The very word conjures up visions of fallen leaves in glorious color.
Cozy fires crackling in the fireplace.
Fluffy, puffy comforters.
Best-ever sleeping weather.
And … colds.
Yup, it’s official. I’m sick. And not just me, but poor Christopher too. And his mom back in Minnesota.
Now I am not sure whether I gave it to Christopher or Christopher gave it to me, one of us gave it to his mom, or if we picked it up somewhere in Seattle this past weekend. But chicken or the egg, this cold has taken me down a few.
Here’s the deal:
I take ridiculous pride in never getting sick. And in the odd, very rare occasions I do, germs even wait ’til it’s convenient for me to.
In conservatory, my bronchitis practically knitted a few scarves — through not one but two student productions and a full run of Trinity Rep‘s A Christmas Carol — before it body slammed me the second we went on winter break.
You see, I have a genius way of tricking my body and the germs into thinking that I’m feeling well. I walk around proclaiming that I’m feeling fantastic — that I am healthy and feeling awesome — all the while holding wadded-up tissue and looking like I should be quarantined.
It’s all part of the master plan. By telling myself that I’m not sick and — more importantly — that I feel great, I do.
I’ve beat colds this way for years but the problem is, I got a little too big for my britches. And we’re not talking gaining a few pounds here.
I smooched a sick ‘un.
A sick ‘un who happened to be my very wonderful and handsome husband, but a sick ‘un nonetheless.
Now, we all know that that’s never an advisable thing to do, but ordinarily that wouldn’t have been enough to do the trick.
The problem is, I did it brazenly, defiantly — arrogantly, for sure. Short of beating my chest like a gorilla and letting out a “wanna piece of me?!” I really pushed it this time, and now this girl who never gets sick, is holy-cow-I-think-I’m-gonna-die sick.
Germs 1, Christina 0
Serves me right.
So in-between bowls of soup and cups of totally deserved humble tea, I set out to make a little bit of easy comfort. And though I know I should stay away from the dairy, these cinnamon rolls I made for you are so good that I’m willing to suffer a bit.
Chewy, hearty and fall-maple-y, they are a wonderful way to snuggle in on a chilly day. Not only are they delicious but super quick to make. No proofing, no yeast, no waiting.
But you do have to eat them immediately. They don’t store well but I think you can accept the challenge.
Just be sure to invite some of your closest over for brunch and have at ’em over hot chocolate and coffee.
I’m think I’m feeling better already.
Quick Maple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted from Don’t Forget Delicious
Makes 8 rolls
For the Rolls
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Filling
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 dashes ground clove
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Glaze
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F.
Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan well with unsalted butter. Set aside.
Note: If you don’t have a spring-form pan, any deep, round baking pan about 9 inches by 2 1/2 inches deep will do.
In a food processor, pulse ricotta cheese, buttermilk, sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and with a fork, mix well.
Slowly add dry mixture into wet mixture in food processor, and pulse until barely combined — i.e. until dough just starts to come together.
Important: Do not over-process or it will result in a tough dough. Dough should still be moist and slightly crumbly.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter or surface and knead just enough ’til smooth. Using a rolling pin — rolling out from the center to the edges each time — roll dough into a 12×15-inch rectangle. If dough sticks to rolling pin, brush rolling pin lightly with a bit of flour.
In a small bowl, using a spoon, combine maple sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves until well combined. Set aside.
Note: If you can’t find maple sugar, feel free to substitute it with 1/2 cup of lightly packed, light brown sugar instead.
Mix maple syrup with melted butter and using a pastry brush, brush your rolled out dough to the edges with maple/butter mixture. Using your hands, sprinkle sugar mixture over buttered dough, pressing gently into the surface.
Beginning at the long end of dough rectangle closest to you, roll dough snuggly away from you until completely rolled up. Roll seam side to the bottom side of the roll and leave ends open.
Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the roll into equal 2-inch pieces and transfer them — sliced side up — into your prepared, greased pan, leaving a 1/2-inch space between each to allow for expansion while baking.
Note: Feel free to snug rolls up against sides of pan, especially the seam sides. This will prevent them from opening too much while baking. You’ll have one roll left over that won’t fit — you can just place it in the center of pan — no worries!
Transfer pan to middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack to cool for approximately 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully loosen rolls from pan and each another and transfer to a large serving plate.
While pan and rolls are cooling, in a small mixing bowl — using an electric mixer on slow speed — beat the softened cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and buttermilk together until smooth.
Drizzle glaze onto warm rolls with a spoon and serve immediately.
Share and enjoy!
P.S. Trader Joe’s gift card giveaway winner now posted! Check it out and see who won: Christina’s Ultimate Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans
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