The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Cinnamon Rolls, with a Lemon Twist
I love cinnamon rolls and it is no secret that I make mine super sweet and super rich. Because, after all, if you are going to eat a cinnamon roll, you want a real cinnamon roll, right? I love Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, however people tell me that my homemade ones are better than their famous rolls and I also love the cinnamon rolls that used to be found at “Bread Box Bakery” in Shipshewana. That bakery closed a couple of years ago and was looking for a buyer. There was a short span in my life, when I thought about buying it and running it. I mean, how fun would that be? But I never did and now I often wonder two things. What happened to the property? There is nothing listed online about a buyer or seller. And number two, what would have happened if I did move to Shipshewana and buy that business and run it, years ago? Life is funny like that. Your decisions directly impact your future. Something to think about right there.
Since I did not buy the bakery, I continued and still continue, to make cinnamon rolls on my own, just for friends and family. Not only do I make regular cinnamon rolls, but I also make cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls, blueberry cinnamon rolls, Oreo cinnamon rolls, orange cinnamon rolls, raspberry cinnamon rolls, caramel apple cinnamon rolls and even caramel frosted topped cinnamon rolls. The recipe I am sharing today may be my most controversial cinnamon roll recipe, lemonade rolls. Yes, lemon cinnamon rolls. Do not let these scare you away, they are absolutely delicious! Yes, they use a lemon cake mix and yes, they use lemonade drink mix powder but again, like I said before, do not let that detour you. Try these! Every time I make these, people simply go crazy! They are sweet, a little sour, super punchy and really soft in texture and crumb. These are the perfect summertime sweet treat. Happy Spring!
Leftovers need to be kept at room temperature and store in an air tight container.
For the rolls…
2 packages dry active yeast (each 1/4 oz)
2 1/2 cups warm water
5 cups white all-purpose flour
1 box lemon cake mix
2 teaspoons salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup lemonade drink mix powder
For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
In a medium sized bowl combine the dry active yeast and warm water. Let stand. Be sure the mixture is bubbly. If the mixture is not bubbly, throw it out and start over.
In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, lemon cake mix and salt. Whisk together.
Carefully add the yeast and water mixture. Stir together well.
Once the dough has formed, form into a ball and place a clean kitchen towel over the top.
Place in a warm spot to double in size for at least an hour.
After an hour, remove the dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the melted unsalted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the dough the lemonade drink mix powder.
Roll up the dough, starting with the corner closest to you. Cut off the ends with a sharp knife and cut the remaining dough into 10 large size pieces.
Place them cut side up into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot to double in size for at least an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Place pan into oven and bake 25 minutes.
Meanwhile make the frosting by combining the melted unsalted butter with the powdered sugar, fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Remove rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Frost the rolls while still warm.
Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.
Ask and Answer: There has been a renewed interest in my cookbooks. “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and “Blaise the Baker Celebrates” are no longer in print. However, you may still find copies of my cookbooks at your local retailers. Call or check with them for details.