Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas in Sweden and Mom's Best Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Gladtig Jule!Merry Christmas from Sweden, our fourth stop on our Christmas Around the World series, and where the merry season begins on the evening of December 13th. The eldest daughter of the family assumes the role of the Italian saint Santa Lucia. Wearing a dress of white and a lighted wreath in her hair, she serves sweet rolls and drinks to her family, singing carols all the while. Here's our very own little Santa Lucia, without the lighted candles in her hair. I still can't figure out a way to do that safely. But still, she braved not fire but snow and wind to drop off our favorite cinnamon rolls to our little family and a few of our neighbors, too. On Christmas Eve, Swedish families gather to dip black bread into hot broth, a gratitude and good luck ritual but also a solem reminder of a time of famine.

That evening, Juletomte, a little elf brings gifts for his family, after which families enjoy a large supper. Christmas day is a quiet and meaningful day, but "Second Christmas," which extends from December 26th to January 13th, is a time for happy celebrating and lots of visiting with friends and family.
And now for your recipe, my friends, and this one is so unbelievably yummy. Really, you won't be able to believe me when I tell you how yummy my Mom's cinnamon roll recipe is; you will simply have to make your own and put it to the test. And if you make them as I do with a maple cream cheese frosting, I promise that you'll be tempted to have a "Gladtig Jule" every night this month.
Money Saving Tips: Cinnamon Rolls are a very inexpensive pleasure; the greatest cost will be your time. Consider making these rolls as gifts for your neighbors this year. Bake rolls in aluminum pie tins, frost and give them away warm on a Saturday morning.
Mom's Best Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Estimated Cost: $5.00 for about 20-24
Tips: I sprinkle extra sugar, cinnamon and butter on the tops of the "end" rolls, since they never get as much filling-you can see them below in the bottom right corner.
1 and 1/4 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 and 1/4 teaspoon yeast (I use SAF)
3 cups all purpose flour
For Filling:
8 tablespoons softened butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
In a small bowl, heat butter and milk in microwave for about 30 seconds. Test milk with your finger to make sure it is not too hot. Pour mixture into free standing mixer (or mixing bowl) and mix in sugar. Add salt, yeast, and flour. Knead dough by hand or in mixer on medium speed for about 6 minutes. (The dough is going to be very sticky. You can add a little more flour here-about 1/4 cup, but the stickier you keep it, the better the rolls will be. The dough will be less sticky after it has risen.) Shape dough into ball (if you can-if not just squish it down to the bottom of the bowl) and place in buttered bowl and cover lightly with saran wrap. Allow to rise, in warm, draft free place for about 1 andd 1/2 hours, or until doubled. Lightly butter two 9 by 13 inch baking dishes. Divide dough into two equal parts. Coat you work surface with a generous dusting of flour. Roll out each dough piece into 12 inch by 8 inch rectangles. Spread each rectangle (leaving a 1/2 inch border) with 4 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugars, dividing evenly. Pat sugars into dough lightly with your hands. Roll up dough tightly, pinching the seams to make a good seal. Cut each dough roll into 10-12 individual rolls, making 20-24 total rolls. Place rolls in prepared baking dishes and cover lightly with saran wrap, allowint to rise an additional 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare frosting by combining cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and extract to make a very thick icing. Frost hot rolls and serve.
Coming Next:
Christmas in Germany

43 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

This post series is just SO delectable, informative, festive, and lovely!! Keep it going!! :-D

Di said...

Oh, yum! These are going on my list of things to make soon. Maybe for Christmas breakfast. Great picture of your little St. Lucia. =)

Steph said...

This is the second cinnamon roll post I've seen today.. now I'm really tempted to make my own. They look fabulous!

gigi said...

Does your Mom know you are giving away the family recipes?? I'm sure she loves sharing for the benifit of all of us hungry Santa's helpers. Anything with cream cheese has to be a winner.

Look out Germany, here we come.

Ali said...

Yum Oh! I love cinnamon rolls! Thanks for the recipe!

Esi said...

I looooove cinnamon rolls, and your little Santa Lucia carrying the tray is too precious.

Natashya said...

Oh my, your mom is the best! I love the history lesson, and your daughter is the cutest! I am definitely making these, maybe even tomorrow.

Michal said...

i love that picture of sailor! i'm sure she loved being saint lucia as well. how big of a batch can i make at one time? i am planning on doing cinnamon rolls for the neighbors and a few friends this year, but i'd like to whip out more than this at one pop. have you doubled it successfully before?

My New 30 said...

I just love this series! And those rolls look pretty darned delish too. Thanks for sharing.

Prudy said...

Michal:
Yep-I've doubled it. I think Heidi triples it sometimes, too. I definitely push my poor little Kitchen Aid way past its limits, but its still ticking. I'd say you could get three neighbor portions out of one batch-about 7 per pie plate. Good luck-I'm sure yours will be delicious!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Simply irresistable.

Cristine said...

I LOVE cinnamon rolls! Looks so yummy!

Cathy said...

These look simply incredible, Prudy. I am going to try real cinnamon rolls yet, and this might well be the recipe. I'm slowly working through my yeast issues -- one or two more TWD projects where I have no choice but to use yeast, and maybe I'll be able to declare my yeastaphobia officially conquered. I'm bookmarking this for when I reach that point. And your little St. Lucia is adorable -- even without the real open flames in her hair.

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

A perfectly lovely post! Your little Santa Lucia is a beautiful child. Ooh, those cinnamon rolls - Yummy!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

A perfectly lovely post! Your little Santa Lucia is a beautiful child. Ooh, those cinnamon rolls - Yummy!

Darius T. Williams said...

I love these - these look absolutely great! Great food in deed!

Marjie said...

Your little Saint Lucia is adorable, of course! I've made cinnamon rolls from scratch, and they last about as long as I keep whacking hands with a giant wooden spoon so I can glaze them!

MK and Co. said...

The cinnamon rolls look so delicious and your little St.Lucia looked very beautiful. What a fun reason to indulge and eat something slathered in cream cheese! Thanks Prudy!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Woot! I've been searching for the perfect CR recipe! This is great! Your post is lovely, nostalgic and just holiday wonderful!

Allie said...

Your kids are so lucky! I think it’s a great experience for the kids and I hope they remember all of these memories when they're older. Your rolls look fabulous!

Sara said...

What a fun little stop for Christmas in Sweden! Your Mom's Cinnamon Rolls look amazing!!! I'll have to give them a try!

Maria said...

My dad makes really good cinnamon rolls too! We will be making them when we go home to IL this next week. I can't wait! Yours look fabulous.

Debbie said...

The rolls look great. I need to make a batch one of these days!

Patsyk said...

I can never resist a homemade cinnamon roll!

Catherine said...

The cinnamon rolls look delicious! I finally made a batch that I was happy with, this week, but they don't look near as beautiful as yours. Sailor looks adorable as Santa Lucia. I love that night gown, it's very sweet. Annabelle wore her pettycoat with the red sash from Jack's wedding, but I wish we had a gown like Sailor's. It look darling!

Peter M said...

I heart cinnamon rolls and your generous application of cream cheese icing warms me so.

Mary Ann said...

These cinnamon rolls look divine. I am going to have to try them- I don't really have a go-to recipe, so I am sure this could be mine! I love what your doing with the Christmas celebrations in other countries- it is fun and makes me feel a little bit more jolly!

A said...

Prudy- These look delicious I can't wait to make them. So, I am in need of a good, soft sugar cookie recipe...how can I get your sisters recipe?? :)

Ashlee

The Blonde Duck said...

I want to be Swedish.

Sailor is so cute!

anudivya said...

This will certainly be up on my list to do, but probaby with whole wheat flour. Wonder how that would taste

jenjen said...

Those look awesome! I wish I could stick my hand through the screen and grab one! I will have to make some -- soon!!! Thanks for the Swedish information. My daughter did a report last night on Denmark and it looks like they have some similar customs. Have a great day!!!

Tracy said...

Those look delicious!

lagirl said...

I love to bake, but seldom use anything calling for yeast. Perhaps after the business of the holiday I'll try your Cinnamon Rolls, they look soooooo good!

Girl Japan said...

Hey Prudy.. I sure missed you while I was on Vay-cay.. what savory and sweet delights I have to come home to... = ) How are you? My mum bought my my FIRST ever "Better Homes Cookbook".... I gotta luv mum..

Marie said...

I am loving all your visits to these countries Erin. So delicious and sweet, and I am learning something with each visit. Your St Lucia is a sweetie pie and these cinnamon rolls look delectable!

Aggie said...

I love this Erin, all of this! The countries, the stories and the sweets! Those cinnamon rolls look unbelievably delicious!!!

Stop by my blog when you get a chance...I'm having a giveaway for my 100th post! ;)

Katherine Aucoin said...

I love the stories and St. Lucia is absolutely precious. You have inspired me to make my own connamon rolls.

Jeena said...

You make me want to come to your house for xmas with all that lovely food and a great big tree. :-)

Adrienne said...

Any suggestions on a good point at which to freeze these? I'd like to be able to thaw them overnight and pop them in the oven to bake while we open presents. So, could I assemble the rolls and freeze them? Or should I let them rise in the pan and THEN freeze them?

Prudy said...

Adrienne:
Make them early and shape them into rolls. Freeze them before the rolls rise. The night before, put the frozen rolls out on the counter to defrist rise. Pop them in the oven when you wake up. Voila!

Anna M. said...

Thanks, Prudy! I LOVE this post! My mother is from Sweden (the rest of her family still lives there) and I was Lucia in our family when I was younger. They sell the Lucia hair wreaths with battery-powered candles...that's what I would wear. I also wore a red sash tied around the waist of my white dress. It was always fun. If you're ever in Utah, the Swedish Heritage Society of Utah does a Lucia event every year on December 13th. We try to attend each year...not just for the beautiful singing and delicious food, but they also import food and gift items from Sweden - some of them I can't find anywhere else, so it's fun to stock up and fill my freezer...even if it only lasts a month or so. Another tradition that is fun...on Christmas morning an almond is hidden in the porridge/oatmeal and the child to find it in their bowl receives a little pig made out of marzipan (or another marzipan candy). Thanks again for the fun post...I love Swedish Christmases-lots of yummy food and great traditions. God Jul (Merry Christmas in Swedish)! =)

Molly said...

I made these a couple days ago- YUM! I'm linking here from gingerbreadandcandycanes so everyone (you know, all 6 of my readers) can try these! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this delectable cinnamon roll recipe. My girls and I made this tonight and they turned out wonderfully.