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You may have noticed with the last post that there were rolls that looked suspiciously not like cinnamon rolls.  That’s because they weren’t.  You might remember that I mentioned that I made cranberry nut rolls with the other half of the dough.  Because…I had.

I had a great deal of cranberry sauce (1lb of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of water, 0.75 cup granulated sugar, boil to death) leftover from Thanksgiving.  This isn’t really a problem as I’m very fond of cranberry sauce.  In fact, I typically make too much cranberry sauce and then jar it to use as jam through the year.  But I saw someone had made cranberry sweet rolls, like cinnamon rolls but with cranberry sauce.  I decided I would have to give that a try too, especially since I was going to make cinnamon rolls already.

The first attempt yielded rolls that didn’t have enough sauce.  The recipe I originally saw suggested half a cup of cranberry sauce.  That wasn’t enough cranberry punch for me.  I was kind of ambivalent about the black pepper too.  It wasn’t bad, but it was distracting me from the cranberry.  I really like cranberries.

Also, it was really hard to roll.  Cranberry sauce is…a sauce.  There isn’t much friction to allow you to roll.  I have the feeling it wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if I used her recipe for the dough.  Hers baked up kind of like shortbread so I would guess that it would be easier to work with and roll with cranberry sauce.  I used a more traditional, softer dough that you would associate with…cinnamon rolls.  It made everything rather squishy.

Anyway, the second attempt I used a full cup of cranberry sauce and also a half cup of chopped walnuts spread over the sauce and I left out the pepper.  This made it much easier to roll, gave me a nice cranberry punch, and gave the whole thing some texture.  I think I like this version of the cranberry roll.

I actually did end up icing the cranberry nut rolls because I had leftover icing.  Meh.  I think it was better without.  I did a nicer looking job with the icing on the cranberry rolls though.

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A friend gave me a small packet of the most wonderful cinnamon ever (EVAR) a little while ago.  And since I received said packet of cinnamon, I had been thinking of what I could possibly do with the cinnamon.  It would have to be featured front and center because…it’s the most wonderful cinnamon ever (EVAR).

Cinnamon rolls.  Def.

I messed around with some recipes and came up with one that I like quite a bit.  I have the unfortunate tendency to roll my cinnamon rolls too tight, which means they don’t puff up as much as they could.  You should probably try and avoid rolling your cinnamon rolls so tight.

Ingredients:

  • 14g active dry yeast (2 envelopes if you don’t buy yeast in bulk)
  • 1.75 c warm water (approx. 105-110deg F)
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 0.5 c vegetable oil
  • 35g buttermilk powder
  • 625g AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 120g butter, melted
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon

Procedure:

  1. In a separate container, dissolve yeast, water, and granulated sugar.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. If it doesn’t foam, throw it out and buy yourself new yeast.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk powder, flour, salt, baking soda.
  3. Combine vegetable oil with yeast mixture and pour into dry ingredients.  Stir together until a dough is just forming.
  4. Knead until a soft dough forms.  About 3-5 minutes by hand or I use a KitchenAid with the dough hook.  Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir until a paste forms.
  6. On a well floured surface, turn out dough and divide in half.  Set one half aside.
  7. Roll one half out to about a 12″x14″ rectangle.
  8. Spread the cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about 1″ along one of the long edges of the rectangle.  I use my hands and pat it in.
  9. Starting with the clean edge away from you, roll the dough loosely into a log and pinch the clean edge into the roll to seal.  Tuck the ends of the rolls into the log to seal.
  10. Roll the log as necessary to achieve an even width along the length of the log.
  11. Cut into 1.5-2″ slices.
  12. Place cut side up in a lightly greased 10″x15″ baking pan.
  13. Repeat steps 7-12 for other half of dough.
  14. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  15. Take cinnamon rolls out of refrigerator at least 30 min prior to baking.
  16. Preheat oven to 350deg F.
  17. Bake uncovered for about 25-30min.
  18. Let stand 2-3 min before serving/icing.

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Notes:

  • I made cranberry nut rolls with the other half of the dough.  It’ll be in the next post because this one was too long with the cranberry recipe added in.  If you use the other half of the dough for something else, then halve the cinnamon mixture.
  • I use a LOT of cinnamon.  I really like cinnamon.  You don’t have to use as much cinnamon if you don’t want to.
  • The rolls will look kind of puny when you first cut them.
    WP_20141201_20_10_28_ProBut they will rise overnight.
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  • You can see how tightly I rolled my cinnamon rolls.  This was even after I purposely tried to not roll them so tightly.
  • I also cut 1″ slices this time and I didn’t like it.  I would really recommend 1.5″-2″ slices so you get about 9 rolls out of the log.
  • If you have liquid buttermilk on hand for some reason, you can use 1.5c of that instead of 1.5c of water and 35g of buttermilk powder.  I keep buttermilk powder around because it’s much more convenient than trying to acquire a carton of buttermilk at the last moment.  Just warm the buttermilk gently before dumping it in with the rest of the liquids.  You don’t want to curdle the buttermilk.
  • I don’t have a set recipe for the cream cheese icing.  I just dump cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk together and beat until smooth and I’ll modify the ratios to get the consistency I want.

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