Monday, August 8, 2011

Recipe: Man Catchin' Cinnamon Rolls

I never was a charmer when it came to boys. I loved school and relished the thought of being smart, so I used big words and actually tried to make boys feel dumb. It's no wonder that by the time I was in college, my social skills were sorely lacking. Soooo...I turned to food to break the ice.

Every Friday night meant deliveries of cinnamon rolls to the boys on whom I was crushing at the moment. My best friend and I had what we thought was the perfect strategy: put the cinnamon rolls on a durable and unique plate from our kitchen so that we'd have to arrange another stop by the boys' apartment to pick it up later. Two sightings for the price of one! Looking back, it all seems pretty pathetic, but we had some great times on our cinnamon roll runs--like figuring out how we could deliver rolls to eight different guys in the same apartment complex without being suspected. I'll never forget the fun times we had sneaking around and thinking we were so sly.

Thankfully, I ended up snagging a wonderful guy without having to use the cinnamon roll maneuver at all. It's funny, though, because these rolls are a big hit with my in-laws. The recipe is straightfoward, relatively quick, and delicious. Give it a try and catch yourself some fans!

Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups milk
2 sticks butter, divided
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups plus 2 T sugar, divided
2 T active dry yeast
3 eggs
1/2 t salt
6 cups flour
3 T cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200 F. Fill a skillet with 1 inch of water and place on bottom rack of oven. Put milk and 6 T butter in a saucepan or microwaveable bowl. Microwave for two minutes or warm milk just until small bubbles form around edges. Let cool. Meanwhile, mix yeast and 2 T sugar into the water. Let sit until yeast is bubbly and double in size. Add yeast mixture to milk mixture in a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup sugar and eggs. Then, stir in 2 cups of flour. Mix until smooth.

Use a wooden spoon to incorporate more flour, enough to make a dough that is slightly sticky but can hold its shape. Knead for about five minutes, incorporating more flour as needed, but don't add too much. Place dough in bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, place in oven, and TURN IT OFF! . Let rest for about an hour or until dough is double in size.

Melt remaining butter, add cinnamon and remaining sugar. Divide dough, roll out, and spread with half of butter mixture. Roll up, slice, and place rolls in sprayed or buttered pan. Repeat with remaining dough.

Heat oven to 350 F. Let rolls rise until puffy (about 30 mins). Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Check on them after 13, and remove from oven when tops are barely golden.

Since frosting preferences are infinitely subjective, I'll leave it up to you. Drizzle a yummy icing over the warm rolls and let it soak right in, or wait until they cool and slather them with a light, fluffy buttercream. Either way, they are fab. Try not to eat the whole batch!

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