My resolution in 2015 was to eat more doughnuts. I totally followed through — even frying up an apple cider version at home — and it was a happy year.
For 2016, a year that I hope is as golden as the previous one, I intend to bake more cinnamon rolls. Perhaps intimidated by yeast, glazes and having a whole tray of sugary rolls in my house, I hadn't made them at home until I decided to play host for Christmas. My in-laws flew in from Iowa, and my parents, sisters and cousin drove up from Miami to join us for the holiday, so how could I not make them cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning?
An overnight recipe seemed like the best bet. Half the work is done the night before baking. This has the benefit of making fresh homemade rolls more manageable to pull off for guests, and this long resting time results in a better and more complex-tasting dough.
The more time I spend in our kitchen, the more I realize how many things benefit from resting: cookie dough, pie dough, popover batter, yeasted cinnamon roll dough and, of course, the cook. By morning, you'll be excited to roll out the pliant ball of dough and dust it with cinnamon sugar. This recipe adds cardamom into the mix for another boost of flavor, but you can skip it if you don't have it on hand. I can't stop sprinkling in the sultry spice anywhere cinnamon is called for in a recipe.
On the morning you want the cinnamon rolls, just keep in mind that after forming the dough into rolls, they'll need to hang out for another couple hours. They need their rest, too. In the meantime, make French press coffee, turn up your favorite playlist and make the sour cream glaze. It's super easy glaze to make, and the tangy sour cream adds depth to the sweet stuff you'll drizzle over the warm rolls.
These are so worth the effort. My little sister kept going back to the bowl of sour cream glaze and dragging her finger on the sides of the bowl for another taste. My mom said, "Who needs Knaus Berry Farm?", a shop in Homestead where people line up for hours to get their hands on cinnamon rolls. And then she took another bite. A high compliment. If that doesn't bring me good fortune in the new year, I don't know what will.
Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at [email protected]