Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Ah… Comfort food! We all need it now and then. Even though I would love to indulge in a fair amount of comfort food daily, I generally reserve comfort foods for special times for obvious reasons. One of those special times for me is Sunday Mornings.  Sunday mornings for me mean drinking a great cup of coffee and eating a luscious caramel pecan cinnamon roll while sitting in a cozy chair surrounded by abundant rays of sunshine.   The perfect start to a Sunday wouldn't you say?

In times past I used to make my own bread dough for the rolls, roll it out, fill with cinnamon and sugar, roll and cut the dough into individual rolls. I enjoyed it and found it somewhat relaxing. However, it took a length of time and effort so now my favorite method of baking cinnamon rolls is by using the  frozen form of cinnamon rolls which make  it much easier for me to indulge in my Sunday treat more often and with minimal effort. 
Simply by taking one of the prepared frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer on Saturday night and allowing it raise overnight, it is ready to bake when I get up on Sunday morning.  Then, I can happily enjoy my cinnamon roll with minimal effort with my gourmet coffee.  It’s as simple as that!  And even if the sun isn't shining, it feels as though it is.
Below you will find my scrumptious cinnamon roll recipes, one using the frozen roll variety and the other for  Classic Cinnamon  Rolls from scratch. Enjoy!

(1)Package frozen cinnamon rolls
Brown sugar
Walnut, Pecan, Almond or
     Peanut pieces (optional)

Butter the sides and bottom of a baking dish or iron skillet. For each roll you are placing in the dish or skillet place a teaspoon of sliced butter pieces into the bottom. Sprinkle one teaspoon brown sugar per roll over the butter. If you are a nut lover, then sprinkle either walnut, pecan, almond or peanut pieces over the brown sugar.  

Place rolls on top, flat side down.

Cover with a cloth and set in a secure draft free place for rolls to rise. I like to prepare my rolls this way the night before I want them for breakfast the next morning. Then they are all risen and ready to bake.

Preheat oven, then place the baking dish or iron skillet on the center rake of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.


If your frozen rolls included a packet of cream cheese frosting, you can spread it out on a plate or cookie sheet.

When your rolls are finished baking, immediately place your rolls onto the frosting.
Do this by turning over your baking dish or iron skillet  so that the browned side of the rolls is on top of the frosting and the caramel side is facing up. If your frozen cinnamon rolls did not include a packet of cream cheese frosting, I have included a recipe at the end of these recipes.

Now...Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, milk or juice.

1 ½ pkg. active dry yeast
1   cup lukewarm wate
3  ½  to 3 ¾  cups bread flour
3  Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼  Tablespoon salt
2  Tablespoons softened butter
Filling: 1 Tablespoon softened butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,   3/4 cup white granulated sugar, mixed together.

Topping:  1 stick (1/2 cup butter), ¾ to 1 cup brown sugar, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or peanuts.
In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add sugar, salt and butter. Mix until dissolved then add ½ of the flour. Beat with a spoon until smooth.  Using the spoon, then hands, mix in enough of the remaining flour until the dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured board or flat surface. Knead until smooth and blistered about 5-10 minutes. Place dough into a large buttered bowl, cover with towel and set in a warm draft-free place to rise. Let rise until double in size.

Punch down dough and knead again for a couple of minutes. With a floured rolling pin or a marble rolling pin, roll out dough on a floured surface forming a 12”x 12” square. Spread  1 Tablespoon softened butter over the rolled out dough.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, then spread evenly over the dough. Starting with one of side of the dough, roll it up into a tube. Seal the edges  by pinching together.  Using a serrated  knife, slice the rolled tube into 12 equal portions.

Butter the sides and bottom of a 13”x9” baking dish.  Place 1 stick of chopped butter on the bottom of the dish. Cover with the brown sugar. If you like nuts then sprinkle chopped nuts over top. Place each roll with flat side down on top of the nuts. Cover with cloth and let rise until double in size. 1-3 hrs.  Remove cloth and place on center rake of oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Immediately remove from baking dish by turning over onto a large cookie sheet that has been spread with cream cheese frosting.

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Little milk as needed to blend

In a medium size bowl beat together cream cheese, butter
and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and cream of tartar until you reach a smooth spreading consistency. Add a little milk if needed.


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