I went through a cinnamon-roll-making phase two years ago, right after I started reading the amazing and uber-popular blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I spied this recipe and decided to make cinnamon rolls for the first time in my life. It was so easy and so fun that I made them every week for the next month. I think my husband, friends and colleagues refer to that time as The Fat and Happy Period...as in, they were fat and happy, not me....wait, as in they were fat emotionally with happiness from eating the cinnamon rolls...oh well, never mind. You get the idea.
Perhaps making cinnamon rolls so often made the process lose its charm, or more the more likely scenario was I just got distracted by a shiny, glossy photo of something else delicious-looking and moved onto making whatever that was. Fast forward two years to last week, and alas, another head-turning picture caught my attention, and once again, it was one of some mouth-wateringly gorgeous sweet rolls. This time, however, they were lemon sweet rolls, and I could not WAIT to start making them.
I changed the recipe just a bit by using a combination of white whole-wheat flour and white flour. White whole-wheat flour isn't actually stark white, but much lighter in both color and texture than regular whole wheat flour. It's really becoming a favorite to bake with since it imparts a nutty flavor that goes really well with chocolate and other sweet ingredients. I also decided to use softened butter instead of melted, and made lemon sugar by whizzing sugar and lemon zest in my food processor.
First I rolled out the dough, then spread softened butter all over the surface:
Then added a generous layer of lemon sugar:
Rolled it up nice and tight:
Cut them into rolls with a serrated knife (es muy importante to use a serrated knife so you aren't pushing down on the dough!)
Set the rolls in a pan to rest and rise for about 20 minutes before baking for 16-18 minutes:
Then pulled out the freshly baked, sweet and sticky lemon rolls from the oven:
And slathered the still-warm rolls with a simple icing made with lemon juice and powdered sugar:
I think I actually prefer these to the traditional cinnamon roll, but I do have a special love for lemons so maybe that's why. Also, the combination of lemon, butter and sugar is simply magical. I'm now thinking of other things to incorporate into sweet rolls- blueberries? Cream cheese and sugar? Maple sugar? Maybe I'll make savory ones with sauteed greens, cheese and bacon? The possibilities are endless!
Hope you get a chance to try these- they are really special! The recipe is here.