Cinnamon and sugar, why is it we all seem to love that simple little two-some? Two ingredients that go together like a horse and carriage, salt and pepper, or peanut butter and jelly. Remember when you were a kid, you would delight in mixing up this ‘special blend’ to sprinkle on your toast?
Cinnamon Toast. I think this is the first ‘recipe’ we all tried our hand at and no matter what we did, we always got it right! The first two steps were child’s-play…
1. Toast some bread -be careful not to burn it but if you do just scrape the burn off with a knife or put the burned side down.
2. Smother in butter (sure, margarine will do).
Then things got real ‘chef-y’….
3. Generously sprinkle the important ’special blend’ over the
whole counter top top of the still warm buttery toast. I remember smiling as it melted into a thick shiny, syrupy brown glaze, just knowing what my taste buds were in for.
Simple, sweet and satisfying, at any age. Some memories never fade away. Now, my own children reminisce over their memories of ‘cooking’ cinnamon toast.
Because there is always a place in our hearts, and taste buds, for this childhood treat we often find ourselves still craving the delectable cinnamon-sugar-toast combo. Only now when we crave this old favourite we want more. We are not as easy to please now we have grown-up -are we? No, now we want cinnamon toast on steroids -don’t we? Well, I do and I’ll admit it! I want the grown-up version of cinnamon toast. I want….a warm, yeasty-soft, sweet, sticky cinnamon roll. I am hoping those two words excite you like they do me, if so then you’re probably smiling right about now.
These fall into the category I like to call ‘comfort food’ -you know, the kind that holds a permanent spot in your soul and re-emerges every now and then and won’t go away until you satisfy it’s yearning, and… because they are like, you died and went to heaven-licious.
Now, go get the cinnamon and sugar this minute cause I have already eaten one warm out of the oven and I am just having another
one half-one, with a coffee, while you get sorted!
I just couldn’t wait, look at that picture again, they will be gone soon. All of them. Gone.
Holy-moly, better wear your stretchy pants! You can run it off -it will be worth every bite.
Cinnamon Rolls, have I got your attention?
- Ingredients for dough:
- 1/2 cup very warm water (110F to 115F)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 4 cups cake flour (For every 1 cup of all purpose flour you use, take out 2 tbs flour and add two tablespoons of cornstarch. to make cake flour) You can use all purpose flour instead of cake flour.
- Cinnamon and sugar filling:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- For the frosting:
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- To make the Dough:
- This is best done in a stand mixer with a dough hook but can be done with a hand mixer as well. In a large bowl add the warm water, 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and stir. Sprinkle yeast over the water, stir and let sit for 5 minutes until frothy. Add remaining sugar and blend. In a small bowl, add buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk these until well blended. Pour the egg mixture into the water and yeast mixture and stir another 20 seconds to incorporate all the ingredients together. Add salt to the flour and mix well. Pour 2 cups of flour into the wet ingredients and stir on low until incorporated. Sprinkle remaining flour into bowl in 1/4 cup increments until dough begins to form a sticky ball and leaves the sides of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not so sticky that it sticks all over your hands when handled. Once it has reached this stage, turn stand mixer on to knead for 5 minutes or if using a hand mixer remove and knead dough by hand for 5 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so it does not form a ‘skin’ and then cover with a dish towel as well to protect from drafts. Let rise in a warm spot for approx. 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
- Filling and Cutting Rolls:
- In a medium size bowl, stir brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch together until combined. Set aside. Spread some plastic wrap (2 lengths one slightly over the other to form a large rectangular shape) onto the work surface and sprinkle liberally with flour. Punch down dough. Coat your hands in flour and lightly flour the dough as well. Roll the dough out onto the plastic wrap to approx. a 20″×30″ (8cm x 12m) rectangle. Make sure the dough does not stick to the plastic wrap as you are rolling it out. If it begins to stick just carefully lift it and sprinkle some more flour underneath. At this stage you should have a rectangle shape approx. 1/3′ thick (8mm), if it is lopsided or uneven, don’t worry just try to work it out so it is the right shape. Spread the softened butter over dough, being sure to go right to the edges of all sides except for the long top side where you should leave a 1 inch (25mm) strip dry. Tip the brown sugar mixture onto the dough and spread it around evenly with your fingers, but do not cover the 1 inch strip of dry dough. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the butter with the rolling pin. Lifting the long end of the plastic wrap closest to you coax the dough so it begins to roll over onto itself in one long roll. Keep rolling the dough (with out the plastic wrap) with your fingers snugly over itself , working up and down the log as you go and finish the roll at the dry edge, so it seals itself together. Trim the two ends to even out. Score the log every 2 inches with a knife as your cutting guide. Take a 12″ length of dental floss and slide it under the log vertically so the two ends are hanging loose. Lift the floss up in each hand and cross it over itself, pull it through the log ‘slicing’ through the dough and releasing the dental floss. Repeat at the remaining score marks. You can use a knife to cut at the scores if you do not have dental floss. Place into parchment paper lined, greased pans. You should get 12 into a 9×13 pan with 3 remaining which you can put into a smaller loaf pan. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let rise another approx. 1 hour or until they have risen to almost double. They may spread out more than they rise up. That is fine. Bake in a preheated 350 F (180C) oven for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Don’t let them get too brown, just a nice golden color! Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Cover with a tea towel if you are not ready to frost them so they don’t dry out on the tops.
- For the Frosting:
- Whip the cream cheese and butter together on high. Stir in vanilla, and lemon juice making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add powdered sugar, mixing slowly until it starts to incorporate. Then mix on high for 5 minutes until frosting starts to lighten in color. Making sure to scrape sides as you go. Spread half the frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm so the frosting melts into the rolls. Then after they have cooled down a bit more, frost again with remaining frosting. Serve immediately.