Monday, January 5, 2015

Sweet Scents

On New Year's Eve our grandson arrived in the world. He is a healthy little bundle of joy and Mommy & baby are both doing well.  My son and daughter-in-love live about four hours away from us.  I've been blessed to be able to spend the past five days welcoming this little guy into the world and assisting his parents.  I've been cooking, baking, cleaning, helping with late nights and holding him every chance I got.  Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and I had to come back home. This morning, before leaving,  I baked banana bread cinnamon rolls.  As I was holding the baby one last time the scent of the rolls was wafting throughout the house.  Though the rolls were good, their scent couldn't compare to that of this newborn. Sweet bliss!
My son loves banana bread.  My daughter-in-love loves cinnamon rolls.  When I found this recipe I knew I had to make them because it combines both! The banana taste in these is very subtle and the rolls don't seem as sugary-sweet as a traditional cinnamon roll. When I left the house half of the rolls were already gone so I think they were a success.
Once again, I made the rolls the night before and let sit in the fridge for the evening.  I let them sit at room temperature about an hour this morning, before baking. It's such a great way to have a fresh-baked yeast treat without getting up in the wee hours of the morning.  I'm all for conserving sleep especially since I wasn't getting much with helping to care for a newborn!

Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

3 medium overripe bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (one packet)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
3 3/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Cream Cheese frosting ingredients:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons milk

Puree bananas in a food processor along with 1 teaspoon lemon juice until mixture is smooth and no chunks remain; set aside (you should have just over 1 1/3 cups pureed bananas).

Heat milk and 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted.  Remove from heat and pour mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  Whisk in vegetable oil and allow mixture to cool to 110 degrees.  Whisk in yeast, stirring until dissolved and allow mixture to rest 5 minutes.

With the paddle attachment, mix in sugar, salt, egg yolk, 2 cups bread flour and pureed bananas.  Switch mixer to a hook attachment, add 1 1/2 cups bread flour and cornstarch. Using hook attachment, knead mixture on medium-low speed until a smooth and elastic dough forms (dough will be sticky). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup bread flour and baking powder.  Return bowl with dough to electric stand mixer, pour in flour/baking powder mixture and knead dough with hook attachment until mixture is well blended and smooth. Roll dough out on a floured surface to a 16 x 20-inch rectangle.  Spread the softened butter over the dough.  Sprinkle top evenly with brown sugar mixture, coming within 1/2 inch of all edges.  Starting on the long side, roll dough tightly.

Cut rolled dough into 12 equal pieces. Arrange rolls in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish.  Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake rolls in preheated oven for 22 to 26 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool slightly then frost with cream cheese frosting.  Top with nuts, if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, whip together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in enough milk to get a smooth frosting consistency.

1 comment:

  1. Julie, Congratulations on your beautiful new grandson! I have been reading your wonderful blog for quite sometime. My husband and I have some special circumstances and we are looking for an accountant to help us. I live near San Jose and have not found any accountant that I feel comfortable with. I don't mind traveling into the Central Valley since we do quite often. Will you send me your contact info? My email addr is You, Lee