

I have been digging through my recipes and this is the one that we are going to try for tomorrow’s breakfast. I will post a “finished” photo tomorrow morning AFTER we bake them. (Enjoy for breakfast Bruce and Joanne!)

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (Yes you can substitute Splenda!!!)
5 cups bread flour (We do use our home ground wheat)
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*  I don’t normally put this in mine… but you can if you want.
(Wheat Gluten helps sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll.)

1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract or oil (optional)

  • Grease a 9×13 pan an set aside.
  • In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer (my amazing kitchenaide), combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms. (You can also use your dough setting on your bread machine.)
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface, and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. (for the oiled surface, you can use nonstick cooking spray or a little oil rubbed in with your hands.)
  • After dough has risen, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
  • Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter over the top of the dough. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. Do NOT roll tightly as it will result in a center tower in each roll.
  • With a knife, cut 1-1/2 inch sections.  Place cut side up in prepared baking pan – They should not touch!

For Filling: Soften the butter; set aside. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; stir in chopped nuts (optional). Our family doesn’t really like the nuts, however some do.

For Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon extract or oil until well mixed and creamy. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.

Refrigerator and freezing: It’s all about “EASY” in our house. The rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen about 4 weeks. If you freeze them, let them thaw 100% (about 10 to 12 hours on your counter) and then rise in a warm place. If you refrigerate, then make sure that you allow them to come to come to room temperature before baking.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan). – Or overnig…ht in the fridge!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

  • Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.
  • Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.
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