11 December, 2012

A Very Harry Christmas, Day 11: Cinnamon Pull-Apart Breakfast Rolls

Cinnamons rolls aren't something I would typically classify as a Christmas dish, however...as the crowds start to gather for breakfast in the morning, as a wife and a Momma, I'd be left wondering how I'd feed the army without slaving over a hot stove all morning.  Sure, you could all go out, but the kids' come home for Momma's home cooking, not Perkins!  What could make breakfast easier than a fresh pan of sweet rolls to go with the quick scrambled eggs, sausage and fruit salad?  Nothin' I can think of!

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Breakfast Rolls

¼ c. warm water
1 T. (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 T. sugar
2/3 c. whole milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 c. flour
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/3 c. sugar

Cinnamon Filling
1 T. unsalted butter, melted
¼ c. packed dark brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon

1 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. heavy cream
½ tsp. vanilla

Combine the water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside until puffy. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan or the microwave until the butter is melted. Set aside. 

Whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the milk-butter mixture. Add the yeast mixture and egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. (If making this dough by hand, first whisk ½ cup of the flour mixture into the egg mixture until smooth, then add the egg mixture to the rest of the flour mixture.) 

Knead the dough in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or by hand either in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

**If you want the rolls for breakfast, prepare the rolls the day before through Step 3, but instead of setting them to rise, cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow them to rise in the refrigerator overnight, then pop them in the oven in the morning. You can also prepare the icing ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator; just allow it to come to room temperature before using.

Grease and flour a 9″ × 13″ pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 16″ × 12″ rectangle. Brush the tablespoon of melted butter over the dough. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and spread it over the dough until within ½ inch of the borders. Roll up the long side. Slice off the messy ends.

The best way to cut the roll is using dental floss. Sounds crazy, but a knife exerts too much pressure and squashes the roll. First, slide a length of floss under the roll until you reach the center. Bring the two ends over the roll and cross them, pulling until a neat cut has been made. In this manner, cut the two halves in half again, then each quarter into 3 slices to make 12 rolls in all. Lay the rolls in the prepared pan and leave to rise until the rolls are touching each other and reach the rim, 1½ to 2 hours.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the pan and reinvert the rolls onto a serving platter.

To make the icing, beat the icing ingredients together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Be sure to sift the confectioners' sugar or you will have lumps. Spread the icing over the rolls while they are still warm, or pipe the frosting using a #3 round tip. Eat immediately. The rolls do not keep well and should be eaten within a few hours of being made.

 Right before tossing them on the back step over night
**I decided to test the author's assertion that these rolls could rise a bit, then be refrigerated and baked the next morning.  It worked brilliantly!  To get them back to room temperature and rising again I heated my oven to 200 F...turned it OFF, then popped the pan in for an hour.  

Just out of the oven and frosted

Why lie?  I'm not typically a fan of cream cheese frosting on my breakfast rolls.  But, there is something about it in the winter that makes it more than okay; its awesome!  Perhaps its knowing I need the calories to keep warm...or at least I can pretend that's the reason as I slip into my sweat pants to make room for roll #2!!!

The dough is so unbelievably soft on the inside with just the right amount crust on the outside to keep it that way!  The cream cheese icing is out of this WORLD yummly with this dough.  It is the perfect marriage of sweet dough and icing.  I can't think of a better way to give yourself Christmas morning off by prepping these the day or two beforehand and toss them in the fridge.  Then Christmas morning, 2 hours before breakfast, preheat your oven to 200 F and then turn it off; then place them in there to rise for 1 hour.  After they rise either leave them in or take them out as the oven heats to 350.  Then follow the directions as listed for baking time and frosting and VOILA!  One of the quickest, least time consuming (on your feet anyhow) breakfasts you can serve up warm to your crew with some homemade cocoa as you open gifts.  Love it!  I hope you try it out this year! 

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