Sweet Dreams - The Cinnamon Roll

I’m a late-night baker. I often set my alarm for 11 PM and bake throughout the night. Most often, it is during these times you can find me in the kitchen with Aretha Franklin ballads playing softly, pouring my all into whatever I’m working on. This particular masterpiece was created from love. In my experience, love is so imperfect, devastating, complicated, beautiful and oh so worth it. It’s forgiveness and acceptance, peace and joy. Love stands the test of time and y’all, love is patient… so patient. I know love because God is love and I’m currently in love and believe me when I say: this recipe is love, made with love.

To be completely honest, I didn’t realize what I had done until it was over. The first night I made this I was feeling all the emotions. I cried my way through as Aretha sang through, “Never Loved a Man” & “Ain’t No Way” and by the time I took the songs off repeat, this was on my counter. Once we took our first bites, I knew this was going to be my Holy Grail recipe. They aren’t overly complicated to make, but these cinnamon rolls take time, effort and are worth everything you’ll put into them… just like relationships!

Because I’m obsessed with what I’ve affectionately named “Fairy Dust”, I threw it in for good measure. Fairy dust is a mixture of lavender and rose petals. Jerome swears lavender is for relaxation and sleep. I don’t know much about the sleep, but it actually does help you relax. I believe the combination of rose and lavender compliment each other so well that not adding it to the dough would be a unacceptable.

I seemed to find love in a hopeless place… a bag of Golden Oreos. Who would believe that these cookies could be so perfect for cinnamon rolls? Not me. I don’t know what pushed me to do it, maybe it was the hysterically crying that caused me to try it but it works! I incorporated the Oreos and lavender in the dough, filling and frosting. The rose petals are in the dough and garnish but not the filling. Oh, and my trick for the best cinnamon roll filling is super simple. I add a pinch of nutmeg and ground cloves to the brown sugar & cinnamon. It upgrades your life and is absolutely dynamic. My grandmom used to do it and she was never wrong, so that’s that on that!

I’ve made about 5 batches of these cinnamon rolls in a 3 day period because everyone that has one, wants another and I had to make sure these measurements were perfect! You can make your cinnamon rolls as big as you like or as small as you want. You don’t have to limit yourself here. I make 8-10 big cinnamon rolls because EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas. I couldn’t decide on a name so I asked Aerica and Jerome for help. Everything J came up with sounded like phrases fit for a funeral home so he’s officially not allowed to name anything else. But my girl Aerica, never lets me down. She came up with the name for these cinnamon rolls and a few more recipes that drop this week.

I really hope this becomes your new favorite, as it’s easily become mine. I hope that when you can’t sleep at night, you take a bite of this lavender and rose petal infused cinnamon roll and know that Sweet Dreams are around the corner.

With all my LOVE,

Brittney

THE RECIPE

Makes 8-12 Cinnamon Rolls

Instructions for the Dough:

  1. Get your warm water and sprinkle the yeast on it. The water should be steaming, but not so hot that it burns.

  2. Add 1 ½ teaspoon of sugar to the yeast water, stir & sit. If you use the yeast I use then it takes 3-5 minutes for it to bubble and activate. If not, you’re not using my brand or it’s old… wait another 5 minutes.

  3. Whisk the yeast mixture, milk, remaining sugar, egg, egg yolk and vanilla together. If you have a stand mixer, now is the time to use it. If not, you can do this by hand.

  4. Stand Mixer: Use the dough hook to slowly mix the flour into your wet ingredients. Add 1 cup at a time, alternating between flour, butter and fairy dust. Do this until the dough is smooth and the sides of your mixing bowl are clean. Add the oreos last and mix until they are distributed evenly throughout.

    By Hand: In a large bowl, mix the flour into your wet ingredients. Add 1 cup at a time, alternating between flour, butter and fairy dust. Add the oreos last and mix until they are distributed evenly throughout. Turn the dough on a clean, floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. This takes about 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased [use butter] bowl. Cover with plastic and sit on top of a warm oven until the dough has doubled in size. I turn my oven to 425 and wait about an hour… do that!

  6. Punch down the risen down and transfer to clean working space. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Turn your oven down to 350. This is the baking temp and it needs to be right!

Instructions for the Filling

  1. Use a bowl to mix all the ingredients together… leave the butter out the mix!

  2. Spread the butter over the dough.

  3. Sprinkle your sugar and cookie mixture on top and press gently.

  4. Starting at the side opposite of you, roll the dough into a log. Slice the log equally.

  5. Place rolls on a greased or parchment paper lined baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest on top of a warm oven for 45 minutes. They should have risen and puffed up. If not, give it a little more time.

  6. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls for 27-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Allow rolls to rest for a few minutes before you frost them.

Instructions for the Frosting

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

  2. Add salt, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and completely smooth.

  3. Spread over your cinnamon rolls.

  4. Top with Golden Oreos and Fairy Dust!

For the Dough:

  • ½ c. water, warm

  • 2½ tsp. active, dry yeast

  • ¼ c. + 1 ½ tsp. sugar

  • ½ c. whole milk, room temperature

  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

  • 6 Tbsp. butter, salted and softened

  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 c. all-purpose flour

  • ¾ c. Golden Oreos, chopped

  • ½ c. fairy dust [half lavender, half rose petals]

For the Filling:

  • ½ c. butter, salted & softened

  • ½ c. brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground

  • 1 Tbsp. nutmeg, ground

  • 1 Tbsp. lavender

  • 1 tsp. cloves, ground

  • ½ c. Golden Oreos, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 c. powdered sugar

  • ¼ c. butter, salted & softened

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • Golden Oreos + Fairy Dust, to garnish

 

Note: I use Platinum Superior Yeast by Red Star. It’s by far the BEST on the market so I’m not touching anything else. If you can’t find Platinum in your stores, grab it from Amazon. I won’t endorse any other yeast in my cinnamon rolls so use what you have available, but this is all I use!

Skillet Cornbread

Bread. The bane of my existence. Can't live with it... definitely don't wanna live without it. Even if I had NO "food" in my house, as long as I have some corn meal, eggs and milk I'd surely survive. This cornbread can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner. My friend Harrison has used this recipe several times now. He's even whipped it up on Snapchat for the world to see. He loves it. His guests love it. I love it. My family loves it. I hope you will too. My Skillet Cornbread is soft, buttery and good enough to humble you. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE

  • 2 c. White Cornmeal 
  • 2 c. Buttermilk 
  • 1/4 c. Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Unmelted
  • 6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 2 Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the dry ingredients (cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) together in one bowl. 
  3. Add the buttermilk and eggs slowly to the dry ingredients. 
  4. Whisk in the melted butter.
  5. Place a cast iron skillet on the stovetop and heat until hot.
  6. Add the unmelted butter to the skillet until melted and turn the stove off. Make sure the bottom and sides of the skillet are completely coated in butter.
  7. Pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet then place on the center rack inside the oven.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted & removed cleanly.
  9. Remove skillet from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes then serve.