Hennebaby watch: Day 257 (Week 36)
I haven't had too many cravings during this pregnancy, and the ones I've had have been kind of tame. At the beginning (before I got sick), I went a whole week craving coconut. Then I moved on to macaroni and cheese, green beans, iced tea and mashed potatoes with gravy from the hospital cafeteria. I thought I had a craving for Ben & Jerry's Schwety Balls ice cream, but that lasted about 5 spoonfuls before I got bored with it. The weirdest craving I've had was for bourbon - weird because I don't remember ever really liking bourbon before. That one I'm going to attribute to Uncle Kracker songs and watching too many NCIS reruns. Or maybe Hennebaby is actually a cowboy. Either way, that particular craving will have to wait until after labor.
A few days ago, I got a really strong craving for cinnamon rolls. Cinnabon-type cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls like from the bakery at home with a big ice cream scoop-sized plop of sweet icing on top. I had to have a cinnamon roll. Must have one. Immediately. Otherwise, who knows, the whole world might end.
Unfortunately it's hard to find a bakery fresh cinnamon roll on a Wednesday at 7.45 at night, especially since Cinnabon was for some crazy unknown reason left out of the floor plan of the newly redesigned Cherry Hill Mall. So I resigned myself to disappointment and went to a certain chain restaurant that professes its bakery-cafes serve fresh, just like Mom used to make baked goods. A certain chain where I generally enjoy lunch salads and sandwiches (including macaroni and cheese) but whose baked goods always seemed a little too perfect looking to really taste fresh.
Hey, I was desperate. Turns out I was also right. Compared to freshly homemade baked goods, Panera Bread is processed, frozen-and-trucked-in-then-reheated crap.
That sad excuse for a cinnamon roll didn't satisfy my craving. Instead, it made me dream of pillowy mounds of warm dough waiting to reveal their sugary cinnamon insides, cradling ice cream scoop sized plops of sweet cream cheese icing.
Sometimes, if you want something done, you've got to do it yourself.
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
(I completely made this recipe up, so the measurements are approximate. Use your best judgment and remember - when it comes to cinnamon sugar, more is better.)
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed and risen at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup butter melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Time and temperature: 375 for 25-30 minutes
Allow the dough to thaw and rise until it reaches room temperature (I thawed mine in the fridge while I was at work and made the rolls when I got home). Grease a 8" square glass baking dish. Roll it out into a rectangle approximately 12 inches by 6 inches. Pour the melted butter over the dough and spread it out with the back of a spoon (or your fingers if you don't mind). Sprinkle the brown sugar over the dough, then the cinnamon on top. Roll up short ways for fewer, thicker rolls or long ways for more, thinner rolls and press gently but firmly along the seam to seal the yumminess inside. Cut the log of dough into 1 inch pieces with a sharp, buttered knife and place each piece on its side in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight, then remove and place somewhere warm for 1 hour to facilitate the last rise. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese and butter, then slowly add the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments, more or less to reach the consistency you desire. Beat in the vanilla. Plop onto the tops of your warm, pillowy cinnamon rolls and watch as it melts into the crevices. Store the icing refrigerated. Thank your lucky stars you don't have to settle for chain-restaurant crap. :-)