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VOL. 36 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 13, 2012

Hot cinnamon rolls: Those were the days

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Well, the holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean the good treats and sweets have to stop! Not in my house, anyway.

This week I have a delicious recipe for some yummy, homemade cinnamon rolls – great for a Saturday morning when it is cold outside. Add some hot chocolate, and you can close your eyes and dream you are in some ski lodge somewhere!

I remember visiting Monarch Mountain Ski Lodge in Colorado one year during the ski season. The lodge had huge, fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and big cups of hot chocolate. These rolls would melt in your mouth! I have a fond memory connected to that event, so there are no cinnamon rolls that will ever be the same! But these are good, so give them a try.

I received a cookbook for Christmas from a family member. She knows I like to cook and is always getting everyone in the family something that is appropriate to their tastes, hence my cookbook. But this is no ordinary cookbook. You have to go back into the 70s and 80s to enjoy this cookbook. It is Edith Bunker’s All In The Family Cookbook.

Those of you around my age can appreciate this book, while the younger generation might not know exactly who Edith Bunker was. My Mom and Dad would! When I was young, we never missed an episode of All In The Family with Jean Stapleton playing Edith Bunker, the long-suffering, devoted wife of Archie Bunker. Carroll O’Conner played Archie Bunker, a chauvinistic, loveable yet controversial bigot.

This cookbook is a hoot. It has a short story before each recipe written by Edith, who caters to Archie’s likes and dislikes. Below I printed one of the stories to share what I have been enjoying the last few days. Remember to imagine Edith’s sweet, drawn-out voice that she mastered beautifully, and the patronizing and sarcastic voice that made Archie Bunker – Archie Bunker.

“Oh-oh, S.O.S. time,” Archie always used to say when I served him creamed chipped beef on toast. “Why, no, Archie,” I’d say. “S.O.S. means some disaster is happenin’, don’t it? You can’t call this dish a disaster.” “That ain’t what I had in mind, Edith. In my dictionary S.O.S. stands for something quite different.” When Michael moved in, he told me Archie picked up S.O.S. in the Army. It seems that’s what all the soldiers called Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast. Michael says it stands for ‘something-on-a-shingle’. But that don’t seem as funny as Archie thinks it is!

Hopefully, with this, I leave you laughing. Have a great week!

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Rapid Rolls:

3 (.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups warm water

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for brushing

2 teaspoons salt

2 large eggs, beaten

4 to 6 cups flour, plus more if needed

Filling:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup chopped pecans

6 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:

1 cup powdered confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons milk

Melted butter, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 400° F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Let it activate for 5 minutes until bubbly, then stir in the honey.

On low speed, add 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and eggs. Slowly add the flour cup-by-cup until fully combined and the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add more flour if it is too sticky. After the dough comes together, on a well-floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 15 by 11-inch rectangle.

Spread the filling ingredients on the dough starting with the softened unsalted butter leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough tightly ending with the seam-side down. Cut into slices about 1/2-inch thick.

Place in 2 (9x13-inch) greased baking dishes and cover with kitchen towels. Allow the rolls to rise in a warm environment for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with melted butter before baking.

Bake at 400° F until the tops are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush tops with melted butter and cool on cooling rack. Drizzle with prepared cream cheese glaze.

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