A few years ago 10 year old Sam Tollison of Colorado loved cinnamon rolls so much that he got 100 signatures on a petition for the governor of the state to create a day devoted to the glory of the Cinnamon Roll. Well, you guessed it folks, Gov. John Hickenloolper, so impressed by this kid’s determination and dare I say it, sweet tooth, had January 8th declared Cinnamon Rolls Day (for true, written into law).
Now before you start complain about how “frivolous” this action might seem just consider how much time, effort and study must have gone into Sam’s quest to champion his favorite pastry. This is one pretty special foodie and I say BRAVO to him, his parents and all the people that signed the petition (not to mention the governor that recognized a future constituents vote getting motivational abilities)
All of this hoopla is leading up to; you guessed it, Cinnamon Roll recipes. Now before I get to the recipes you should know that there are 2 distinct groups (hmmmm just like politics) of cinnamon rolls. Those with yeast and those without. I guess you could say I’m an independent voter as I vote for (and eat) both, depending on which has the better platform oops I mean frosting or filling. Adding nuts to the equation (recipe) is solely dependent on your personal taste. They then can become pecan rolls or schnecken but that’s an entirely different election oops again, I mean column.
This column is my gift to Sam and the people of Colorado for recognizing just how special this pastry (and kid or kid at heart who loves them) really is.
YEAST CINNAMON ROLLS (dairy or pareve)
3/4 cup milk or almond milk, warmed (approx 110 degrees)
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoon) yeast, regular, instant or rapid-rise yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons butter or margarine or margarine, cut into 12 pieces at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or margarine or margarine, room temperature
Preheat oven to 200 then turn it off. Line a 13X9 pan with foil (make sure the foil hangs over the edges when you push it into place). Grease the foil and set the pan aside.
In a bowl combine the milk and yeast. Whisk to combine and then whisk in the eggs. In the bowl of an electric mixer (with a dough hook) combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine and then slowly add the milk mixture and mix just until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed slightly and add the butter or margarine or margarine. Mix just until the butter or margarine or margarine is completely mixed in. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixing bowl, 7 to 10 minutes. Place the dough on the counter and roll it into a ball. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl and let rise for about 2 hours or until it’s double its original size.
While the dough is rising make the filling. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and set aside until ready to roll out the dough.
When the dough has doubled in size place it on a floured surface. It will be soft so you may need more flour when you roll it out. Roll the dough into a rectangle and then spread the top with the softened butter or margarine or margarine. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the top making sure to leave 1/2 inch border. Gently press the filling into the dough. Roll up the dough jelly roll style starting on the long edge, pressing firmly to form a roll. Make sure that that you keep the rolling pretty tight. Seal the seam by pinching it together. Cut the roll into 8 pieces. Line the baking pan with foil making sure that there is overhang on each side. Grease the pan. Place the slices in the prepared pan. Let the rolls rise until they doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350. When the rolls have risen. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until they are golden on top. Remove and cool for 30 minutes (in the pan). When the rolls are cool remove them (using the foil overhang). Frost before serving. Makes 8
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (dairy or pareve)
8 oz cream cheese or pareve cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk
Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor electric mixing bowl and mix to combine. Start with 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk add more depending on how thick you like your frosting. This frosting can be made 2 to 3 days in advance.
BAKING POWDER CINNAMON ROLLS (dairy or pareve)
2 1/2 cups plus extra for rolling out
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, milk or nondairy substitute
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
8 oz cream cheese or pareve cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or non dairy substitute
Preheat the oven to 425. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter or margarine until the mixture is crumbly, set the mixture aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour; 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter or margarine and milk together. Gently stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Don’t over mix. Turn the dough out onto a well floured counter and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough out into a rectangle (this will require a bit of pushing and pounding as it’s a stiff dough). Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons ofbutter or margarine. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the brown sugar filling making sure to leave 1/2-inch border. Press the filling into the dough. At this point the dough may be sticking to the counter and you may need to lift the dough slightly with a spatula. Roll up the dough, starting on the long edge, jelly rolls style, pressing consistently to form a roll. Make sure that that you keep the rolling pretty tight. This dough will rise and expand so you want to make sure the filling will stay in place. Seal the seam by pinching it together. Cut the roll into 8 pieces. Place the slices in the prepared pan. Brush the top of the rolls with the remaining melted butter or margarine. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Place a piece of wax paper on a cooling rack. Loosen the rolls from the sides of the pan with a knife. Flip the buns out onto the wax paper on the cooling rack, then immediately flip the buns over onto the serving platter. Cool for 10 minutes before frosting. Makes 8
Frosting: Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor electric mixing bowl and mix to combine. This frosting can be made 2 to 3 days in advance.
CHERRY AND PECAN CINNAMON BUNS (dairy or pareve)
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115)
1- 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces and softened
1/2 cup dried cherries, dried cranberries, or raisins
3/4 cup chopped pecans (they taste better if you toast them but you don’t have to)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons water
In bowl of an electric mixer sprinkle the combine the water, 1/4 teaspoon sugar and yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, flour, milk, salt, and yolks and beat on low speed until combined. Beat in butter or margarine, a few pieces at a time, and beat until the batter is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Dough will be soft.) Scrape the dough from side of bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Make filling while dough is rising:
While the dough is rising place the dried fruit in a bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes. Drain the fruit, discard the water and chop until fine. Combine the fruit and pecans in a bowl and set it aside.
In another small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon.
Grease a 9X13 baking pan. Place the dough on a floured surface and punch it down. Roll it out into a 12X16 rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter or margarine, leaving a border around the edges. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over filling.
Roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion (not too tightly) pinch the edges together firmly to seal. Cut rolled the log into 12 pieces with a sharp knife and arrange them closely but not touching each other in the pan. Cover and let rise 45 to 50 minutes, or until doubled in size.
While the buns are rising, preheat oven to 350. Bake buns in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes. (OR, buns may be made 1 week ahead: Bake buns in middle of oven until pale golden, about 15 minutes (buns will not be completely baked), and transfer pan to a rack to cool completely. Freeze buns in pan, covered tightly with foil.
To serve, thaw buns at room temperature 1 hour and bake in a preheated 350. oven until golden, about 10 minutes). Transfer buns to a rack and cool slightly.
In a small bowl whisk together confectioner’s sugar and water until smooth and using a spoon, drizzle it over the top. Let set for 15 minutes and server Makes 12.