Cinnamon the Cat's Cinnamon Rolls 1.05 Cinnamon's Wake
“Cinnamon's not walking good these days but she still likes her passeggiatas. That's Italian for 'a nice walk.'”
Cinnamon the Cat's Cinnamon Rolls
For the rolls
⅓ cup butter, softened
For the filling
1 cup brown sugar
2 ½ tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
⅓ cup butter, softened
¼ cup finely chopped pecans
For the icing
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
Dash of salt
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm milk and set aside.
In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar, then add in the eggs one at a time, and then the salt.
Mix in the flour one cup at a time then carefully pour in the yeast milk. If you have a dough hook for your standing mixer, you’ll want to use that. Standard beaters will work (that’s all I have), but they will only get you so far. This is a sticky dough, so it’ll be easier to fully incorporate the dough with your hands at some point if you don’t have a dough hook. When your dough is smooth, it’s ready to rise, just be careful not to overwork the dough.
Lightly coat the surface of a large bowl with oil to prevent sticking and place your dough inside. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and store in a warm, dry place for about an hour to allow the dough to rise and double in size.
While the dough is rising, make the filling mixture. Mix all the filling ingredients except for the pecans into a small bowl until the consistency is like a paste.
When the dough is done rising, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about ¼-½ inches thick and about 16x12 inches in size.
Spread the filling mixture across the entire surface of the roll, making sure to reach the edges. Sprinkle the chopped pecans across the mixture.
Begin to roll the dough along the long edge with your hands to create a tight roll, being careful of rolling the dough evenly. You should end up with a log that’s about 16 inches long.
Cut your log into 12 even slices. You can use a sharp knife, but I find the dental floss technique keeps the shape of the roll better. Simply cut a long piece of unscented dental floss and slice through the dough log to create your individual pieces (it’s really quite satisfying).
The individual slices should be about 1-1 ½ inches thick. Place the 12 slices into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Cover with the damp cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes to double in size again. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the rolls are done rising, place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing by combining all the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
Once baked, allow the rolls to cool slightly before spreading the icing across them. If you like a thinner icing, spread when the rolls are still pretty hot. If you prefer a thicker icing, wait until the rolls have cooled down more before spreading the icing so that the rolls don’t melt it.
Prep Time: 2 hours I Cooking Time: 25 minutes I Makes: 12 servings
For this episode, we’re not actually making anything that’s directly mentioned in the episode. I don’t plan to do this often, but I wasn’t inspired by the few dishes that were mentioned. I could have made clams, but there’s something about knowing they made Morey sick and Cinnamon feel worse in her final hours just didn’t sit right with me. I could have made Luke’s meatloaf that he makes for the wake, but I’ve never liked meatloaf. Just the word itself is unappetizing to me. There was also the Chilton Bake Sale, but Sookie never exactly says what she makes, just “your French Fantasies, American treats, and our Italian Taste Sensations,” and I was not about to attempt to make that epic swan-shaped masterpiece. I thought we could honor the late Cinnamon with some warm, gooey cinnamon rolls. Besides, what’s not to say Sookie didn’t make these for her ‘American treats’?
I’m not going to lie, I definitely saved these to freeze for later because I’m still stuffed from Thanksgiving (more on what I cooked later on). And to be honest, the Gilmores don’t eat very healthily (as we all know) and if I’m going to make it through every episode, I’m not going to be able to eat these entire batches, even if I split them with my sister. Besides, knowing I have cinnamon rolls waiting for me in the freezer for Christmas morning or after a stressful day of work excites me. These days, we really have to rely on the little things to bring us moments of joy.
What takes these cinnamon rolls to the next level is the filling. Most people make a simple cinnamon mixture to spread over the dough before rolling it up (and while that is perfectly okay, I wanted to make these a little more special). I love a soft cinnamon roll, but the texture of the pecans makes for a more dynamic bite. There is also the nostalgic factor of being reminded of those Little Debbie pecan pinwheels. Be sure to chop the pecans up as finely as you can so that your cinnamon rolls don’t end up crunchy. I also added a few more spices that amp up the cinnamon flavor while still maintaining the integrity of a classic cinnamon roll. Lastly, a squirt of lemon juice in the icing adds some acidity and cuts the sweetness, so that it’s not as overpowering. Unless you have the sweet tooth of a Gilmore Girl, and then you can leave the lemon out of the icing, but these are very sweet regardless.
This episode is so delightfully Gilmore, and I think it’s one where I started loving this show not only for Lorelai, Rory, Sookie, Emily, and Richard, but for the townies as well. This is Babette and Morey’s first major plotline, and how can you not want to hug them both so tightly at their cat’s wake? How the entire town comes together to support these two after such a painful loss shows us just how special Stars Hollow is. And honestly, THE best couple on this show is Babette and Morey, you can try to change my mind, but I don’t think you will.
We also get more Max and Lorelai plot in this episode. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the character of Max in the earlier episodes, and I do think he makes for a good love interest for Lorelai. However, it’s so uncomfy that Lorelai doesn’t tell Rory they’re going on a date, and Rory finds out by seeing her English teacher standing on their front porch. I mean, can you even imagine? For as close as the mother and daughter pair are, most of their conflict comes from a lack of communication.
This week was fairly eventful for me (or at least as eventful as things can be 9 months into quarantine…). One Wednesday, I shared with my friends and family that I am graduating in December with my M.Ed. in Higher Education with an emphasis in administration. My sister took some graduation photos of me in the downtown area of the small town we live in (no Stars Hollow vibes though). I hadn’t told many people I was in grad school because I was dealing with some self doubts (and lifelong anxiety), so it was kind of a big announcement to share with everyone that I was done!
And then Thursday was Thanksgiving. This holiday has never really been a big one for me and my family. My dad has had to work every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, and then my mom did too for many years. For the past three years, I’ve gone on a trip during Thanksgiving week, but obviously with the pandemic, I wasn’t able to (though I had my eyes on Iceland for so long * sigh *). I decided I was going to take a trip through food, however, and my sister and I further celebrated the anniversary of our sister trip to London last November that I talked about in my peach sauce post. I made sausage rolls, cottage pie (which is essentially shepherd’s pie but with beef instead of lamb), Yorkshire pudding, and a Victorian sponge cake. We also had some macaroni and cheese that I had made weeks ago and froze with the intention of thawing and reheating for our London meal. While mac and cheese isn’t traditionally British, it was a nod to this incredible mac and cheese food truck we stumbled across at the Southbank Christmas Market (damn, I miss going to those). We also had a pint of Guinness that neither of us could finish because we don’t like beer (but we were trying to be as authentic as possible). No tofurkey for us!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!