- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2006

At our house, cinnamon is the hands-down favorite spice to add to recipes. It is not only the key ingredient in cinnamon

toast, which emits a powerful enough aroma to lure my sleeping children from their beds in the morning, it goes into oatmeal, cookies, apple pie, chutney, curry and even our favorite creamy pumpkin soup.

Years ago, I sold a house in four hours because, I am convinced, cinnamon toast lay undisturbed but aromatic in my toaster oven in the kitchen. Powerful and helpful stuff.

Here’s a dandy of a recipe for winter baking: little cinnamon rolls you make using refrigerated crescent dough. They are simple to prepare and you can bake them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just because you feel like it. For a wintertime breakfast-in-the-evening meal, serve them with scrambled eggs and bacon, fruit and something warm to drink.

Five time-shaving ways to use refrigerated crescent roll dough

• Wrap it around your favorite cheese, such as Boursin or brie, bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees until browned, then slice and serve with crackers.

• Wrap it around hot dogs or other fully cooked sausage, bake at 375 degrees until browned and dip in mustard.

• Wrap it around sauteed mushrooms, bake at 375 degrees until browned and serve as an hors d’oeuvre.

• Bake the crescent dough as directed on the package, cut in half horizontally and fill with sliced meats and a dab of chutney or sandwich spread.

• Press into your pie pan, prick with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for an easy pie crust. Fill with fruit or ice cream.

How do you spell comfort? C-i-n-n-a-m-o-n.

Little cinnamon sweet rolls

The preparation time is 15 minutes, and the baking time is 18 to 20 minutes.

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray for misting cake pans

2 8-ounce packages refrigerated crescent rolls

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Lightly mist 2 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray and set them aside.

Open the packages of crescent roll dough and divide each log of dough in half at the middle perforated seam. Unroll each of the 4 pieces of dough. Firmly press the diagonal perforations within each rectangle together to seal them.

Place butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.

With a small rubber spatula, spread this mixture evenly over the 4 rectangles of dough, dividing it evenly among them.

Starting at one of the long ends, roll up each of the rectangles like a jellyroll. Pinch the long end of each to seal it. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into 12 ½-inch slices. Arrange the sweet rolls with cut sides down in prepared pans so that they are nearly touching.

Place the pans side by side on center rack of preheated 375-degree oven.

Bake rolls until they are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove baking pans from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and stir in enough milk to make a smooth glaze. Spread or drizzle this over the baked rolls with a dinner knife or small metal spatula. Serve rolls right from the pans. Makes 4 dozen rolls.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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