Writers, to me, are the most amusing of famous people because they build their fame upon hours of solitude, so when they finally ascend to popularity and must command a stage before an audience of 10,000 people, they behave as though they have just come through the door of a surprise party–for forty five minutes. Stuttering, foot shuffling, gasping, heck-hemming. They talk to themselves as they must at their computer. I can’t help but wonder what I would do in their place. You know how I feel about surprise parties…
One thing is certain, if I were giving a full house reading of my work, I would serve everyone who came through the door one of these:
Glazed Cinnamon Roll
1/2 cup milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup warm water, 110 degrees
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 -4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus
additional unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting work surface
8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted to remove any lumps
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons quality ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the dough
1. Heat the milk and butter in a small pan or microwave until the butter melts.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees).
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, egg,
and yolks at low speed until well mixed.
4. Add the salt, warm milk mixture, and 2 cups of the flour and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended.
Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed (adding up to 1/4 cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary), I did use the additional 1/4 cup of flour, until the dough is smooth and freely clears the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a round, place it in a very lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.Leave in a warm draft free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.of the icing ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and blend together at low speed until thoroughly combined.
Increase the speed to high and mix until the icing is smooth and free of cream cheese lumps.Transfer the icing to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
5. To roll and fill the dough After the dough has doubled, press it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
6. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle, with long side facing you.
7. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the far edge.
8. Roll the dough, beginning with the long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips as you roll. Keep it tightly rolled. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on the ends if necessary to make a uniform 16 inch cylinder.
9. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish or spray with cooking spray.
10. Cut the rolls into 12 equal pieces using plain dental floss or a sharp knife.Place the rolls cut side up, evenly in the prepared baking dish.
11. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free spot until doubled in bulk 1 1/2- 2 hours.
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Bake the rolls until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of one roll reads 185 to 188 degrees or 25- 30 minutes.
13. Invert rolls onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the rolls upright on a large serving plate and use a rubber spatula to spread the icing on them.
Last time I made cinnamon rolls, I also encountered unexpected difficulty. Rolling and cutting the cinnamon rolls was a process I believe I likened to swaddling sand into a wet toilet paper burrito. Holes tore through, the innards spilled. It was gruesome. But Lorelei, sprite from my running Team Red, told me how to use a piece of string to cut cinnamon rolls with clean edges. Miraculous! And Gram Gigi, these are far superior to the Quick Cinnamon Rolls I previously tested.