Top favorite holiday season things to do…and GO!
- Decorate the Christmas tree (in our case, it’s a small Christmas fern..)
- Watch holiday movies (bonus points if they’re on VHS or projected on a sheet/wall)
- Drink copious amounts of hot chocolate
- Tune the radio in the car to the local holiday only station and it STAYS there for the month of December
- ^sing off key to said holiday songs in the car
- Walk around downtown in the snow, enjoy Christmas lights and the holiday cheer.
- Outdoor ice skating! (mitten clad hand holding? COUNT ME IN)
- Wrapping presents (I don’t love shopping but I love to wrap!)
- Getting out for my run early enough in the morning that people’s Christmas lights are still on (the world is so quiet, still and perfect first thing in the morning)
- Gingerbread houses!
- Dashing through the snow to visit family.. (yes, I love the actual travel part of seeing family around the holidays!)
- BAKE BAKE BAKE…
- BAKE cinnamon rolls at least every weekend until the big day!
Baking anything involving yeast and a rise time is risky business in my house this time of year because I’m super cheap and keep the house chilly. I was raised in a “If you’re cold, put a sweater on” type of household and it’s stuck with me. So when baking breads, sweet rolls and other yeasty delights from October through April, I resort to turning the oven on low and placing the dough next to it to rise. I often have to extend the rise time as well. Take these cinnamon rolls for example – I stopped the first rise at 2 hours (which is a half hour longer than in the summer) but honestly they could have used another hour to rise. They would have been SO FLUFFY. But who can time on a Sunday morning for a 3 hour 1st rise??? Not this lady. I am way too impatient.
Also, a note about the size of this recipe. It makes 6-8 cinnamon rolls, which are perfect for a small crowd (or just me and Jesse…because we fatties). After writing up this recipe, I realized I don’t have the full size recipe for my favorite (non-vegan) cinnamon rolls on this blog…so I think I’ll share that verrrry soon, because around the holidays you’re more likely going to need a HUGE batch of cinnamon rolls. But until then, here is a small batch recipe for you to practice with. Happy Holidays babes!
Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls
What You’ll Need
2 1/2 cups (320g) all purpose flour
3 tablespoons (40g) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/4 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
3 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted butter
How to whip it up
Warm almond milk in a small sauce pan until warm to touch but not boiling. Remove from heat and gently stir in yeast – let proof 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Keep the mixer running on low while you add the rest of the ingredients! Once yeast has proofed, slowly pour into dry ingredients. Add melted butter and eggs. Turn mixer up to a medium-low speed and run for about 5 minutes. You want the dough to be smooth, elastic, and leave an indecent when pressed but NOT super sticky. You may need to add up to 2 tablespoons of flour to accomplish the right texture. Shape dough into a ball, place in a medium sized bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise 1 1/2 – 2 hours depending on how warm your house is.
Once dough has roughly double in size, rolled out on a flour surface into a 10×12 rectangle. Spread melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up and cut into 6-8 cinnamon rolls (I like to get 8 out of this size batch, but if you prefer larger cinnamon rolls, cut into 6). Place in a 8×8 pan, cover with plastic and let rise again ~30 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes. You may need to cover with foil for the last 10 minutes so the tops don’t brown too much.
Let cool before frosting. Enjoy!
Vegan Friendly: Cinnamon Rolls with Oat Milk and Maple Cream! I use this recipe most of the time and LOVE to top them with maple cream.
Creamy Confetti Frosting
I used a 1:1 ratio for buttercream frosting here (I know, buttercream is pretty decadent for cinnamon rolls, but if you’re doing confetti frosting, why not go ALL OUT). I used a stick of butter, so 113g of butter and 113g of powdered sugar, but with the 1:1 ratio, the recipe is flexible!
What you’ll need
1/2 cup butter (113g)
~1 cup organic powdered sugar (113g)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of confetti sprinkles
* Did you know organic powdered sugar produces a less gritty textured frosting? You can read about it in this great Serious Eats article!
How to whip it up
Let the butter come to room temperature. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together butter and sugar on low until butter is fully incorporated. Add in vanilla and salt, turn mixer up to medium and run for 4-6 minutes until frosting is super light and fluffy. Remove bowl from mixer, use a spatula to gently fold in sprinkles OR just sprinkle on top of frosting after spreading on top of cinnamon rolls.
Use immediately, do not place in refrigerator or frosting will become hard and crumbly.