It was the night before Christmas Eve when I heard the unexpected beep-beep of our house alarm. Danny and I were near the kitchen, home for the weekend, yay. His parents in the guest room. So who was coming through our backyard gate? That’s when a stormtrooper rushed in through the back door, running through the kitchen, halfway through the dining room—and into my arms. The stormtrooper was my little sis, Lila, wearing a mask. My other little sis, Meli, and my cousin, Miguel, had surprised us by driving up from Miami a day before they were supposed to arrive with my parents for noche buena! Hm, had I told them I planned on making overnight no-knead cinnamon rolls?
We had a super fun Christmas this year with everyone in town, and us hosting at our new house. Lots of cooking. Lots of laughing. This year’s tree was the prettiest yet—complete with a 3-foot-tall Darth Vader (a gift from my mom to Danny, last year), an Olaf piñata, and a Drake mask souvenir from a Bends party.
My mother-in-law, Kathy, helped me make the noodles for a 12-layer lasagna bolognese, which we layered up with Meli’s help. They didn’t think I could fit in all those noodles, but I did, and it was a gloriously tall lasagna. (Those KitchenAid pasta maker attachments work incredibly well.) We had caramel pork ribs, which my family has dubbed Danny’s Ribs. Piles of crumpled wrapping paper and many wine bottles made it to our recycling bin that weekend. On Saturday, Danny took the guys fishing, and I took the girls out for manis and pedis. For brunch, two punch bowl rounds of pomegranate mimosas after Meli and I Googled how to get those seeds out. I made a platter of deviled eggs with crisp shards of prosciutto, too. Oh, and I made cinnamon rolls.
These overnight no-knead cinnamon rolls are featured in my latest In Our Kitchen column for the Tampa Bay Times. I’ve included the recipe below, but head over to the their site to hear more about the cinnamon rolls I made for Christmas Day. And for New Year’s Day. Maybe this weekend, too, with toasted walnuts or chunks of chocolate studding the swirls of dough. I think 2016 is going to be my year of homemade cinnamon rolls and cappuccinos. Cheers to that.
Overnight No-Knead Challah Cinnamon Rolls
Besides being easy to make and consistently delicious, I love that these no-knead cinnamon rolls can be started overnight. By morning, half the work is done! I’ve added cardamom into the mix for another boost of flavor, but you can skip it if you don’t have it on hand. I can’t stop sprinkling in the sultry spice anywhere cinnamon is called for in a recipe.
Makes about 12 rolls.
For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
¾ cup water
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
For the filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Pinch of fine sea salt
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
Whisk together the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Mix together the eggs, water, olive oil and honey in a smaller bowl. Dump the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until a wet, sticky dough comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on your kitchen counter for 10 minutes.
Uncover the bowl and grab an edge of the dough, lift it up and fold it over itself to the center. Turn the bowl a bit and repeat around the entire ball of dough, grabbing an edge and folding it into the center. Flip the dough so that the folds and seams are on the bottom. Cover bowl again with plastic wrap; let sit for 30 minutes.
Repeat the folding and flipping of the dough four more times. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours. (If you rest the dough longer than a day, you risk overproofing it.)
In the morning, it’s time to roll out the dough and turn it into cinnamon rolls. Start by greasing a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
Stir the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt together in a small bowl. Lightly sprinkle a flat surface with flour and roll the dough into a rectangular shape about 18 inches by 12 by ½-inch thick. Brush the melted butter generously over the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Starting from the long end, tightly roll the dough into a log. Slice the log into 12 or so pieces and arrange them in the baking dish. (If you have leftover melted butter or cinnamon sugar, feel free to rub it over the top of the rolls at this point.) Cover the dish with a tea towel and let the rolls rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Bake the rolls until golden and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract and salt. It will look like too much powdered sugar at first, but keep whisking and it will begin to absorb the sour cream. It should be thick but still pourable. If the glaze is too thick, add a splash of milk. If the glaze is too thin, add a bit more sugar.
Drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy immediately.