Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Sweeter New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!  It is 2020 and jokes about our vision are bandied about.  At the time I am writing this article, it is still 2019.  Unease has not only hit our vast corner of Utah, but the entire United States is facing chaos.  Impeachment looms on the horizon, maybe, for our current President, Donald Trump.  Politicians in Washington, DC, are against term limits, so it seems the ones making a mockery of our rights; well we are kind of stuck with them for now.  In our county, taxes are going up, economic development is being kept at bay, and everyone notices the underlying racial tension.

Took one of those silly Facebook tests, one on focus for 2020.  The three words that I noticed immediately were: Happiness, Energy and Powerful.  Wow…wow!  At a time when happiness is a minor commodity, grabbing, and holding, onto it makes perfect sense.  Energy, depression saps energy, and who is not depressed over our current state of affairs!?!  Again, grab, and hold, onto your inner energy; make yourself shine with it!  Powerful, how can anyone feel empowered when every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to want to own, and run, your life!?  Stand up straight and tall, and say, “No way!  I refuse to give my power to anyone.  I refuse to have anyone dominate me with their power.”  Seems easier to say than do, but not if you believe in yourself, and you surround yourself with others of a positive attitude.  Personal empowerment can be achieved by acknowledging a fear, then conquering it.  Fear, indeed, is the mind killer.  Once again, Happy New Year Everyone!

To start off the New Year, I will entertain you with a recipe that I have, myself, feared.  Cinnamon rolls are an exquisite example of comfort food.  The yeast smell from the dough assails the nostrils.  Cold winter nights outside, but cuddly warm inside wrapped in flannel blankets while a fire snap, crackles and pops in the fireplace.  Kneading the dough moves the arm and hand muscles, yet soothes them at the same time.  The soothing is due to a satisfaction of accomplishment; the yeast lived, proofed, and rose the dough.  Rolling it out, brushing sweetened, melted butter and then a savory scented layer of brown sugar and cinnamon.  Roll out the barrels…oops, Octoberfest just popped into my mind.  Rolling the dough, cutting slices that are place into buttered pans, a little more rising and then the baking begins.  Within minutes, the scent of yeasty, sweet bread is mixing with the sweet brown sugar and savory cinnamon.  The scent wafts throughout the entire home, even the noses of the pets are twitching, and they sigh in their sleep.

Picture it, the Happiness of warm memories.  The Energy which accomplishment brings overall to mind and body.  The Powerful knowledge that a fear has been conquered.  Yes, I did fear making cinnamon rolls from scratch.  I thought it would be frustrating and difficult, and I feared the failure.  Now I know better, and am so much happier for it.

I do not know what this New Year, of 2020 Vision, will bring to myself, friends, and family, to anyone really.  While I would love to see a coming together of all, for the good of all, well, human nature is unpredictable.  Personally, I believe that letting a small handful of individuals, make all the major decisions for a community, is not a working concept any longer.  It is time that all groups concerned, put on their big boy/big girl panties, and begin doing what is best for the majority.  Perhaps others will finally understand this message too, and greater, more positive changes, will develop.

Until then, make some cinnamon rolls and share them; sit down together and have calm conversations.  It is amazing, how something so small, can bring people together.

Cinnamon Rolls



2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115F)
2/3 cup sugar plus 1 tsp
1 cup warm milk
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7 cups flour


1 cup melted butter, divided in half
2 cups brown sugar, divided in half
3 ½ Tbsp. cinnamon


2/3 cup melted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp. hot water

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla
6 cups confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp. warm milk


For the Dough:

In a small bowl, mix together yeast, warm water and one teaspoon sugar; set aside. Yeast will be ready when bubbles begin forming.

In a large bowl, beat together thoroughly 2/3 cup sugar, milk, butter, salt and eggs; mix yeast mixture. Add 4 cups of flour, beat until smooth; add in remaining flour one cup at a time, until dough is slightly stiff, but still sticky. Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover with a clean linen towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes; roll out on floured board into a 15x20" rectangle.

For the Filling:

Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1-1/2 cups brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Roll up jellyroll style, pinching edge together to seal. Cut into 16-18 slices.

Brush bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch baking pan and a 9 inch square or round pan (6 slices per pan) with remaining melted butter; sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F; 25-30 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. Allow rolls to cool slightly before glazing or frosting.

For the Glaze:

In medium bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water one tablespoon at a time until glaze reaches desired thickness.  Add more water if necessary.

For the Frosting:

In a large bowl, beat together all ingredients on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Makes 16-18 rolls.

Mary Cokenour 

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