Monday, June 14, 2010

Fast & Easy Cinna-Minnys

Who doesn’t love a hot, gooey cinnamon roll?! My daughter and her BFF love them. Said BFF spends one night at our house just about every weekend and we really like having her. I know lots of moms/parents let kids fend for themselves as far as breakfast when a sleepover has occurred, but I’ve never felt comfortable with that. As a mom I feel like it’s my job to start their day off nicely with a hot breakfast. Not necessarily a nutritious breakfast, but a hot one that they’ll like ;-) While they enjoy pancakes, waffles, french toast and eggs/browns/bacon, by far they like hot cinnamon rolls the most. My daughter’s nickname is Minny, so, seeing as they’re her favorite, I named the tiny treat after her!. I’ve made real, yeast, homemade cinnamon rolls a few times and they are heaven – but that means having lots of cinnamon rolls around the house for days which is really bad for me! Then, I fell into the habit of buying the Pillsbury ones in the can – these are fine, but they’re far from great. So….a few months ago, not finding a can of the regular cinnamon rolls in the fridge, yet seeing a can of crescent rolls, I was able to make the most melt-in-your-mouth, fast & easy cinnamon rolls that have become the girl’s top choice for breakfast (and a side of bacon never hurts). So, still with a little help from Pillsbury, I present my Fast & Easy Cinna-Minnys! FYI – because I made these up on a whim, measurements are approximate. There is really no way to screw these up though, so check out how I make’m and then have faith in yourself to throw them together :-)
You’ll need 1 tube of Pillsbury Crescent rolls. The kind shown above is the new, one full sheet kind – but you can buy the regular rolls, just unroll them into one big sheet and press them together at the seams. Also gather some brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.
The rolls are pretty buttery tasting already, but begin by spreading a very thin layer of butter on the dough just to help the filling adhere a little better.
You can see the butter is very thin – I bet there’s only about a 1 ½ tablespoons total on there. Also, leave a good half inch unbuttered along one of the long sides to make sealing easier after rolling.
Next comes the filling – Yum! My filling is simply brown sugar and cinnamon. Again, I’ve never measured, but I’m gonna say I use about 1/3 cup (packed) or ½ cup un packed brown sugar and approx 1 ½ tablespoons of good cinnamon. Stir the two ingredients together well, in a bowl, then pour it down the middle of the buttered dough.

Then spread the filling mixture evenly from end to end and to the edge of one, buttered, long side leaving the other, unbuttered long edge free of filling.
Starting at the long side where the filling is right up to the edge, begin rolling the dough – taking care to keep the roll as snug as possible (as opposed to loose and floppy). Then, pinch and seal the dough along the unbuttered edge. Seal it well so the rolls don’t Unroll while baking.
Cut the into individual slices – about ¾ inch thickness. Using a good, serrated knife and a sawing motion makes this a snap.
Place each slice on a baking sheet. I use well-honed stoneware to bake my rolls – if you’re going to use a metal baking sheet, you’d do well to use parchment paper or a silpat as the sugary filling will be a nightmare for you, burning the rolls on the bottom and making cleaning impossible!
Yes these cinnamon rolls are smaller than the ones you pop out of a can, but you get way more and I guarantee, they taste WAY better! Put your filled baking sheet into a preheated 350-degree oven for 12 – 14 minutes. Again, I’ve only ever baked these on my stoneware, so if using a regular backing sheet, please keep eye on them – checking for doneness after ten minutes the first time you make these – then increase baking time by one or two minute intervals until light golden brown.
Mmmmm….baking is done….
Puffy, tender and all cinnamonny in the middle! See the filling that oozed? That’s why you’ll need a silpat or parchment on a metal sheet!
Now….what’s a cinnamon roll without cream cheese icing? It’s not complete – that’s what!
This is super simple…grab a bowl and dump in ¼ brick of cream cheese (nuked to make it soft), 2 or 3 teaspoons of butter, about 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and a tiny splash of vanilla. Stir it up good with a fork or mini-whisk…..
….until velvety smooth and use an knife or small off-set spatula to smear about a half teaspoon-worth if icing on each hot cinnamon roll.
Eat’m while there hot! Soooo good! I tried to take a picture of one of the little, delicious, cinnamon treasures – but the hot filling was burning my fingers before I could get a picture worth saving! But trust me – these are dreamy, tender & flaky and full of cinnamony-brown sugar & buttery flavor. The twang of the cream cheese icing is the perfect compliment to the deep cinnamon. The best semi-homemade cinnamon rolls :-)

Fast & Easy Cinna-Minnys

1 can/tube Pillsbury Crescent roll sheet or rolls (seams pressed to form one sheet of dough)
1 ½ tablespoons soft butter
1/3 cup (packed) or ½ cup (unpacked) light brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

¼ brick cream cheese (softened)
2 -3 teaspoons butter (softened)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Tiny splash vanilla

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Butter dough sheet leaving ½ inch of one long side of dough butter-free. Stir brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl, then pour on top of buttered dough spreading filling evenly over butter but be careful to leave unbuttered strip along that one long side filling-free. Starting at long side where filling meets the edge of the dough, roll up dough jelly-roll style, keeping roll snug and pinch & seal log along the opposite, unbuttered/unfilled long edge. Cut into ½ inch slices and place cut-side down on stoneware or silpat/parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 min or until light golden brown. Stir together all icing ingredients and smear the top of each mini-cinnamon roll with approx ½ teaspoon of cream cheese icing. Serve immediately.

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