Not Stepford, Just . . . Active
Tell me you don’t want one of these. Go on . . . tell me.
These are certainly the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. I attribute their success (and yes, you can have the recipe) to my new apron. But I have to break you in to the apron gently. Here’s a shot of the pocket of my new apron, which I made yesterday afternoon.
Hypnotic, isn’t it? The fat red roses, the curvy petals, the sweet little turquoise flowers, the celery-green leaves . . . and most of all, the combination of pink background and turquoise rickrack. I saw it on the shelf at Joann’s Fabric, and I had to buy it.
It turned itself into this:
The apron Little Sunshine took one look at and shrieked, “You’re a Stepford mom! You’re a Stepford mom!”
Yes, it’s true. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Glenn Close would be so proud!”
On the other hand, wearing this apron, I made the world’s very, very best cinnamon rolls. Soft, pillowy bread; sweet, sticky caramel; cream cheese frosting with just a bite of honey in it. Irresistable, I tell you. Just like the apron fabric.
Not to mention the strange urge I feel to put on my double strand of graduated pearls and vacuum. (It’s a brand-new vacuum cleaner, okay? The Consumer Reports Best Buy, with a sealed HEPA filter, and an infra-red cleaning sensor. )
Before you start to get any more suspicious, here’s the recipe:
Cinnamon Rolls from the Realm of the Platonic Forms
Grease two pyrex 13″ x 11″ pans.
1 package active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup softened butter
1 stick softened butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid, dissolve the yeast in the milk. Let it sit for a few minutes to begin foaming. Stir in the sugar, the eggs, and the melted butter, followed by the 4 cups of flour. Add the salt last, after the dough has started to come together.
Using the dough hook, knead on speed #4 for about 6 minutes. Turn the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
Punch it down, turn it over, and let rise again until doubled, about an hour and a half.
Divide the dough in half. Roll one half the dough out into a rectangle about 18″ long and 6″ wide.
Make the filling: mix all ingredients together to make a stiffish paste.
Spread half of the mixture over the rolled out dough. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a snail shape. Put it aside, and repeat the rolling-out and filling process with the remaining dough. Cut them into two inch slices and arrange them in the greased pans. They will be small, dainty little gems–not the overblown, blowzy cinnamon rolls of mall or bakery. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for about an hour, or until about doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. When the rolls are risen, take off the plastic wrap and slide them in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Take them out and let them cool while you mix the frosting ingredients together, beating them well, until fluffy. When the rolls are just warm to the touch, frost them, making sure that frosting gets into all the crevices.
Enjoy with coffee or milk.