Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dine With Our Detectives -- Mid-Morning Snack

For the 2nd day of Dining with our Detectives Week, I thought I'd include the very first recipe in the Kelly Flynn series from book #1, KNIT ONE, KILL TWO. Kelly is having coffee and a cinnamon roll while chatting with the owner of the knit shop. I had chosen to add the roll because huge cinnamon rolls were common here in Colorado. Imagine my surprise when my editor asked me to include the recipe when I submitted the revisions. Wanting to be authentic to Colorado, I asked several local cafes for their recipes. They refused. So----I had to create my own recipe, which I have to admit is even richer and deadlier than the cafe version. Enjoy!


3 ½ to 4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Optional: 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, or raisins

Stir together the yeast and 1-1/2 cups of flour in large mixing bowl and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine milk, butter, and sugar. Add salt and heat till warm and butter melted. Slowly add to flour mixture with beaten egg, stirring until well-blended. Beat with electric mixer 3 minutes, stirring in as much remaining flour as possible. Place dough on lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly-greased bowl, turning once. Then cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1-1/2 hours).

Make frosting. Combine softened cream cheese and butter. Stir until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice. Beat in confectioner’s sugar gradually until well-blended and smooth. If needed, add Half and Half until desired consistency. Set aside.

Punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly-floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Grease a cookie sheet or large baking pan(s) and set aside. Roll dough into 10x18 inch rectangle. Spread with melted butter. Stir together dark brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over dough. Add nuts or raisins if desired. Tightly roll up dough from the long side. Pinch and seal ends. Cut dough into one-inch sections and place on prepared baking sheet or pan. Cover and let rise until double (40-60 minutes). Brush rolls with melted butter. Bake in 350 ◦ oven for 25 to 30 minutes ** until golden brown. Remove rolls to wire rack and frost while still warm. Makes approximately 12 rolls.

** Warning: This yeast sweet dough recipe is very sensitive to heat. Try a lower oven temperature for first time. Since I live in Colorado at a higher altitude, I set my oven for 325 degrees and bake the rolls for 23 minutes. For best results, please adjust baking time and temperature accordingly.