Some women would maybe disagree, but for myself and others, I would have to say that desserts play an integral part in the journey of pregnancy. At the risk of embarrassing myself, I would be willing to say that I am occasionally up in the middle of the night, stomach growling, thinking about dessert. Going so far even, as to rank dessert into categories of top five favorites of all time, top 3 most craved in the last few months, etc. I think I have just probably officially embarrassed myself.
Recently, I had an experience with one of these top craved desserts that haunted me for several days. We were at an auction, in which one of the ways they were raising money was through a “dessert dash”. For anyone who isn’t familiar, it is where each table donates an amount, and whichever table donates the most, gets first dibs on the dessert buffet. When your table is called, you then send a “runner” to dash to the buffet, and pick the best dessert, (or what’s left!)
Needless to say, I may have been loitering around the dessert buffet, just casually drooling over everything- carefully assessing which items I would like to shove whole into my mouth. This may seem strange to some, but I had my heart set on a large tray, filled to the brim with cinnamon rolls. The dough looked soft and fluffy, and I imagined that the insides were gooey and full of cinnamon, and the icing sugary, and creamy sweet.
Towards the end of the night, the dessert dash began, and sure enough- the whole table let me, the big, drooling, pregnant lady pick the dessert. And as our runner triumphantly made his way back to us with the huge tray of cinnamon rolls, I felt elated. Obviously I was the first to help myself, and as I shoved a huge piece in my mouth, my heart sank. The rolls were cold and stale, the insides were dry, and the icing tasted of egg whites. Boooooooo. I was so disappointed, not to mention the wistful looks of the others at the table as they saw surrounding diners biting into moist tiramisu and rich chocolate torte.
Those dry, sad rolls haunted me for days, until finally I decided I had to amend what should have been. I dug out this homemade cinnamon roll recipe, and whipped it up for my family (or me) this afternoon. For all of you fellow poor souls who have a hankering for cinnamon rolls- this recipe is surprisingly easy, and gets the craving satisfied.
Cinnamon Rolls, makes 1 dozen
-1 cup whole milk
-1/2 cup unsalted butter
-1 cup water
-1 Tbs active dry yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
-1 cup white sugar
-1 tsp salt
-6 cups all-purpose flour
-2 cups brown sugar
-1 Tbs cinnamon
-8 oz cream cheese
-1 oz butter
-2 cups powdered sugar
-3 Tbs milk
1) Warm the milk in a small sauce pot, until the milk is bubbling. Turn the heat off, and whisk the butter until it is fully melted, then add the glass of water.
2) Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer, add the yeast, salt and sugar. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix these ingredients together.
3) Add the eggs, and mix well to combine. Then add 2 cups of flour, and mix well to combine. Then add the flour a little at a time (about 1/2 cup), and mix well to combine.
4) When all of the flour is mixed in, switch out the paddle attachment for a dough hook. Beat the dough on medium speed for about 8-10 minutes. The dough will be smooth and elastic.
5) Split the dough in half, and turn each half out onto a well floured surface. Roll each piece into a rectangle, about 12×9″.
6) In a bowl mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Also soften a stick of butter, (a ½ cup). Divide the butter evenly between the two rectangles, spreading the butter all over the rectangles.
7) Sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture, making sure you get it to the very edges of the rectangle. Roll up dough the long way, until it is a long roll. Cut into 12 even slices with a sharp knife. Repeat with the second rectangle.
8) I like to cram all of the rolls onto a 13×17 cookie sheet with a 1/2″ lip. But you could use 2 9×12 sheets. Cover with a dishtowel, and let rest at least an hour in a warm place, (the dough will really puff up).
9) Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for about 10 minutes, and check them, turning the pan. Then bake about another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
10) While the rolls are baking, make the frosting. Put the butter and the cream cheese in a glass bowl, and microwave to partially melt. Beat with a fork until smooth, add the vanilla, powdered sugar and milk.
11) Let cool slightly, and then spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and serve.