Maple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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For a few weeks leading up to Christmas, I had this plan to make some homemade Cinnamon Rolls for our Christmas morning. However, in all the preparations for entertaining on Christmas Eve, I ran out of time. The idea was still stuck in my head though, so I just bumped it back a few days and made a big batch last night that we enjoyed this morning.

I’ve had a tried and true cinnamon roll recipe that I’ve relied on for about 5 or 6 years. I haven’t made them very much lately though because they just stopped turning out nice and fluffy for me for some reason. They became just food instead of a breakfast event. For two days after Christmas, I definitely wanted an event!

So I turned to my friend Amy’s recipe for Big Batch Cinnamon Rolls. I’ve heard a lot about these and drooled over pictures of them for awhile now, so I decided they were the way to go. However, since her recipe truly does make a Big Batch, I decided to halve the recipe. Since the original recipe calls for 3 eggs, I decided to opt for something with a nice binding texture to take the place of that 1/2 an egg. Maple syrup seemed like the perfect option.

I liked that idea immediately and decided to carry it throughout the rolls and frosting even more. They turned out SO good. And I definitely got that “special event” feeling I was craving.

Maple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

For cinnamon rolls:

  • 1 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1 T. + 2 t. yeast
  • 2/3 c. sugar, divided
  • 4 – 5 c. flour, divided
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup, divided
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 – 2 T. cinnamon

For Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. milk

+ 1 hour rising time Pour hot water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/3 c. sugar into the water. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 3 minutes. Mix in 1 cup flour until incorporated. Add the oil, salt, egg and 2 T. maple syrup. Add remaining flour using just enough until dough is no longer sticky. Mix with a dough hook or knead for 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for one hour.

+ 30 minutes rising time Punch down dough and roll out into a rectangle on a well-floured surface. Spread on the softened butter then sprinkle with brown sugar, remaining sugar and cinnamon, using 1 – 2 tablespoons, depending on your tastes. Drizzle on remaining maple syrup. Roll up from a long end jelly-roll style. Tuck in the ends. Cut into 12 evenly sized slices. Place in a 13×9 casserole dish. Cover and let rise an additional 30 minutes.

+ 20 – 25 minutes baking time Place the cinnamon rolls in a 350 degree oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese and softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat for 2 – 3 minutes, until incorporated. Pour in the maple syrup and milk and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Cool the cinnamon rolls for a few minutes and then generously spread on the frosting. Refrigerate if not using right away and warm rolls for about 30 seconds each in the microwave.

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Ask The Readers: Cooking Dried Beans

Erin left a question in the comment section of the Spicy Tuna Skillet post last week that I felt deserved its own post. I have the exact same problem she does so I’m not much help in answering her. But I thought maybe you’d all have some insight to share, so please…share away!

One of my more recent favorite inexpensive proteins is black beans. Unfortunately, I really prefer the silky texture of canned rather than dried. Dried always come out a bit, well, dry! In most foods, it’s not a big deal, but in black bean burritos, where half the beans are pureed, the smooth texture of canned is so much better. Likewise with dishes like taco salad. If the meal requires long cooking, dried beans work just fine. If anyone has any tips on cooking dried beans so that they approach the texture of canned (maybe using a pressure cooker?), I’d love to hear them!

Dried black beans and garbanzo beans seem to be the two I most struggle with getting the same texture as canned. Like Erin said, when the dish can simmer for a long time it’s not as much of a problem as other times. Please share your tips for cooking dried beans!

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Rosemary Tangerine Chicken

I don’t know about you, but I am personally ready for a few easy days in the kitchen. After cooking and baking for over a week straight, nothing sounds as appealing to me as a few 10 minute meals. And after gorging ourselves on appetizers, ham and cookies, my family and I could definitely benefit from a few lighter meals as well.

This Rosemary Tangerine Chicken definitely meets both criteria – it’s quick and light. But don’t let that fool you because it is also full of flavor. The chicken bakes up moist and tender and each bite is infused the flavors of the rosemary and tangerine. Delicious!

Marinating is an absolutely perfect way to take advantage of stolen moments, especially on those days when you know there won’t be very many of those available! Just throw the marinade together whenever you have a few minutes, combine with the meat and refrigerate until dinner time. Add in a few sides that can easily be prepared during a few other stolen moments or just before dinner and dinner is done!

Rosemary Tangerine Chicken

  • 2 tangerines
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary (or 1 1/2 t. dried rosemary)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

Juice the tangerines into a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in a large plastic zippered bag. Pour the tangerine marinade on top and refrigerate until baking but at least 1 hour.

+ 25-30 minutes bake time Pour the chicken and marinade into a baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, until fully cooked.

You might want to make some extra chicken with this marinade because the leftovers make an amazing tasting chicken salad!

(Sorry for the poor picture quality – I had to snap a quick picture with my phone before the chicken was devoured!)

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