Wednesday, December 26, 2007
That's How I Roll
I did cinnamon rolls this year for the neighbors, which is great because they're cheap and I know from personal experience that it's very hard to throw away a cinnamon roll. Some people (including myself) have murmured about the pressures of Christmas neighbor gifts, and I have observed of late that either a) I have less friends, or b) many people are forgoing neighbor gifting. In my brother's neighborhood, neighbor gifts are entirely banned by some well-meaning, overwhelmed, but misguided women.
Bad form, I say. Think of all of those children who are missing out on the time-honored tradition of burning peanut brittle with their mothers or trudging around the neighborhood with a dozen plates of loosely wrapped plates of candy balanced precariously in your cold eight-year-old hands. I remember the sight of the jar of marshmallow creme signaled the start of the Christmas candy-making season, and how I would spoon out ever last sticky strand of that creme after my mom scraped it into the bubbling pot of sugar. I remember her quiet cursing as the the divinity hardened too quickly, forming little chalky boulders instead of smooth, peaked domes. I remember her perfect, delicate peanut brittle stretched out by her oiled, red hands. Success or failure, the candy was always eaten, proving that even badly done candy is good.
This recipe is adapted from Bonnie Lake's recipe from the Heritage Cookbook.
2 pgks dry yeast (4 1/2 t. instant yeast)
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. milk, scalded
1/2 c. shortening
7 c. flour (approx.)
1 c. sugar
1 c. potatoes, mashed (I use instant)
2 eggs, beaten
2 t. salt
softened butter (1-2 cubes)
brown sugar (1-2 cups)
2-3 t. cinnamon
chopped nuts & fruit (optional)
Scald milk. Put shortening in large bowl and pour hot milk over shortening. When shortening is melted, add sugar, salt, potatoes, and beaten eggs. In large mixing bowl, mix yeast with warm water. When milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add to yeast mixture. Stir in 5-6 cups of flour. Add last cup of flour as needed. This is a very soft dough. If your using a KitchenAid, the dough will still be very sticky and not quite form a ball. If your mixing the dough by hand, it may be too soft to knead - just stir it for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes of kneading, dump into an oiled bowl, cover w/plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. After it has risen, divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll dough into a rectangle, spread with softened butter and sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon. Roll up dough the long way and cut into 1-inch slices. You should get 12-15 rolls from each piece of dough. Place rolls in 2 9x13 pans that have been greased or lined with parchment. Cover and let rise 30-60 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or so. When rolls have cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.