Sunday, December 6, 2009

Easy To Make Holiday Cinnamon Rolls

Can you believe Christmas is almost here?

Do you love attending a holiday brunch or breakfast hosted by friends this time of year. One problem. Hubby does not like anything but cereal in the morning. I love breakfast, but who said food like this has to be for breakfast? Who says you have to make special treats in your own kitchen? Why not go make them for a friend, and share some Christmas spirit along with coffee or tea?

The key for me here is how to have time to visit, have my beloved breakfast treats, and have time to visit by making them the E'Z way...

Spread some holiday cheer with someone who might be alone during this time! Give the first gift of 'You're time'. If we examine the true meaning of Christmas, and in the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'; you will see that each twelve gifts had a symbolic meaning tied to a hypothesis that it was related to Christ. More likely it was related to biblical catechism through its verses. Whether you believe this hypothesis or another reasoning- remember the idea of a 'selfless gift' I believe, IS the true meaning of this wonderful holiday.

I decided to visit a friend who had been in the hospital. This was his second time around being ill. He is a fellow poet friend of mine, Pasquale Varallo. This past year I helped him with publishing his second book and we have become close, but with this unexpected illness, he needed some cheering up!

Last year I did a search for easy cinnamon rolls, because we know I am do not have the magic baking fingers some of you out there do! I wanted something easy, fast, and yet still tasty. One recipe in particular caught my attention from last fall, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. A fellow New Jersey blog, Stephchows gets credit for her beautiful inspirational basket of yummy rolls. (This is a revised re-post recipe from my first blogging experiences)

Well, I got a call that he was home, so it was time to take a journey to Philadelphia. I called up Pisquale, and asked if he was ready for another batch of my special healing cinnamon rolls (only in medicinal spirit!). What a great way to get him on his feet with a cooking demonstration. Many seniors spend the holidays alone once they loose a spouse, and their own children are so far away. He did ask me to come back anytime and make them again after my first attempt! This is my first '12 Days of Christmas Food ~ Wine ~ Fun' post, because Christmas was meant to bring good tidings and joy to others during this time of year. A holiday meant for unselfish giving!

I gave him something to do by handing him my camera, as he watched and we chatted...

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls the E'Z Way

1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin Pie Spice, or as I might use, garam masala
Dark Brown Sugar
Powder Sugar (both of these I do not keep on hand, I use Maple Syrup usually)
Buttermilk (I am not fond of drinking this, but my friend did)
Cream Cheese

Oh, and last but not least...

Pillsbury Ready Made Pizza dough in a can (Yes I did!)

Lay down wax paper, two sheets overlapped; then open the can of dough; stretch it out just a bit bigger, and if holes start to pop up, pinch it together.

In a medium bowl mix ¼ cup pumpkin with ½ cup brown sugar, and a heaping spoonful of pumpkin spice (thank goodness he does cook on occasion); blend well and spread onto dough with large spoon or spatula. Do this as evenly as you can and leave ¼ inch on edges for rolling.

Crush 1/4 cup walnuts and sprinkle onto puree mixture.

Gently start rolling the longest end up like a jelly roll or log, and cut ½ inch size spirals.

Spread these out in a non stick baking pan (original recipe recommends spraying, I did not have too). The original said to pat them down, and that they could touch, but I found keeping them apart about ¼ inch away after patting them down that they cook and look prettier.

Bake 475 degree oven for 23-25 minutes- Gas ovens- adjust about five degrees lower,

Icing- Mix together 1 cup powder sugar, 1 tablespoon maple sugar (1/2 teaspoon maple syrup), 1 Tablespoons cream cheese, 1 tablespoon buttermilk, and mix very well. Adjust to adding more sugar if too runny.

Let the cinnamon rolls cool and drizzle the icing all over, and Bon Appetite.

See doesn't he look better already!

During the holidays this recipe is great to make with the kids, as well as making with your holiday company who might be baking challenged as I feel, and what a great treat to wake up to!

Join me in posting '12 Days of Christmas Food ~ Wine ~ Fun'- a count down to posting twelve holiday spirit favorites somewhere in your blog between now and December 24th! Just mention this title, and post a link back to one of my 12 Days of Christmas... post. Email me with the link and I will add you to my next post-

IDEA- what I did was make a list of 12 reasons why the holidays are so special. Design your post around the theme. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by bringing some good tidings and joy to those around you!

'On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...a partridge in a pear tree...'

Next- 'Winedown Wednesday', another new weekly post idea coming this week filled with the second gift idea for Christmas...