Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ode to Cinnamon & Sugar

Are you familiar with the simplest, most delectable cinnamon rolls in the world? That's my own claim, but I don't see how anyone could argue. We made these on Christmas morning and were so impressed that we did it again a couple days later. We used Rhode's sweet dough, which obviously plays a huge role in the simplicity factor. Before you go to bed the night before, set the frozen dough out in a pan covered with cling wrap, and be sure to grease the underside of the cling wrap so the dough doesn't stick to it when it rises. In the morning it'll be ready to pull apart into golf ball-size (or slightly bigger) chunks. Dip those in melted butter, then roll them in a sugar/cinnamon mix. Be generous! - the coating thins out as the rolls get bigger in the second rising. When everything's coated, cover the pan with the greased cling wrap once again and put it in front of a fire (or a sunny spot on the counter) for about 45 minutes - 1 hr, allowing the rolls to double in size. They'll be pretty cozy inside the pan, but this is just how you want them. Bake at 350F for about 12-15 minutes. The result:

When my mom and I made them today, we were positively floored by the underbelly of the rolls. I can only hope that others appreciate the beauty as much as we did:

Especially when baked in such close quarters, the rolls achieve the perfect balance: incredibly light in the middle, soft and sticky on the sides, and the most delicate crunch on the top and bottom. There is no need for icing here, lest you compromise the gorgeous simplicty of butter, cinnamon and sugar.

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