This week I was in charge of the refreshments for our monthly (extended) Family Home Evening. We have been doing these FHEs for several years now, and they are such a fun way to stay in touch with each other as well as an opportunity to have gospel-centered discussions as a family -- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. We've had some amazing FHEs!
Since I have 5 sisters, and all but one live within a half our of my home, we divvy up all the responsibilities between each of us (including my mom). That way, it makes it really easy for everyone! So, if I'm having it at my home, I don't have to do anything else besides provide the home. The refreshments are brought by someone, the lesson is done by another, someone else conducts, and another of my sisters is in charge of music. It works out really well!
Anyway..... back to my refreshments. I decided to make cinnamon rolls and shape them into hearts. They ended up being pretty cute (lets face it... a good cinnamon roll doesn't have to be all that cute... its pretty much gets gulped down no matter what it looks like!). My mom and sisters asked if I would put my recipe and method on the blog, so here goes...
I have a couple of roll recipes that I have used for cinnamon rolls, but this is my favorite, because it is by far the quickest!
1 cup butter
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
4 T. yeast
4 t. salt
11 cups flour
10 T. butter, melted
sugar and cinnamon
Cinnamon Roll Glaze
3 T. shortening
3/4 bag of powdered sugar
canned milk (or regular milk)
1. t. vanilla
1. To make the rolls, combine butter, milk and sugar in a microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave about 4 minutes, or until butter is melted.
2. Dissolve yeast in the 1 cup of warm water. Let it get all bubbly and happy.
3. Using a mixer with a dough hook, start mixing the warm milk mixture.
4. Add eggs
5. While still mixing, add 1/2 the flour, yeast mixture and salt. Add remaining flour and continue mixing for 10 minutes. Dough should not be too sticky. Add more flour if it is. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl.
6. When finished mixing, divide the dough in half. Take one of the halves and turn it out onto a clean, floured surface. Roll into a long rectangle shape.
7. Pour half of the melted butter (5 T.) onto the rectangle-shaped rolled out dough, and brush with a pastry brush so that the entire surface is covered.
8. Add cinnamon sugar. I like to pre-mix this, and keep it on hand in a shaker. Some like more cinnamon than others, so I'll leave it up to you to decide the ratio. Heavily sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the whole surface of the buttered, rolled out dough.
9. If I was making regular cinnamon rolls, I would roll the dough into a long log. To make the heart-shaped cinnamon rolls, roll towards the center from both sides, like this:
10. Slice the roll (regular cinnamon rolls) or double roll (heart-shaped cinnamon rolls) into 1 inch slices, and place on a baking sheet.
11. For the heart-shaped rolls, pinch the bottoms to make the point of the heart.
12. Let raise for about 15 minutes, until puffy. Don't over raise -- they will raise while cooking also.
13. Bake at 375' for 10-11 minutes.
To make glaze:
Mix the shortening and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Add milk a tablespoon at a time, til you reach the desired consistency. Add vanilla and add food coloring (if making hearts).
I'm going to let you in on a strange phenomenon. It seems like I never make quite enough glaze. I always end up making another mini batch to finish off my cinnamon rolls. I start by making what seems like extra, and 95% of the time, I have to make more glaze. Bob has been a witness to this phenomenon on many occasions, and we both just scratch our heads. It may have quite a bit to do with the fact that I don't use any measurements for the glaze. I should start measuring so I know exactly how much sugar and milk to use for a batch of cinnamon rolls!
Also, some like a thicker glaze that is more like a frosting, and others like a thinner glaze. Add milk or powdered sugar to make the glaze whatever consistency you like.
For my heart-shaped cinnamon rolls, I probably should have made my glaze thinner. That way you would be able to see the cute curly-Q shape of the inside of the hearts. They all did get eaten, so I guess seeing the exact definition of the heart shape didn't much matter in the end.