Happy Swirls: Cinnamon Rolls
Over Christmas last year, my mom made these amazing potato cinnamon rolls. I ate something like five of them in a day. They were light, cinnamon-y, and luxurious.
I mean, cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite things – you all know how I feel about spice in baked goods; I even like those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (you know the ones that have an almost marbled-looking crust of cinnamon on top?), and walking through airports and malls where there’s a Cinnabon booth is agonizing, even knowing that the taste isn’t that great (there’s always something a little chemically tasting, even if the smell is divine). It’s not a mild flirtation that I have with cinnamon rolls.
So, when Dan and I were invited to some lovely friends’ house to have brunch on their porch and soak up some springtime sun, I was thrilled that they said, “we are decidedly not members of that class of people who self-satisfiedly declare that they simply have no appetite for sweet things in the morning.” I knew just what I was going to do.
But there was the small matter of a recipe. I couldn’t find one I liked! I finally settled on this one, but you’ll note it has VERY little cinnamon in it. What’s the point in that? So what I did was step up the cinnamon a little (a lot). I ended up with something that looked like this:
Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 c sugar
- 3/4 c hot mashed potatoes (about 2 potatoes)
- 1-1/2 c warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 t salt
- 6-1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1-1/3 c packed brown sugar
- 2 T ground cinnamon (increased from 1/2 teaspoon – bish plz)
- 4 T butter, softened
- Make mashed potatoes.
- Mix together sugar and mashed potato, then add water and yeast. Mix well. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients (except for butter) and set aside.
- After the hour is up, stir potato mixture. Beat in the butter, eggs and salt. Gradually stir in flour. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 12″ square. Spread half the softened butter (2 T) onto the surface of each dough square – don’t be afraid of using your hands! Sprinkle/spread the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture to within 1/2″ of the edge. Roll up jelly-roll style, as tightly as possible.
- Cut each roll into nine slices – I found a sharp knife and a sawing motion helped to preserve the swirl.
- Place, slice side up, in a greased 9″x13″ baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
The recipe also thought it would be cute and say that icing is optional (hah!). Here’s what I came up with:
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 2 T butter melted
- 1 1/2 T almond milk
- 1 t vanilla
- Beat together powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla.
- Add almond milk as needed to achieve desired texture for drizzling or spreading. Remember that the icing will loosen up when it hits the hot rolls.