Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As family gathered at our house on Christmas morning, Sawyer took his first tentative steps, much to our delight. But wait, how can my baby be walking already? As fun as it is to watch him stumble his way toward toddlerhood, I can't help but feel a sense of disbelief and maybe even some sadness, too. How can he be growing up so fast?

This child is fearless. He is so determined. Can you see it in his face?

As you can see from this picture, if you are really good Santa puts beer in your stocking!

Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Bon Appetit

These bad boys are not your mama's cinnamon rolls. Well, at least not if your mom was anything like mine. These are the full fat, untainted by (healthy) raisins or nuts or orange glaze, melt in your mouth, give Cinnabon a run for its money type. My mom made much healthier cinnamon rolls (but these ones are better!).

Start on Christmas Eve morning. For the dough you will need:

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick spray

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave for a minute or two- until the butter melts and the milk feels warm, but does not boil. Mix the milk/butter with 1 cup of the flour and the sugar, egg, yeast, and salt on low speed for 3 minutes. Add the rest of the flour and mix slowly until absorbed. Knead (or switch to the bread hook) for 8 minutes or so, until you have a nice, smooth dough. Spray a bowl, turn the dough to coat, cover and let rise until doubled- about 2 hours.

To make the filling you will need:

3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Mix the sugar with the cinnamon. When dough has risen, punch down and roll out to a 12 by 15 inch rectangle. Spread butter over the top and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly.
Starting at a long edge, roll the rectangle into a log, pinching the dough as you go. When you finish, put the log seam side down and use a serrated knife to (gently!) cut the log into one inch slices. Spray a glass baking pan and arrange your rolls so that they barely touch. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

On Christmas morning, get up at the crack of dawn and pull the rolls out of the refrigerator to let them rise in a warm spot for an hour or so. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Flip your cinnamon rolls out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Leave them upside down for about 10 minutes and then ease them back into the pan.

For the glaze, beat together:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Top with glaze. Serve immediately.

Speaking of sweets, Jack found a chocolate Santa on his dinner plate at Grandma's house.

But wait- now you expect me to eat a real dinner?

Cousin Xavier is such a doll. He started walking on Christmas Eve, which is also his birthday. This has been quite a week.

We certainly got everything we wanted for Christmas. I hope you did, too.

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