It’s a sick day in my place today. It’s been a sick-several-weeks in our place, to be honest. But today I finally gave in and took the day off. I’m coughing myself into a headache and my body is so tired it feels like I’ve run a marathon or 5 (or so I imagine this is what one’s body feels like after a marathon. I have never and WILL never run a marathon) but still, I feel guilty about taking off a day of work. I’ve been working since I graduated college (not counting that one summer I spent working the local Marietta, GA department store of Upton’s. The music rotation still runs through my head) and I still feel guilty when I take off work when I’m actually sick. What is that?! When will the guilt end!?!
I usually end up getting sick some time in between the high holidays. During my non-observant days, I used to lounge around watching TV on holidays. I’d occasionally hit up the local synagogue but those days off of work were really a day off. I rested. I relaxed. It was necessary. But my observant days have brought me mad-dashes to the supermarket, trying to find a babysitter so someone can entertain the girls while I cook and then cooking even more on those holidays because, unlike Shabbat, one can actually cook on certain high holidays. I love hosting and I love feeding friends and family on holidays but it wears me out every single year. I am highly impressed with those of you who can put out a gorgeous homemade spread by the time Yom Kippur break fast rolls around. Several years ago my husband and I decided to give ourselves a break (no pun intended) by making the only dish out there that satiates all of our tastebuds and need for carbs and salt after a long day of fasting. Of course, I’m talking about . . . the tuna noodle casserole. We class it up by adding lots of frozen organic vegetables and using whole wheat noodles, for health and stuff and sometimes I add several cheeses. It’s a real delight. It’s also an extremely low-maintenance dish and enjoyed with a Diet Coke, it’s my idea of heaven after 25 hours of not eating and drinking. It’s the break I need after the craziness of Rosh Hashanah.
This year, for Sukkot, we’ll be heading for a little cabin in Topanga Canyon for a break from the hustle and bustle of the Valley. The plan is to do nothing. There will be no mad-dashing. I plan on not overdoing anything and there will no hosting. Just the four of us in the woods. I’m extremely excited. I will also be bringing these cinnamon rolls along to enjoy the entire weekend away. That’s the good thing about cinnamon rolls — there are 12 of them and only 4 of us (3 if you don’t count the baby. This baby is not eating an entire cinnamon roll) so there’s plenty for a whole 2-day holiday.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful 5777 so far. Sending lots of love your way!
Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls with Pomegranate Icing
(Cinnamon roll dough recipe inspired by Gimme Some Oven’s AMAZING 1-hour recipe)
*Products sponsored by Seasons Kosher Markets
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 envelope instant or ‘rapid rise’ yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
- 1 egg
Chocolate Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, completely softened
- pinch of flaky sea salt
Pomegranate Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp pomegranate juice
- 1 Tbsp. milk (if needed)
TO MAKE THE DOUGH & FILLING:
Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not hot.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour (not all of the flour), sugar and salt until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add yeast and lukewarm milk mixture and stir by hand to combine. Add the flour mixture and egg, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your filling by whisking together sugars. instant espresso powder and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. (If you want all edges to be even, you can use a pizza slicer to cut the dough into a perfect rectangle.) Use a knife or pastry spatula to spread the softened 1/4 cup of butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Cutt off the two ends of the roll (an inch on each end – discard that dough) so that they are even. Then cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equal pieces.
Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes.
While the dough is rising, make the icing (instructions below).
When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with your desired icing and serve.
TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE ICING:
Either in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or a mixing bowl, whisk softened butter and cream cheese together until combined. Then whisk in powdered sugar until combined. Whisk in the pomegranate juice to the mixture, which will also thin out your icing if it’s too thick. If the icing is still too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin.