Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

I made this festive version of cinnamon rolls as a breakfast treat for my daughters early this week, but they would be perfect for any holiday brunch. I knew that they would be well received in this kitchen because my girls LOVE gingerbread. We make gingerbread men, ladies, houses, barns, and even reindeer every year for Christmas. I freeze the extras and we eat the spicy cookies throughout the year. Someone recently pointed out to me that gingerbread is an acquired taste. If that's so, then my children have acquired the taste early. They'll eat gingerbread cookies by the dozen, with or without frosting! So, it's no surprise that my family gobbled up these gingerbread flavored cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

This cinnamon roll recipe starts out like many others, with yeast proofing in warm water. This is 2 packages of active dry yeast in 1/4 cup of water (around 115 degrees).

Then mix together evaporated milk, molasses, brown sugar, an egg, vegetable oil, and salt.

Add in the proofed yeast mixture and keep stirring until combined.

Stir in as much flour as you can, then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft, smooth, elastic dough (for about 5 minutes kneading time). I got a little too enthusiastic with my flour and added a smidge too much, which made for a denser, drier finished product (Shame on me!) The dough seemed so soft as I was stirring that I just dumped in the rest of the flour. The fact that I was rushing to get these mixed up contributed to my hasty flour addition; I made these after dinner and I wanted to get them rising before I put the girls to bed. Next time, I'll add the flour little by little...

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. The recipe suggests that this should take about an hour. Mine needed 2 hours until it was doubled.  I swear that I put it in a warm place....

Once doubled, punch the dough down, then cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Again, I was busy, so I failed to read the recipe and I skipped this step and went straight to the rolling. Man, I used to be so good at yeast rolls and bread!

I rolled the dough out into a rectangle. Mine was slightly bigger then the recipe recommended 12 X 8 inch rectangle.

Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and ginger for the filling.

Spread the sugar mixture evenly over the butter.

Then roll the dough up, long side to long side.

Pinch the seams to seal. As I finished this step, I marvelled at how very much the gingerbread cinnamon roll log looked like a GIANT cigar. But, unlike a cigar, when you fire these up, the house will smell absolutely wonderful!

Slice the dough into 1 to 1-1/2" thick slices.

Lookin' good....

Place the rolls onto a greased 13 X 9 inch pan, then cover and let rise for another hour, until nearly doubled. This second raising session went better for me. After an hour, they were ready to go! The recipe recommended that I bake these at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes. I baked these on the low end of the recommendation, for 22 minutes. It was too long. I bet that they would have been good to go at between 18-20 minutes.

Move the rolls to a plate or serving platter to cool while you stir the glaze together. The glaze is simply powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk. Stir the mixture until smooth and desired spreading consistency.

Spread the glaze over the slightly cooled rolls and garnish with sugared cranberries, if you like. Even if these were a tad on the dry side from my over-use of flour and over-baking, they were still really good. We ate them for breakfast two mornings in a row!

In addition to being delicious, the rolls were very photogenic, they just looked so pretty, especially with the sugared cranberries sprinkled around the plate, that I had a difficult time choosing which picture to use for this I went with two.

Here's the recipe, as seen in the December 2009 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

2 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 recipe Glaze (recipe below)
Sugared cranberries*
1. In a bowl combine yeast and 1/4 cup warm water (about 115 degrees F). Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in milk, molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, the egg, oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in as much flour as you can. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour for moderately soft, smooth, elastic dough (5 minutes). Shape in ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise until double (1 hour). Punch down. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

2. Grease a 13x9x2-inch pan. For filling, in bowl combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Roll dough to 12x8-inch rectangle. Spread butter on dough. Sprinkle filling to within 1 inch along one long side. Roll up, beginning at long side of filling. Pinch to seal. Cut 12 slices. Place in pan. Cover; let rise until nearly double (45 minutes).

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 5 minutes; invert onto platter. Drizzle with Glaze. To serve, top with sugared cranberries. Makes 12 rolls.

Glaze: Combine 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Whisk in enough milk (4 to 5 tsp.) for drizzling consistency.

*Note: For sugared cranberries, roll frozen cranberries in sugar.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12 rollsCalories332, Total Fat (g)6, Saturated Fat (g)2, Monounsaturated Fat (g)2, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1, Cholesterol (mg)26, Sodium (mg)136, Carbohydrate (g)64, Total Sugar (g)32, Fiber (g)1, Protein (g)6, Calcium (DV%)7, Iron (DV%)15, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

My Notes:
*As stated above, add that last cup of flour slowly to avoid a dry product.
*Start checking rolls after 18 minutes of baking time to make sure that they do not overbake.
*I prefer a spicier gingerbread flavor. Next time I will add in nutmeg and ground cloves to the dough.
*These could be "gooey-ier". Next time I might increase the butter/filling for the recipe to make 1-1/2 to 2 X more filling.

I love the idea of these. This recipe is an excellent starting place. I can't wait to "tweak" them to perfection when I make them again!


theUngourmet said...

I'm loving this gingerbread cinnamon roll. Can't wait to give these a whirl!

vandana rajesh said...

Absolutely delicious looking rolls...can't wait to try this one.

Have a baking event on in my blog "Baking for beginners"...would be glad to have some of your wonderful baking recipes. Pl do try to send in an entry.

teresa said...

gingerbread cinnamon rolls!? i can only imagine how good your kitchen smelled baking these up, what a lovely treat!

Kristen said...

Oh my! I am going to have to try this! What a great idea.

Holly said...

These sound awesome for a brunch or pretty much anytime!!;)

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