The holidays are upon us and I am determined to enjoy every moment of them! One of the ways our family makes the holidays special is by using traditions to make memories from year to year. We have found some of those traditions changing. As the age of our 3 girls (12, 14 & 16 years) change, so do their interests. We used to put them to bed early, then grab them from their beds, pajamas blankies and all, and throw them into our heated car to go look at Christmas lights. They LOVED it. I remember the giggles, their ringlets & curls bouncing as Daddy carried them out to the car, & the sound of Christmas music streaming out from the car every time he would open the car door to throw another girl in! Oh what fun memories! Now we can’t imagine lifting our grown girls, or that they would enjoy being in public in their jammies. Yes, traditions sometimes have to change.
With this in mind, I’ve been thinking about how to add new traditions that are meaningful but that would pique the interest of my tween and teens.
My youngest daughter, Avery, is an amazing baker. I like to call her a pastry chef–yes she is that good! If you follow my Instagram, you have seen some of her creations.
Many great traditions start in the kitchen with recipes passed down from those who came before us. I recently remembered a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Wreath, as it is one that I made when I was Avery’s age. I, too, was a little baker, and I proudly claim that her love of baking came from me.
I remember standing on chairs to reach ingredients and the counter when I first started baking at a young age. My Mom was great about allowing me in the kitchen and letting me explore my ability and passion to bake.
I’ve tried to do the same with Avery, and it has paid off! I knew that I wanted to share this recipe with her and start a new tradition, but I also wanted to make it a bit more healthful than what I made back in the day.
Lets face it, cinnamon rolls will never be considered a health food, but by using whole ingredients and making them from scratch at home, you are leaps and bounds ahead on the health scale than you would be buying those cinnamon rolls from a tube. Have you seen that tube’s mile long ingredient list? Here is just a glimpse: Enriched flour bleached, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, dextrose, corn syrup solids, DATEM, polysorbate 60, artificial flavor, potassium sorbate, propylene glycol, yellow 5, color added, and red 40! Of course, that’s not all the ingredients…but talk about unnecessary!
I took these cinnamon rolls to a more healthful level by using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour. This organic whole wheat flour is stone ground from organic hard red wheat and has all of the nutritious bran and germ till intact, which means no nutrition is lost in the grinding of the flour. This flour is a hearty product, and makes these cinnamon rolls super filling! It is a robust, full-flavored flour containing vitamins, minerals and protein. It is ideal for bread baking and can be mixed with all-purpose flour if you wanted something a little less dense and hearty, but still want a nutritional boost to your favorite baked goods.
Click here for a Bob Mill’s coupon!
I told my Avery the story of me making Cinnamon Roll Wreath when I was a girl. I told her how I remembered being so proud of doing it all by myself. I was probably about 11 years old, and it was around the holidays. I remember carefully slicing the rolls while curving the log into a round, and was amazed at how it doubled in size after rising. She loved the story and the idea of a cinnamon roll wreath, so we got to work.
Having my girl in the kitchen was a blast. She is great about gathering all of the ingredients ahead of time and finding all of the utensils we needed. I explained to her why we were using whole wheat organic flour & she thought it was cool that we could make cinnamon rolls that have a bit of nutrition in them.
We planned to do our roll making after school, and the process took us into the evening, so we ate these rolls as dessert. I made chili for dinner, as it is a Midwestern thing to serve cinnamon rolls for dessert after eating chili–a fun tradition in and of itself! There is something so good about eating sweet rolls after a spicy chili dinner. Our home smelled so good that night!
This festive wreath would be perfect around the holidays. You could add red maraschino cherries on top to make it even more festive. We skipped this part as we have not celebrated Thanksgiving yet.
I love how the cream cheese glaze looks drizzled on top of the wreath, and the rolls were not just pretty but were really yummy. A whole wheat cinnamon roll is dense, hearty and filling, but I love that. It fills up tummies so one roll per person is plenty…which left us some to enjoy in the morning, too. I had one this morning with my coffee and decided this was a tradition that we will keep doing! My Avery agrees–it is a keeper!
Cinnamon Roll Wreath
*this is a bread machine recipe
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm organic milk (I used almond milk)
2 eggs, plus one egg white
3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 teaspoons fast rise yeast
Add ingredients to the bread machine in the recommended order. Set to whole wheat, dough cycle. When the timer beeps, roll out the dough into a 9×13 inch rectangle.
3 Tablespoons super soft, almost melted butter (or completely melted)
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Forming The Wreath & Baking Instructions:
- Spread the butter on the dough.
- Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle over the butter and lightly press into the dough.
- Roll up the rectangle (should be about 13-15 inches).
- Place on a parchment paper (or greased foil) lined pan. Make sure it has edges as some of the filling can ooze out.
- Cut into 1 inch slices, but don’t cut all the way through!
- Leave the rolls joined by a little bit of dough at the bottom. Then start layig the rolls flat on the baking sheet, overlapping each one over the last, and coiling the log into a circular wreath shape as you go.
- Tuck the last roll under the first, and you’re done!
- Let set for 30 minutes, covered with a towel, then bake OR
- Place in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, let the rolls sit at room tempurature for about 30 mintues. There may be some oozing, that is ok.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes or until the rolls start to slightly brown on top and the middle is not doughy.
- Let cool. Drizzle with Cream Cheese Icing
Cream Cheese Icing
6 oz cream cheese
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Beat cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl until sooth.
- Add in vanilla and powdered sugar.
- Mix until no lumps remain.
- Add milk to thin if needed, to drizzling consistency.
- Drizzle onto cooled rolls. There will be enough left to dip rolls in if desired!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.