An Italian American who loves to share food and travel adventures
Cinnamon Rolls To Start The New Year
December 31, 2016
In Italy, food plays an important part of observing the New Year – can I get a “duh”? The customs vary from region to region but some of the major items never change. Sweet bread or cake is served in most parts of Italy. This food item symbolizes prosperity and hope for New Year. Lentils are considered very lucky and are served with the New Year meal. So for good luck, Italians wear something red (preferably red underwear), eat sweet bread/cake, and lentil soup on New Years.
Since most people don’t start their New Year diet officially until January 2, here’s one last guilty pleasure before the New Year’s resolutions begin. It is deliciously decadent and the perfect sweet food to bid the holidays goodbye.
You don’t have to guess whether I’ll be wearing something red, having the last bite of cinnamon roll, and eating lentil soup!
Cinnamon Roll DoughAdd yeast and sugar to warm milk in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine and allow the yeast to foam to proof.
Once the yeast has proofed, stir in melted butter, salt, eggs, and flour into yeast mixture. Gently mix until well-combined.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes. (I only kneaded for about 10-12 times - not minutes).
Form the dough into a large ball and place into a large buttered glass bowl. Cover lightly with plastic or with a tea towel and place in a warm location free of any drafts. Allow to rise so that the dough is doubled in size. (About an hour)
Cinnamon Roll FillingPlace dough on a large lightly floured surface and roll to a ¼ inch thickness. Spread softened butter over the top of the dough. (I forgot to add the butter on top of the dough. They turned out great without it - but I can see where the butter would help the cinnamon sugar mixture adhere to the dough.)
Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle generously all over the buttered dough.
Tightly roll the dough, beginning at the long edge, until a log of dough has been formed.
Cut the dough into 1-inch slices and place onto a lightly buttered sheet pan.
Baking and IcingPreheat oven to 400º Fahrenheit.
Allow rolls to rise for 30 minutes on sheet pan.
Place rolls into oven and allow to cook until lightly browned and cooked through, but not overcooked, about 15-20 minutes. (Mine were done in 15 minutes.)
While cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare cream cheese frosting by creaming together butter, confectioner's sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and salt. (I forgot the salt. I was really distracted this day maybe suffering from a sugar high or too many limoncello martinis the night before.)
Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Spread frosting generously over rolls while they are warm.
Stand Mixer Instructions: Use your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook once the yeast has proofed. Stir in melted butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Gently mix until well-combined. Continue using the dough hook to knead dough in mixer for 6-8 minutes. Continue on with the recipe as instructed.