Knock knock knock.
**This gem is a re-run from earlier this year, but as the Autumn air crisps up, I found it appropriate to re-post. I am in Los Angeles shooting a movie so will be doing some re-posts here till I have a second to shoot some new content.**
When I was a kid, we’d make the drive from Alvin to the ranch in Johnson City, TX, in the big grey Buick LeSabre, and we always got there without mom and dad murdering us. This bakery is one of the institutions I credit with allowing me to be alive today to write this article for you.
The Bon Ton Bakery, now known as Weikel’s Bakery (www.weikels.com) located on Highway 71 in LaGrange, TX, was a usual stop on our road trip. Yes, that LaGrange, TX. The one with the infamous chicken ranch brothel. We never stopped there.
But we DID often stop to empty our bladder and fill up our belly at the bakery. They particularly specialized in a Texas treat derived from German and Czech traditions called kolaches. That’s another post. But they also had fantastic cinnamon rolls.
Being a little porker, I always appreciated a sweet roll. Even as an adult, it’s a weakness I still possess. Mind you, not any sweet roll will do.
So, I have spent a few years developing this one: the one that cries out to be eaten as soon as it is cooled down enough not to hurt you. With much fanfare I present The Gentleman Caller’s Sweet Sticky Cinnamon Roll with Maple Cream Cheese Icing.
What you need:
- Half recipe of The Gentleman’s Sweet Roll Dough*
- 1 ½ – 2 cups brown sugar
- 2/3 cup vanilla bean sugar**
- 3-4 Tablespoons grated cinnamon
- ½ cup melted butter
- Cream Cheese Maple Icing
*A full recipe will make two pans of cinnamon rolls.
**Vanilla bean sugar: in a jar or container, store a few cups of white sugar with a vanilla bean. Measure your 2/3 cup of sugar when ready to use and add vanilla bean caviar to your liking.
“Exquisite dough, and fortunately Jill got me this beautiful dough cutter for Christmas.This is very straightforward, especially if you watched the video.
Roll the dough out to approximately 16″ x 22”.
Smear that barely softened butter on that dough. After that, grate all the cinnamon. Yes, grate it.
Throw brown sugar and vanilla sugar all over it.
Make a thick layer of sugar and spice, then roll that dough lengthwise. Be careful initially, it’s tender. But the further you get, the easier it is.
It’s time to cut the log into pieces.
Allow to rise again for an hour. Then brush with butter (actual butter).
Bake them for 12 minutes initially. Check them. Do not overcook them. 14 minutes is probably your number, but watch.
I am so careful about instructions sometimes because I know what you’ve done to get to this place. I am never offering you a Pinterest fail.
It’s time to ICE.
The Gentleman Caller’s Maple Cream Cheese Icing
Writers usually don’t tell stories about icing, but I am.
My family members love icing like they love meat, Christmas and possibly their kids.
This sort of loose cream cheese frostings sinks down into a cinnamon roll, but not too deep. I do not enjoy a cinnamon roll with no icing bleed-down into the roll itself.
I recommend that you ice when the rolls are warm, as the video states.
What you need (to ice 1 pan of rolls, double for 2):
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons good maple syrup (If you use Mrs. Butterworth’s and that’s your jam, don’t tell me. Just send me pics.)
- A whisper (one squeeze) of lemon juice
- 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
In the bowl of a mixer, marry the butter and cream cheese. Beat them until they are well combined and almost fluffy. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Make sure the mixture is combined. You’ll likely need to use your rubber spatula and stir it together.
Once that is combined, incrementally add the confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
*A hint – I grated a whisper of orange rind into this. My maple syrup wasn’t as robust as I wanted, so I grated some orange rind. Even with a robust maple flavor, you can’t go wrong with this.
Continue to blend that at a high speed until it’s like sinuous pancake batter. Thick.
Once it reaches that consistency, spoon the icing into a ziploc bag. Work it into a corner. Snip the edge of the corner on the diagonal and let the frosting go.
Spew it onto the rolls at your discretion.
Trust me, these are evil. And thank you.
The Gentleman Caller