I hope you had an amazing, beautiful, memorable, sweet Christmas!
Are you out hitting the after-Christmas sales today? Or maybe taking it easy, lingering over a leftover piece of pie and cup of spicy tea?
I’ve been thinking about these days that fall between Christmas and New Years. They were always such fun during my growing up years (and not just because I didn’t have to go to school!).
Both of my parents came from good-sized families and we were often the house that hosted one side or the other for Christmas Day.
Often, relatives who didn’t come for that year’s Christmas dinner would trickle in over the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day, bringing fun surprises and joining in our outdoor fun of sledding or ice skating.
In particular, I remember a year when we hosted my mom’s side of the family for Christmas but all of Dad’s family came on New Year’s Day bringing a bounty of delicious treats and filling the house with laughter. My mom made a huge pot of chili and batches of gooey cinnamon rolls that were quickly devoured.
However you spend these last days of 2019, saying goodbye to the year and preparing to welcome in a new one, I hope they bring you great joy and a bounty of hope, grace, and love!
2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tbsp. salt
1 cup melted butter
¼ cup cinnamon
1 cup sugar
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
3 tbsp. melted butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Scald the milk, oil and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat (bring heat to nearly a boil, but don’t let it boil!). Set aside and cool to lukewarm (think temperature of a baby’s bottle). Sprinkle yeast on top of milk and let rest for one minute.
Add four cups of the flour and stir until just combined. It is going to be sticky. Cover with a tea towel and set in a warm place for an hour.
Remove the towel and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and final 1/2 cup of flour. Stir to combine.
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, somewhere in the proximity of 10 inches by 30 inches.
Pour melted butter over dough. Use your fingers or a knife to spread evenly. Sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar. You can also mix cinnamon and sugar into the butter before pouring over dough. Either way works fine.
Beginning at the long end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. Use both hands and work slowly, keeping the roll nice and tight. Some filling may ooze out and that is OK (and give you something to snitch later.)
When you have the roll finished, pinch the outside edge of the roll to create a seam. You should now have a long log. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices. You should get about 25 rolls.
Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray and place rolls in the pan. I like to use smaller pans and freeze them. If you want to give cinnamon rolls as a holiday gift, put them in disposable aluminum pans, then they are ready for gift giving!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the pans with a tea towel and set aside for about 20 minutes. Remove towel and bake for about 15 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Do not overcook! While the rolls are baking, whip up the icing.
Mix the powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, milk and vanilla in a bowl. Icing should be thick but pourable.
When the rolls come out of the oven, pour on the icing. Make sure you cover every last bit of roll. This step is vitally important for the overall happiness of your taste buds.
Put one on a plate, take a deep breath inhaling that decadent cinnamon aroma, and enjoy!
Today is the release day for the third book in my Gifts of Christmas series. If you’re looking for something new to read, I hope you’ll take a look at this sweet historical romance that can stand alone.
When their faith is tested
Will Christmas bring a miracle?
Handsome and engaging, Marc Rawlings could have his choice of girls, but he only has eyes for gentle Amy Madsen. Ready to begin a future with her, he instead asks her to wait for him while he heads off to war. Bound by his duty to his country, Marc leaves his heart with her, counting on the day they’ll be reunited.
Amy Madsen spends her days working in her family’s bakery and her nights gazing up at the sky, hoping her fiancé knows she’s thinking of him. When tragic news arrives, Amy refuses to believe it, clinging to her promises to Marc and her faith that he’ll return to her.
It will take a miracle and a unique gift of faith to bring a happy holiday during a wartime Christmas in 1942.
Gift of Faith is the third book in the Gifts of Christmas series, a collection of heartwarming, wholesome historical romances, featuring precious gifts given straight from the heart.