Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sticky Lemon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

One of the things I love most in this world is breakfast. Because I live in Portland, that means I join the throngs of people in love with brunch and, inevitably, waiting in line for brunch (seriously though, Screen Door is that good). Now that I've got a little man with an interesting sleep schedule (read: baby time is weird), I'm not doing so much standing in line. Though these tasty twists on a sticky roll are a bit time consuming, I think the steps would fit well into random baby sleep schedules. My glaze came out much thinner than is featured in the original, but was still very delicious. The bright flavor is perfect for winter mornings.

Sticky Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze via The Kitchn:

Makes 12 large breakfast rolls

3 large lemons, at room temperature

For the dough-
1 envelope (0.25 ounces, or 2½ tsp.) active yeast

¾ c. milk, warmed to about 100°F (warm but not hot on your wrist)
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft, plus 3 Tb. more for roll assembly
¼ c. white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4½ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
2 large eggs

For the sticky lemon filling-
1 c. sugar
¼ tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg
½ tsp. powdered ginger

For the lemon cream cheese glaze -
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
Zest and juice the lemons. Divide the zest into three equal parts. One part will be used in the dough, a second part in the filling, and the final part will be sprinkled on top of the baked rolls for appearance and flavor.
Divide the juice into two equal parts, and set aside. Half of the lemon juice will be used in the lemon-sugar filling for the rolls. The other half will be used in the glaze.

To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes or until foamy. With the mixer paddle, stir the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour into this milk and yeast mixture. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and one part (1/3) of the lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.

Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable.

Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled — about one hour.
In a small bowl, mix 1 cup sugar with the nutmeg and ginger, then work in the second part of the lemon zest (1/3) with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles soft sand. Slowly pour in one part (1/2) of the lemon juice, stirring. Stop when the sugar and lemon juice form a thick, clumpy mixture like wet sand. (You may use all of the reserved half of the lemon juice; you may stop before completely adding that half of the lemon juice, depending on how much juice you got from your lemons.)
To assemble the rolls, lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 inches. Spread the dough evenly with 3 tablespoons of very soft unsalted butter, then spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Stretch and pull the dough taut as you roll, to keep the lemon sugar firm inside. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll closed to help keep the lemon sugar inside, and place each one, open and cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.
Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or a towel, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour before proceeding with baking.)

Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into a center roll reads 190°F.

While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk), whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the remaining part lemon juice and blend until well combined. This is where mine got thin. I had a lot of lemon juice. The easy correction would be to add in even more powdered sugar, but I think it works out well either way. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.
When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze, and sprinkle the final part (1/3) of the lemon zest over top to garnish. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, but do serve while still warm.

These were a big hit and a fun, new way to have citrus for breakfast - maybe not in the healthy January way, but in the lazy Sunday way. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

So what's up?

You might be asking me that what with the radio silence and all. I haven't been ignoring you (on purpose), I've just been really super busy. I know you've heard that before, but listen, this is new. 10 weeks ago a new man entered my life and he demands all of my time. He's the center of my world. He's also really, really cute even though he spits up a lot and keeps my up nights.

10 weeks ago Aaron and I welcomed little Harrison Paul into our family. He is such a joy even if he is also a ton of work. So cooking, blogging, leaving the house, all of those things have kind of moved to the back burner. But! There is life after childbirth! My life is starting to stabilize a bit and I've got a small backlog of stuff to post AND I still really like cooking. So hooray! Blog is going to be updated again, even if it becomes even more sporadic than it was before.

The tag does say excuses. But now it's really cute excuses. (My MLS is pretty cute too.)
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