It’s been awhile!
I owe you some recipes, and an explanation of where I disappeared to these past few months, but first things first, our biggest news. Can you guess?
Along with these raspberry jam cinnamon rolls, we’ve got our own little bun in the oven!! (couldn’t resist the pun!)
I’m 27 weeks along, and this little babe should be making his arrival in late August. Now that I’m almost to the third trimester, continuing to balloon out, the belly kicks getting stronger every day (he’s seriously a ninja in there), this whole having a baby thing is starting to feel a lot more real!
And we’re so excited to meet our little guy.
We found out we were pregnant on Christmas Eve. I actually didn’t think I was, even though we’d been trying, but wanted to make sure before having any holiday bubbly. Half a dozen tests later, we were sure those little plus signs actually meant “positive.”
I told my mom, happy tears ensued, and Christmas was extra wonderful. We decided to keep the news from the rest of our family and friends until the end of the first trimester, just in case.
It quickly became the hardest ever secret to keep, as life threw one stressor at us after the next.
About a week before, as we were getting ready to travel home to California for the holidays, we made an offer on a new house, a semi-fixer-upper.
We knew we wanted to renovate – expanding the very tiny kitchen, knocking down a few non-load-bearing walls, updating the flooring and trim – lots of exciting (mostly cosmetic) stuff. So even before we closed, I was interviewing contractors, pricing out cabinetry and flooring and fixtures, and getting everything ready so that we could hit the ground running as soon as the keys were ours.
A couple weeks in, my husband deployed overseas again, so I was solely in charge of finalizing our house purchase, designing and overseeing the renovation project, and packing up our entire house to move, all while battling ever-constant morning sickness and a complete lack of appetite.
There was very little cooking happening in January or February, unless you count pouring cereal into a bowl.
In the midst of that, I had a case of major blogger burnout, and decided for my own sanity, to take a hiatus from blogging until the construction was complete, which was planned for mid-March, shortly after the hubby would arrive back home.
Not too long after our renovation got underway, around the time the whole house had been demo’d down to the subfloor and was missing inconsequential things like doors and electrical fixtures, things took a turn for the worse with our contractor, and after a series of major and minor mistakes on their part, we fell way behind schedule.
Spoiler alert: they still have not finished all of the items on our final punch list, four months later, largely due to incompetence and poor planning. If you’re looking to have any remodeling done in the Seattle/Tacoma area, I can absolutely tell you who not to hire…
The good news is, after a long, drawn out, incredibly stressful process, we finally moved in, have a brand spankin’ new kitchen (at some point soon I’ll post a tour), and our house is really starting to feel like home now that we’ve unpacked (almost) the last of our boxes.
My second trimester has thankfully has mostly been a breeze, my appetite has reappeared (in a big way), I’m back to cooking real meals and recipe testing again, and I’m so looking forward to getting back into a regular blogging rhythm.
Thanks for bearing with me as I get back into the swing of it – I’m so thankful of each and every one of you for sharing this little corner of the web with me!
Now for these raspberry jam sweet rolls.
They begin with a classic, sweet and fluffy, yeasted cinnamon roll dough, which is swirled with a generous bit of soft butter, cinnamon sugar, and seedy raspberry jam.
You could tuck some fresh berries into the rolls if you’re feeling fancy, but I’m partial to the simplicity of a flavorful, chunky jam. It’s easy enough to make from scratch, but store-bought Bonne Maman preserves are a favorite around here.
A sweet, vanilla-lemon glaze is optional but very much recommended, preferably drizzled on with a heavy hand…
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 2-1/2 + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 Tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1 package (2-1/4 tsp) instant (rapid rise) yeast
- 3/4 cups whole milk
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
Raspberry Cinnamon Filling
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room-temperature (soft and easily spreadable)
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam or preserves
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Vanilla Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- splash of milk or cream, as desired
Raspberry Jam Cinnamon Rolls
- Stir together 2-1/2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl until well-combined. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe-bowl, heat the milk, and butter at 50% power until it reaches 115-120 degrees. The mixture should be hot to the touch but not
boiling. Stir in the nutmeg.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir with a nonstick spatula, to combine.
- Add the egg and 1/4 cup flour, and stir until
a soft dough forms. Add a 1-2 more tablespoons of flour as needed. The dough is ready to knead when it becomes elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly-floured work surface and gently but firmly knead for 3-4 minutes.
- Place the ball of dough in a lightly-greased bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Return the dough to your work surface. Be sure to scrape away any stuck-on dough (a bench scraper is great for this) and lightly flour again first.
- Shape the dough into a flat rectangular disk, then use a lightly-floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into an 8×14-inch rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Dust the top and underside of the dough with flour as you work if the dough becomes sticky. Using a ruler to measure helps to ensure evenly-sized cinnamon rolls, but don’t fret if they aren’t exact.
- Spread on the butter, followed by the raspberry jam, in even layers, leaving a half-inch border on the long sides.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon until combined. Sprinkle
onthe cinnamon-sugar mixture, then, starting from one of the long sides, slowly and tightly roll up the dough.
- Place the log of dough seam-side down, and use a very sharp serrated knife or (preferably) unflavored dental floss to cut the rolls into 9 to 12 pieces.
- Place the rolls in a lightly greased or cooking-sprayed 9-inch pan, leaving even space between each. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise (I use the microwave). Let rise for 50-75 minutes, until roughly doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake until barely-browned, gently puffed, and cooked
through,about 20-25 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, as necessary.
Vanilla Lemon Glaze
- Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add a splash of milk or cream as needed to reach your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Enjoy!