Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

I know that sounds pretty corny, but I'm actually watching It's a Wonderful Life for the first time in my life.  I can't believe I never saw this before. So complicated and compelling...I always thought it was going to be some simple sentimental movie. What a time.

The calmest night of the year turned into a task-filled evening: I was able to come home early from work but I had to pick up laundry, pack, wrap some presents, and make some things before the morning. I made pureed parsnips, batter for pizzelles, and cinnamon rolls for the morning. I didn't trust myself with the dough, so I enlisted D for some help. When the dough wouldn't rise, we turned on the oven and sat the bowl on top. The dough started to rise almost immediately.

My mother finally shared the recipe for cinnamon rolls that she's been making for the past few years on Christmas morning. I'm trying it for myself this year.


1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. salt
3 eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

1 t. light corn syrup
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 T half and half

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted, let cool until lukewarm.

In large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the sugar, 3 cups of flour, salt and eggs. stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or saran wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10x14" rectangle. Lightly brush the far edge with water. Brush the dough with melted butter. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and the brown sugar and sprinkle over the rectangle. Then sprinkle the raisins over the dough. Roll up the dough into a log and seal the seam.

Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces, place the pieces in two greased cake pans or whatever you have to hold all the pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

The next morning preheat oven to 375 degrees Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Combine corn syrup with the vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar and enough cream to make a thick glaze, set aside. When rolls are done let cool a bit then drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve warm.

You really don't have to put in the corn syrup for the glaze if you don't have it. and you can also sprinkle on chopped nuts with the raisins if you like. They freeze well. It sounds like a lot to do, but it is really easy.

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