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Mom Approved Cinnamon Rolls

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Imagine a house filled with smells of yeasty bread, cinnamon, and the creamy sweetness of cream cheese icing … that was my house last week and I had to restrain myself from eating all the cinnamon rolls that were made!

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When I was growing up I remember my Mom making cinnamon rolls for my sister and me. While making rolls for dinner she would make additional dough to make cinnamon rolls as a treat. What a treat it was!

We did not have much- but what we had was good enough. My Mom and Grandma are great inspirations in nurturing my love of cooking and I am very thankful for that.

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I decided to finally dig out my bread machine; that I earned through a points reward system at my job. I pretty much up gave up bread baking for the last year or two since every time I tried it ended in major mondo disaster – I am talking dough not even rising or when baked it resembled a deadly weapon. However, I was bored and thinking what I could do for my next blog entry and my unpacked bread machine was looking at me daring me- challenging me to use it. Who am I to back away from a challenge? So with that thought I checked my pantry and frig to make sure I had everything I needed to get down to baking Cinnamon Rolls!

I used a combination of recipes located on one of my favorite recipe finding websites – All Recipes!
Sweet Dinner Rolls and Clone of a Cinnabon and made it my own with a few adaptations.

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The Dough

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1/2 cup warm milk

1 egg, beatened

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste*

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups bread flour

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/4 cup butter, softened

The Cinnamon Portion

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ t nutmeg

¾ cup soaked raisins**

1/3 cup butter, softened

The Icing

6 ounces of cream cheese,softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste *

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: Using your bread machine add ingredients as instructed. Typically it is wet to dry with creating a well in the flour to add the yeast. Set the bread machine on the dough only setting.

After the dough cycle has completed empty out onto a floured surface and let rest for 10-15 minutes. While dough is resting blend together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Using a rolling pin shape into a rectangular shape. Spread dough with softened butter, add cinnamon mixture, and soaked raisins to the dough. Roll dough from either left to right or right to left; whichever makes you happy. Cut rolled dough into 12 pieces; cut dough in half; cut half dough into threes; cut threes into six and repeat. Place cut pieces of dough into a 9×13 greased pan. Cover with kitchen towel and let proof in a warm spot for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake cinnamon rolls for about 15-17 minutes. While rolls are baking make your cream cheese icing by creaming your cream cheese and butter. Add confectioners sugar slowly until mixed. Finish icing by adding vanilla bean paste, lemon juice, and salt and mixing until incorporated.

After rolls have cooled add icing and serve!

* Vanilla Bean Paste is simply my preference. Since buying some last year; I am hooked! If a recipe calls for Vanilla Extract; I use Vanilla Bean Paste.

**Soaked Raisins; I like to add plumped raisins to any recipes that call for the sun dried treat. So by adding hot water until raisins are covered in water and letting them rest for approximately 10-15 minutes; I have soaked raisins. You can also get crazy and add a touch of alcohol to the soaking process.

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The best part of this baking process is getting my Mom’s seal of approval. My Mom is gifted when it comes to cooking and yes critical (I like to think I get it naturally) so I am always trepidatious when presenting something I made to her. She bestowed to me her highest honor; “They might be better than mine” honor! Must say it made me quite happy that she enjoyed them and I hope you will enjoy them as well!

Happy Eatings!