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A Time for Reflection

>> January 1, 2014

  • New Year’s is always a time a reflection for everyone. As we bring the end of the year to a close and welcome the start of a new one, it’s no wonder that we take the time to reflect on the past year and dream of things to come in the new year.

    As usual, I start to think about what my resolution for the year is going to be and unlike years past it’s not “lose weight”, “blog more” (lol), “be healthier”, etc. This year, I’m craving simplicity in my all areas of my life. Which is somewhat comical considering in less than two full months we’ll be welcoming our first baby into the world. But still...I’m looking for less clutter and more clarity in 2014. I plan on accomplishing this several different ways, most notably by taking more deep breaths and letting things roll off my back. I’m prone to focus and stress on things that are out of my control (just ask my husband), and I’m heading into this year with the intention to let things “be what they be”.

    In the spirit of letting things be...we kicked off 2014 with copious amounts of butter, cinnamon, and sugar wrapped in warm dough-y goodness. How’s that for simplicity!

    Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
    Adapted from Bon Appetit:

    BA says that this serves 18, and I beg to differ. I don’t know how your family feels about cinnamon rolls, but I’d be hard pressed to feed anymore than 6 without doubling this recipe. I also made this over the course of two days to avoid waking up at 5am on New Year’s day, because really...who wants to do that?

    1 Cup Whole Milk
    3 Tbs Unsalted Butter
    3 ½ Cups AP Flour (plus more for rolling)
    ½ Cup Sugar
    1 Large Egg
    2 Envelopes Rapid Rise Yeast (or 2 ¼ tsp)
    1 tsp Salt
    Nonstick Spray

    Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup and microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed (about 30 to 45 seconds). Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add the additional 2 1/2 cups flour and beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is too sticky, add more flour one tablespoon at a time until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 5-8 minutes. Form into a ball. Lightly spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in *warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

    After two hours, punch down the dough, recover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure the plastic wrap is adhered well to the bowl, you don’t want the dough to dry out.

    ½ Cup Brown Sugar
    2 Tbs Ground Cinnamon
    ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

    Pull the dough out of the refrigerator, and allow to return to room temperature. You can speed this up by placing it in a warm (not hot) oven for about 15 min.

    While the dough is warming, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

    Punch the dough back down once more, and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 15x11 inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough leaving a ½ inch border, and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the butter. Starting on one of the long sides, roll the dough into a log being careful not to lose too much filling as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into ½ inch slices.

    Spray two 9x9 inch glass baking dishes with non-stick spray, and place each roll (cut side up) leaving very little to no space between each roll. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm draft free area for 45 min or until dough has doubled.

    Bake the rolls at 375 for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow the rolls to cool slightly.

    4 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
    1 Cup Powdered Sugar
    ½ Stick of Butter, room temperature
    ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

    Combine all ingredients and whip until smooth and creamy. Spread the glaze over the warm rolls and try your best not to eat 10 of them before you serve them to your guests :)


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