Thursday, December 20, 2012

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls and May Your Days Be Merry & Bright

HOHOHO.  … Alright, that’s almost all I got!  Tis’ The Season, for hectic days…sleepless nights…and crowded shopping malls.  It happens every year lately for me… the never ending round of “Where are you Christmas” song playing in my head… the plastered on smile, and the “yes, Merry Christmas to you too!”  I guess for me, it’s just hard seeing everyone turn on their “auto pilot” and go through all the gestures of Christmas, but maybe lack in the emotional side of things.  I believe, it should be about family, friends, memories and tradition!  YUP, what girl doesn’t like sparkly things all wrapped up under a tree?! BUT there’s a time where you should stop… breath, and cherish the many things that are around you.  Speaking from experience, life is too short.  Try to enjoy what you have NOW, as it may not always be there!  The one thing I do LOVE about the season… it’s a great excuse to get into the kitchen and bake.  I confess I haven’t done much, with us travelling quite a bit this season in order to fit everyone in…  however…I did make sure to take some time and make these EGGNOG CINNAMON ROLLS.  They are ooey & gooey & melt in your mouth… the Eggnog adds just enough richness and moisture to the roll while the cinnamon and nutmeg adds just the right amount of spice to finish it off!

For the glaze/icing on top, you can do numerous things.  Just simple icing sugar/eggnog glazes works perfectly, or even a simple cream cheese icing to drizzle over?!  I’ll let you choose!  The best part of this recipe… split the dough in half… bake up one right away, the other…. Put into a foil pan and place in the freezer, its perfect to bring out and bake for when you really don’t feel like making a big breakfast.. or maybe when you just want something sweet….  Or… you get a craving… J
 mmmmmmm eggnog…. (and I am submitting to Yeastspotting, as this is worthy to share!)
Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls
·         ½ cup butter, softened
·         1 cup eggnog
·         ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
·         1 tablespoon active yeast
·         2 teaspoon salt
·         2 eggs, lightly beaten together
·         4 cups flour
·         1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
·         1 tablespoon cinnamon
·         2 teaspoon nutmeg
·         ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
*GLAZE – (optional) eggnog/icing sugar mixed until desired consistency
-Melt butter in sauce pan over medium-low heat, add eggnog  and sugar stirring constantly until just warmed and sugar is dissolved.

-Pour mixture into bowl of your stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over mixture, stir, and let rest for about 10 minutes (or until foamy)

-Using the dough hook attachment, mix in eggs and salt
- Gradually add in flour until you have a very dense, yet still slightly sticky dough

-Once dough forms a ball on your hook, remove from mixer, and place on a lightly floured surface, adding a bit more flour if required, and for 1-2 minutes until dough is smooth.
-Place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover.

-Let rise until at least double in size (2 hours approx)
- Spray a 9x9 pan and set aside
-In a small bowl, start the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nut meg with a fork.  Set aside.
-Punch dough risen dough, and place on a lightly floured surface, rolling into a ball.
*if making 2 batches, spit dough in half, work with one half at a time*
- Roll into dough into a large rectangle

- Pour melted and cooled butter over dough and spread evenly with a pastry brush (fingers work too!)
-Sprinkle the sugar filling heavily covering the entire dough surface

-Roll dough tightly length wise and if desired, cut in half length wise, so that the sugared layers are exposed

- This will be a bit messy, finger licking encouraged, cut out about 4 inch pieces of dough, and either roll, or twist into a bun, place in lightly oiled pan.
-Cover and let rise another hour
**if you had split dough in half – make the 2nd half exactly as the first round,  however this time, place in lightly oiled foil container, cover, label and freeze!**

-Preheat oven to 350F
-Place rolls into oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown
- Drizzle desired glaze over top, best served warm!!
If you are baking up the frozen rolls, remove from freezer the night before, and let defrost / rise overnight on counter.  Bake & glaze as per above!!

Whatever you get up to this Christmas Season, make sure you take a moment to enjoy and cherish those that are around you.  Get outside.  Play.  Hug your loved ones. 
Merry Christmas!!

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