I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, “My wife rocks!!!!” I woke up this morning to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking, and there is no better smell in the world! I love the fact that my wife can cook so well, which, in this day and age, is saying something. I am constantly amazed by the number of people I meet that “can’t cook.” I know I’ve said it here before, but it never ceases to amaze me. Luckily, I think we are starting to see that trend change. Just look at all the good food blogs out there today. It seems that people have finally awakened and have come to realize that cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, but something that we do out of love and passion. It is sad that so many of my generation have to learn this lesson later in life, but I am glad that they are learning it.

So this morning, my wife woke up really early and couldn’t get back to sleep so she decided to make cinnamon rolls (I’ve already established how much I think this rocks!). Being overwhelmed by my ever expanding cookbook collection she headed to the internet in search of a good recipe. Like me, she just can’t leave well enough alone. She found Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Roll, liked the dough recipe, found the icing recipe from Todd Wilbur’s “More Top Secret Recipes,” and kind of just winged it with the filling. Whatever she did, they came out great. Try them out and surprise someone you love with a little cinnamon love in the morning!!!

Cinnamon Rolls
makes 12

1/4 oz package yeast
1/2 cup water, warm
1/2 cup milk, warm
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup raisins

8 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

In a bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let sit 5 minutes to activate. Add the milk, sugar, butter, salt and egg. Mix well and add 2 cups of flour. Mix and add another 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix and add the remaining flour only if needed. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until double, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough and roll out, on a lightly floured surface, to a rectangle approximately 9″x15″. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins, mixing well. Gently spread the softened butter over the dough then sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture, using it all. Starting on the long side, roll the dough up, pinwheel style, pinching the seam together. Cut into 12 slices. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan generously with butter then add the cinnamon rolls. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until double, about 45 minutes.  Alternatively, at this point you could put them in the fridge, covered, and allow them to slowly rise overnight. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. While the rolls are baking prepare the icing by combining the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until light and fluffy. When cinnamon rolls are done, remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes then generously ice the tops. Serve warm!

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