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Two Sisters, Serial #8 and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

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Easy Cinnamon Rolls–it’s back to kid food! Well, kid food that adults can’t seem to get enough of.

The big franchise chains and smaller mom-and-pop specialty bakeries have figured out that we (kids and adults) flat-out love cinnamon rolls. There are cinnamon-roll shops in almost every airport terminal, travel stop, and downtown shopping district in America. And cinnamon rolls used to be just for early in the morning, but now we’re happy to indulge ourselves in this treat almost any time of the day.

But I bet you never made one, always thought they were too time-consuming or complicated or unpredictable. Well, here’s your chance to break through those inhibitions and fears. This recipe is easy, quick, and foolproof. Not only will you be indulging the kid in you (and the kids in your house, even if some of them are old and gray!), but you’ll also be adding a new capability to your culinary repertoire.

Who knows–before you know it you’ll be opening your own cinnamon-roll shop in the vacant storefront downtown! And all  because of your friendly Reading and Recipes website. Drop us a note to let us know of the grand opening!

And while you’re at it, check out this week’s segment from Two Sisters, the climax to the chapter titled “The Ring.” Just click on one of the links below the recipe.

 cinnamon rolls

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 cup milk 

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

1 package active dry yeast

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

1 Tablespoon cream

3/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

gooey cinnamon rolls

In a microwave safe bowl, add the milk and 3 tablespoons of butter. In 30 second increments, microwave this mixture until it is warm and melted but not boiling. Remove the mixture from the microwave–it should feel like warm bath water; if it is any hotter, let it cool slightly. Add the milk/butter mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in yeast and granulated sugar. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes. Once the yeast becomes frothy, add the salt and stir into mixture. Next, add the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time and gently stirring as you go. Once the dough comes together into a loose ball, cover the bowl, place it in a warm area, and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. (Depending on how warm your kitchen is, you might need to allow the dough to rise a bit longer.)

While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix these ingredients together until well combined.

Once the dough has doubled in size, dump it onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 9×11 inches. Evenly spread the filling onto the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border around the edges. Tightly roll the dough into a log. With the seam side down, use a serrated knife to cut the dough into 6 to 8 equal rolls, depending on how big you want them. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 5×7 inch pan. Allow the rolls to continue to rise while the oven preheats to 400 degrees. Once the oven is preheated, bake the rolls for 13-15 minutes, or until the tops just begin to turn golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool slightly before frosting.

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by whisking together the cream cheese and cream. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Lastly, mix in the vanilla. Frost the warm rolls and serve immediately. You may have some leftover frosting; cover and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Store any leftover rolls in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 6-8 cinnamon rolls.

cinnamon roll

{Adapted from Minimalist Baker}

Click below to listen to or read Serial #8 of “Two Sisters”.

Two Sisters, Serial #8, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Two Sisters, Serial #8, text © Jeffrey Anderson


About Elaine

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