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Monday, December 5, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree


The kitchen's a mess, flour everywhere, 
And yes some dough even got in my hair.
But I'm in a rush, holiday cooking to do,
I don't even have a minute to think things through.
Watching the oven while the dishes pile up,
Oh shoot, that was only supposed to be half a cup!
Check the clock, guests soon to arrive,
Hopefully they find me still alive. 
So much effort, but not much to show, 
oh the woes of working with dough. 

From Megan's Kitchen

This is how I found myself feeling as I was trying to come up with the below Christmas treat. For weeks I had these brilliant ideas of how to turn bread into different Christmas trees...would it surprise you to know things didn't work out quite as I had envisioned? 2 of the 3 ideas were a flop and this one had so much potential, but I messed it up in the final hour. Never, I mean NEVER try to decorate anything when it is still warm. I know this...this is not a shock. But still, I was hurrying and then after all the effort that went into it, I just wanted to be done. And all my nice christmas tree decorations melted into a nice sugary puddle. The final picture is the tree redecorated over the melted decorations and it just isn't what I wanted it to be. My guests were still thrilled with it though and let's face it...cinnamon rolls in any shape are absolutely delectable. SO get creative and try this out. I will repost once I have a chance to recreate this and save face :).

First you are going to making the dough. We use this dough for almost everything and I LOVE it. In your mixer you are going to put 1/2 cup water, and 3 tbsp of yeast. You will then add 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1 cup powdered milk, 1 cup instant potatoes, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup oil, and 1/2 cup honey. Let mix for a second and then add 2-1/3 cups water. You will then gradually add 6-8 cups of flour. You have added enough flour once the dough begins to pull away from the sides. Let dough continue to mix for 10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased bowl and spray the top with cooking spray. This is a VERY sticky dough.
 Cover with a moist towel and let rise till triple the size.
 Divide this dough into three - this batch will make 3 Christmas trees. 
 Divide one of these dough sections into 6 balls, each getting smaller in size. The tiny one on the end is for the trunk. If I were to do this again I would probably divide it into more sections because my tree turned out pretty short and squat!
 Roll out each section and cover with butter (I used 1/2 a stick between all layers) and brown sugar and cinnamon.
 Roll each section up and place it on your cookie sheet to make a tree.
 Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Watch it though, you want to make sure that the middle isn't too doughy.
Now is supposed to be the fun part...especially if you have kids. Decorate your tree however you want and if you do make the three trees with the dough you can always have a competition...just wait till they cool to decorate! Merry Christmas.

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