The mister and I celebrated our 40th month recently, and with all the hectic schedules and busy projects we somehow alternately get ourselves busy with, we thought it was pretty much overdue that we found time for ourselves. And what better way to spend quality time together than an afternoon over a picnic on the greens.
The park was filled with children running around in excitement, finding entertainment in fallen twigs, and fussing over their packed fast food lunches. Parents chased after little ones confidently steering their tricycles off the gravel track, while a lady seeking inspiration, armed with a journal and pen in hand, looks on with a faint smile. The weather was perfect for building castles with every rolling cloud.
And of course, a perfect weather warrants great food.
We had quite a spread; the mister provided hotdog rolls, chips, and drinks, while I packed fried macaroni and cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, hungry couple + huge spread + perfect weather = no photos of the food massacre.
As some of you might have already noticed, I’ve included a long overdue recipe index page for the ease of reference. I had been receiving a couple of e-mails asking for a recipe index, because as Shaheen had pointed out to me, the search engine on the site is not as sensitive. Looking through each and every single entry dating back from late 2006 results in the resurfacing of recipes I’ve long forgotten about, and those ‘keeper’ recipes which apparently were so well kept that they remained hidden within the depths of 130 entries. While I have my eyes on quite a couple of old recipes, I knew that these cinnamon rolls deserved an immediate re-visit specially for this picnic.
Worried that I might be running late the next day, I made the dough a day prior to the picnic. I halved the recipe, and baked only half of the dough (5 rolls) for the parents and myself. The other half of the proofed dough was tightly wrapped in plastic and left in the refrigerator to be rolled and filled the next day. I was not sure whether refrigerating the dough would make a difference to the texture, so after shaping the rolls the next day, I left them on the counter for a bit before they went into the oven.
I was glad that the resultant rolls were as fluffy as the first batch I made, and even though the mister wasn’t too keen on the raisins, he said that without them raisins, they tasted like soft pretzels. Coming from the one who professed that he could eat pretzels every day, I guess that meant the cinnamon rolls never lost their touch. It also helped that the first batch was wiped out by the parents within half an hour of serving.
Aside: The news had been filled with worrying reports in Asia recently; the Thailand protests and the Mumbai attacks. My heart goes out to those families affected, particularly the lives lost and injured during the terror attacks.
Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted from here)
– serves 12 –
1 packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon powder
1/3 cup butter, softened
8 tbsps butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.
- Add sugar, butter, flour and eggs. Mix well.
- Knead the dough into a large ball, and place in a bowl, covered with a damp towel, and allow to rise for about an hour.
- When doubled in size, punch the dough down. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to form a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- To make the filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, and sprinkle the filling evenly over the surface.
- Roll the dough tightly from the long edge to the bottom edge.
- Cut the dough into slices about 1 3/4 inch, and place in a lightly greased pan, slightly apart.
- Bake for about 12-15 mins.
- To make the icing, beat all the ingredients until fluffy. Spread generously over the cinnamon rolls when they are done.
Note: The above recipe is the full recipe, not the halved one I used. After some feedback, I’ve increased the baking time so that the rolls are fully cooked. If you prefer doughy chewy rolls, bake for about 10-12mins.