an ode to hurricane sandy

by mmiyachi

Boston isn’t necessarily known for its nice weather. We have hailstorms, ice rain, snow in quantities that you didn’t even think was possible…but hurricanes – those are special. So to celebrate the coming of this particular frakenstorm (thanks, Sandy, for giving us the day off!), we decided to bake something just the opposite of the dark weather.

It’s warm and gooey and indulgent. The cinnamon roll. Let’s all let out a collective, nostalgic sigh.

I’ve already eaten three of these and looking at the pictures still makes me want more. They are really that good.

We adapted this recipe (barely) from Joy the Baker. It’s a time-consuming process to make these, but fewer things are more satisfying than watching your dough go from a big sticky mess to a nice fluffy pillow. And besides all the waiting that cinnamon rolls involve, the other ingredients play nice and preparation is relatively straightforward.

That being said, after almost 6 hours in the kitchen, it’s a challenge of willpower to not eat the entire batch in one sitting. We didn’t fare so well in this regard, but best of luck to all those stronger than us.

Expect more blog posts soon! We are trying to make this more of a regular habit.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls (serves 8) (or 2 if you are Thomas and I…)

2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3/4 cup, plus 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
3/4 cup of milk (we used low fat)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup crushed pecans
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk and let sit in a warm place (inside the stove is our go-to) for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
2. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolk, egg and whisk. Add flour and salt, mixing on medium speed with dough hook attachment until combined. Continue mixing on medium-high for about 4 minutes.
3. Add 8 tablespoons melted butter and continue mixing for about 6 minutes. The dough may be alarmingly wet. Don’t panic.
4. Add 1/3 cup flour and mix for about 2 minutes. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and place in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
5. Combine the remaining sugar, dark brown sugar, pecans, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, remaining salt, cloves, and maple syrup in mixing bowl.  Stir.
6. Add about 3 tablespoons flour to dough, just enough so that it’s no longer sticky. Let sit for 5 minutes, then roll out into a rectangle on a floured surface, until about 1/4 inch thick.
7. Spread the cream cheese on the dough. Fold the dough in half. Fold it in half again. And again. Roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
8. Brown 8 tablespoons butter and brush half over the dough. Pour spice and nut mixture evenly over dough, leaving about 1/2 inch on edges.
9. Roll her up. This doesn’t need to be perfect.
10. Cut the cylinder into 8 pieces and set these in a 8 x 13 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Cover in plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place for 2 more hours (I know, that wait killed me too).
11. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Uncover rolls and bake until golden, around 30 minutes.
12. Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and remaining milk and set aside.
12. Remove from the oven and brush remaining butter over the tops. Brush frosting on top and enjoy.