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  1. Lemon Sticky Rolls

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    I love all things lemon. Especially lemon desserts. I love that perfect blend of sour and sweet.
    So when I found this recipe on The Kitchn, I knew I had to make it.
    They turned out delicious even though I made a mistake. I made the filling too liquid-y, so a lot of it just ended up in the bottom of the pan instead of inside the rolls. The recipe explained the addition of the lemon juice and zest in a kind of convoluted way and I kept forgetting to add it in, and it also depends on how juicy your lemons are. I added more sugar but it still didn't turn out how it was supposed to, instead I had caramelized lemon/sugar all over the bottom. So I changed the recipe to explain it a better way.

    Lemon Sticky Rolls
    recipe from here
    makes 12 large rolls

    - 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
    - 3/4 cup warm milk
    - 1/2 cup (1 stick) very soft butter, plus 3 TB for roll assembly
    - 1/4 cup white sugar
    - 2 tsp vanilla extract
    - 4 1/2 cups flour
    - 1/2 tsp salt
    - 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    - 2 large eggs
    - zest from 1 lemon

    for sticky lemon filling
    - 1 cup sugar
    - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    - 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    - zest from 1 lemon
    - lemon juice (from zested lemons)

    - 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
    - 1 cup powdered sugar
    - lemon juice (from zested lemons)
    - zest from 1 lemon (for topping the glazed rolls)

    So you're using 3 lemons total, using both the zest and juice from all three. The amount of juice may vary depending on how much juice your lemons have.

    Make the dough
    (I used my bread machine to make the dough, I just used the dough setting and it did all the work for me, but for those of you who do not have a bread machine, these are the instructions.)

    In the bowl of a stand or hand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes or until foamy. With the mixer paddle, stir the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour into this milk and yeast mixture. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and the lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.

    Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable.
    (If you do not have a stand mixer, stir together the ingredients by hand, then turn the soft dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Knead the dough by hand for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, pliable, and stretchy.)
    Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled — about one hour.
    Make the filling
    In a small bowl, mix 1 cup sugar with the nutmeg and ginger, then work in the lemon zest with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles soft sand. Slowly add the lemon juice  one tablespoon at a time, stirring. Stop when the sugar and lemon juice form a thick, clumpy mixture like wet sand. (This is where I messed up and added too much juice, so be careful not to add too much, it makes rolling the rolls much more difficult.)
    Assemble the rolls
    Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 inches.

    Spread the dough evenly with 3 tablespoons of very soft unsalted butter, then spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Stretch and pull the dough taut as you roll, to keep the lemon sugar firm inside. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll closed to help keep the lemon sugar inside, and place each one, open and cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.

    Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or a towel, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour before proceeding with baking.)

    Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.

    Make the glaze
    While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a mixer or a with sturdy whisk, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the remaining lemon juice and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more sugar if necessary.

    Finish the rolls
    When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze, and sprinkle the leftover lemon zest over the top to garnish. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, but do serve while still warm.

    These rolls will keep for awhile in the fridge and taste just as good when heated in the microwave. 
    Since our family is small we tend to have lots of leftovers, but if you have a large family or lots of people over you will have no problem finishing these off.



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