Saturday, February 11, 2012

Williams-Sonoma Cinnamon Bun Mix

I am not a baker.

About a month ago, I set out to make some cinnamon buns from the Williams-Sonoma mix that my friend Richelle got me for my birthday.

Here's what's inside:
Dry mix
Frosting mix

You'll also need 10 Tbs. unsalted butter and 3 oz. cream cheese.

Richelle suggested I read all the directions before I got started so I did. Afterwards, I felt confident I was ready to proceed with this mission. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make these delicious cinnamon buns.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat together the dry mix and warm water on low speed for 1 minute. For the warm water, I just microwaved some water for about 30-45 seconds and poured it in the mixing bowl.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is elastic and slightly sticky, 14 to 15 minutes. 

15 minutes?! I thought that was such a long time to keep my mixer running. I felt bad for my husband because he was still asleep at this time and the mixer was so loud!

After about 5 minutes.

After about 10 minutes. I don't know why, but I love this picture.

After 15 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 25 to 30 minutes.

25 to 30 minutes later, here's what it looked like. Nothing changed!

This resulted in a frantic text message to Richelle on how to make dough rise. I looked up suggestions online. Pretty much every site I looked at stated that the top of the refrigerator is the warmest place in the house. Well, that's where I had it the whole time and nothing! Other sites even suggested leaving it in a car parked in the sun. No, I was not going to do that. Some other sites suggested turning the oven on to warm for a few minutes, then turning it off and placing the bowl inside. But I read that if it's too warm, then it might kill the yeast. John just happened to be cooking an omelet that morning, so when he was done, I place the bowl near the stove hoping that the heat would help the dough rise. Success!

After 2 freakin' hours(!) here's what the dough looked like. Still not quite "doubled in size" but at that point, it was close enough for me. I proceeded to the next step.

Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 13-by-17 inch rectangle. I didn't know how to roll it into a rectangle, so I went for a more oblong shape.

Brush the top of the dough with 4 Tbs. of melted butter.

Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar.

With the long side facing you, carefully roll the top of the dough downward into a tight roll.

Cut the dough crosswise into 9 rounds.

Place the rolls, cut side up, in a greased pan, spacing them equally apart.

Lightly brush the tops with the remaining 2 Tbs. melted butter. Set the pan in a warm place and let the rolls rise until they are about 1 inch apart, 20 to 25 minutes (here we go again.)

Meanwhile, I started on the cream cheese frosting.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low, add the frosting mix and beat until combined.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Increase the speed to medium and beat until creamy and dense, 1 to 2 minutes (mmm, frosting).

Now back to the cinnamon rolls!

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

Frost the tops of the rolls with cream cheese frosting and voila! Fresh cinnamon rolls. Yum!

What started out as a simple one hour recipe turned into a 2 1/2 hour ordeal, what with all the rising and picture-taking. My parents came over that morning and we all had a nice breakfast of cinnamon rolls. My parents and John loved them. They were absolutely delicious and I would totally make them again now that I know what I'm doing! BUT at the same time, our local Cinnabon sounds so appealing now! It's fun to bake though, and this way you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, as my Mom always says.

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