Sunday, November 21, 2010

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls I

This past week, I’ve been thinking about the holidays, and about simple family traditions that, though simple, bring order to an otherwise chaotic time of year. When I was growing up, I remember that my parents always set out a bowl of assorted nuts {unshelled} for me and my brothers to nibble on while watching TV. I sometimes wondered why they never bought shelled nuts and now I'm convinced that they probably did so in order to keep us rowdy children busy – they made us work for our snack. The assorted nuts were by no means fancy and it certainly wasn’t a WOW event, but like most traditions from our youth, it was memorable because it was something that seemed at the time, unique to our household and was something we looked forward to year after year.

Earlier this week I found a recipe for cinnamon rolls that looked super simple. I’ve never made them before so I was excited to try it out. Last night I made the dough, stuck it in the refrigerator and then baked them off this morning. They came out great... sticky, gooey and sweet, and the family gobbled them up. These cinnamon Rolls will be perfect on Christmas morning and may even become part of our family tradition. I can almost picture it now... on Christmas Eve the girls and I will be up to our eyeballs in dough, then on Christmas morning, after opening a few presents, our fingers will be caked with sugary icing... we'll have to wash our hands before opening more presents. HA!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls I
Recipe from

1 cup of milk
1/3 cup butter
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (I didn’t use)
1/2 cup nuts (I didn’t use)
1 tsp light corn syrup (I didn’t use)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp half-and-half cream

Heat milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl and let cool until lukewarm.

Dissolve the yeast in the milk mixture. Wait a few minutes for bubbles to form on the surface of the mixture. Add the sugar, 3 cups of flour, salt and eggs; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 to 2 hours.

Deflate the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10X14 inch rectangle. Lightly brush the far edge with water. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and 3/4 cup brown sugar and sprinkle over the rectangle. Then sprinkle raisins and chopped nuts over the dough. Roll up the dough into a log and seal the seam.

Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces; place the pieces in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, combine the corn syrup with the vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar and enough cream to make a thick glaze; set aside. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve warm.

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