Lately, when I’ve been trying to craft blog posts, and write blog posts, and post blog posts, and live through life, I’ve been a little distracted by everything going on around me. From the TV blaring in the living room to the Argumentative Essay Assignment (due in two days) being hashed out last minute by three people who should have started a bit sooner in the kitchen. There really doesn’t’ seem to be a quiet, thoughtful spot left…
Living at home as a 20somthing “adult” is a blessing and a curse; blessing being that there’s food in the fridge, no rental fee for having a dog, free wifi, and a heating bill you don’t have to pay…yet. The curse, or maybe more like a caveat, is you don’t get the alone time you might like to have. Even while “alone”, behind your bedroom door, blankets pulled over your head, chanting softly “I can be an adult……. if I have to…..I don’t want to…. but I can… really.. everything is going to be alright. I hope…”, when you’re part of a family, you are always living everyone’s life all the time. That’s just how it is, and that’s just how it will be. Lord love us all…
So, six-week-long-story short, I have to go back to school in three days, and that sinking feeling is starting to set in. You may be familiar with the feeling: the one from which you are liberated on the first day of winter break as you laugh in the face of the institution that has been leaching your soul away for five months, and declare your hard won victory! The one which you suppress on January 2nd, telling yourself “I still have two whole weeks!”. The one which kicks you mercilessly in the gut as it laughs in your face on the last weekend before you have to turn yourself in for another five months of academic incarceration. THAT feeling….. and, at this moment, it’s hittin me hard!
This is why, at long last, I had to make cinnamon rolls! When I’m feeling generally depressed and overwhelmed by the trivial matters of my not-nearly-as-difficult-as-it-could-be-life, I like to eat. Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t judge my poor stress-management technique! Hey, at least I’m drowning my sorrows in cinnamon rather than other substances (I tell my mother). And, because making things from scratch is time consuming, I don’t do it often – only when it’s really worth it.
I here present to you for your culinary pleasure, the best homemade cinnamon rolls EVER! I wish this was my recipe, but, I confess, I found it on the internet last year. They are scrumptious! I may be addicted. You can get the recipe and instructions right from the source (where I found them) but I’ve also copied them at the end of this blog post (in the tragic event that the original might one day be forever deleted from cyber space and leave the world a sorrier place…that never happens…) The icing recipe they have, in my humble and often hungry opinion, is also absolutely delicious!
Check them out, make them, and lose yourself in the cinnamony-goodness! That’s what I’m doing… ‘Cause, at the end of the break, the backpack I’m working on still isn’t done, the reading list is longer than it was before, my children’s book is yet in need of editing, and I can see my educational captors on the horizon. The last minute essay is still being crammed in the kitchen, the TV is actually turned off, but my brother tells me he wishes the cat could talk so he could engage in some witty banter… (?)
My dog is sleeping in the corner,
I’m typing this post on free wifi,
The heating bill is graciously paid,
AND I can smell the calming scent of warm cinnamon in the oven.
…People, we can do this…
Now, go make some cinnamon rolls!
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Dough
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 package yeast (1/4 ounce)
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Filling
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
Spread for Cinnamon Roll Dough
1/4 cup butter, softened
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Icing
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Recipe Instructions
“Microwave the milk for 45 to 60 seconds. Then, dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Dust your hands lightly with flour and then hand knead the cinnamon roll dough into a large ball.
Put the ball of dough into a bowl that is sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for roughly 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. We turned the oven on and then put the cinnamon roll dough on top of the stove. The heat generated caused the dough to rise.
Once your dough has risen, it’s time to move on to the next step. In a new, small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix them well. Spray a flat surface with cooking spray or sprinkled flour. Roll out your dough ball into a 16″ x 21″ rectangle roughly 1/4 inches thick then spread a 1/4 cup of softened butter on the dough. Next, sprinkle the rolled, buttered dough evenly with the sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture you prepared in your small bowl.
Roll up the dough starting with the longer side and cut into fourteen (14) cinnamon rolls (or more smaller rolls, if you prefer). Place the cinnamon rolls in a lightly greased 11″ x 15″ glass baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and let the cinnamon rolls rise until nearly doubled, which should take around 30 minutes. Note that in our Cinnabon cinnamon roll recipe, we had made two (2) of the fourteen (14) cinnamon rolls consist of the “end” pieces that weren’t as developed or good as the other twelve (12).
Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Once your cinnamon rolls have risen, bake them in the preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 18 to 20 minutes (we used a professional General Electric gas-range oven at 20 minutes exactly). The dough should still be soft, though fully cooked, especially toward the center of the rolls.
As your cinnamon rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and salt for the Cinnabon cinnamon roll icing. The icing should be spread on your cinnamon rolls when they are still warm, shortly after being taken out of the oven so that the frosting melts into the cinnamon rolls. This is reportedly part of the official Cinnabon process according to some of the employees.
When the cinnamon rolls are still warm, serve, and enjoy!”