Cinnamon Snow

I’m a Texan. Believe me when I say we never have snow like this. It has snowed since this morning, non stop. So, along with making a snow angel, I made cinnamon rolls to keep warm and celebrate school being canceled for the day (even though I had to go to my morning classes).

Pretty happy with the way they turned out. I eyeballed the frosting recipe so it’s a little hit or miss but frosting is easy enough to make if you have powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and milk.

Caramel Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

heavily adapted from a vegan recipe given to me by a friend

Dough:

– 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)

-2 tsp sugar

-3 Tbsp  warm water

-1 cup skim milk

-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

-1/2 cup whole wheat flour

-2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten (not totally necessary)

-1/2 tsp salt

Caramel – Cinnamon Filling:

-1/4 cup white sugar

-1/2 cup dark brown sugar

-1 tsp nutmeg

-2 Tbsp ground cinnamon (freshly ground is best!)

-2 Tbsp melted butter

1. Mix the yeast, 2 tsp of sugar, and warm water in a small bowl. Let this stand until the yeast starts bubbling.

2. While yeast is bubbling, heat milk and 2 Tbsp of butter until warm, 30 seconds in the microwave will just about do it.

3. In a food processor (or in a bowl with a spoon) mix the flours, gluten, and salt together. Gradually add in the milk and yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Process (or stir) until the mixture forms a ball.

4. On a floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until it’s smooth and elastic. If mixing by hand, this may take about 10 minutes. With the food processor it only takes a minute at most.

5. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly-greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin forming). Let rise until it is doubled in size, anywhere from 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours.

6. Punch (don’t actually punch, gently press) down the dough and let stand for about 10 minutes.

7. Turn the dough out on the counter, no flour needed, and roll into a rectangle about 12″x16″.

8. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugars together until well-blended.

9. Lightly spread the 2 Tbsp of melted butter over the dough and then sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix evenly on the surface.

10. Tightly roll up the rectangle along the long edge so that the tube will be 12″. Make sure to pinch the dough along the way and then tightly pinch the roll shut when done. Moistening the edge with water will usually help.

11. With a sharp knife and small sawing motions, cut the roll into 1″-thick sections to make 12 rolls. Meanwhile, start preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

12. Place the sections equally apart in a lightly-greased 9″x13″ cake pan. Or 6 in 2 8″ round cake pans, if you’re like me and don’t have a cake pan. ( I know right, I’m an avid baker and don’t have a 9″x13″ cake pan!)

13. Cover and let raise until the rolls are almost touching each other (about 45 minutes). Brush the rolls lightly with more melted butter.

14. Bake the rolls until they are golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes.

15. Remove from the oven and let cool before icing, but not too much, because whats the use of fresh baked cinnamon rolls if they end up cold?

ENJOY!

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