There’s nothing that says lovin’ like something from the oven…
Remember that jingle? Probably not – I’m just showing my age. There’s a lot of truth to that. I always struggle with Valentine’s gifts. We just got over Christmas, didn’t we? The thing I love about Valentine’s Day is that any little act of kindness or love means something. This year, I decided to share one of my Mom’s gifts of love…cinnamon rolls. I used to come home from school and there was a beautiful pan full of steaming hot rolls swirled with the goodness of gooey cinnamon and nuts.
Every year on Valentine’s Day, whoever crosses my path gets a treat. It could be the guy at the parking garage, the people who I meet with that day, my friend at lunch….and most importantly my family. I don’t have to go to the store for their gifts. I just make them. There’s nothing better!
This recipe is so easy – can be made in a mixer. Don’t be afraid of the yeast. You don’t have to proof it…just throw it in with the flour and sugar.
With the paddle attachment on your mixer, mix together the yeast, flour, sugar, egg, warmed milk and butter. Mix until incorporated, adding flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl.
Once this happens, change out to the dough hook and knead for about 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and elasticy. Place the dough in a oil-sprayed bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then a towel and place in a warm place. Now this is the key to success…keeping the dough in a warm place. This time of year, it can be a challenge. What works for me is turning on the oven at 250 degrees until the temperature is reached and then shut off the oven. I place the bowl of door on the open oven door so it gets the heat radiating from the oven.
While the dough is rising, mix the sugar and cinnamon filling – adding nuts, raisins or cranberries. Be creative!
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll into a 15″ x 11″ rectangle.
Spread soft butter all over the rectangle up to 1/2″ of the border with soft butter. Cover with sugar/cinnamon mixture generously and roll up longways pinching ends of dough together.
Cut the log into 3/4″ slices. I use dental floss to slice the pieces. It cuts the dough without smashing the log. Simply place a piece of dental floss under the log, pull up and cross over until it slices. (Don’t use mint dental floss!)
Place in a buttered 9″ glass dish. Yes, butter the dish with soft butter. You’ll thank me later! It combines with the cinnamon sugar while baking and creates the goo.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 45 minutes until puffy. Like above.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t over bake for they will turn out dry. Watch them until they are golden brown and remove from oven.
Frost with a cream cheese frosting or powdered sugar glaze. This year, I put a tablespoon of rum in the frosting just for the heck of it!
Now go play Cupid!
Note: You can refrigerate the rolls after placing in the pan and bake the next morning. Just let them come to room temperature and rise (about 1 hour) and bake! These are better served right out of the oven!