Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls

I just realized to my chagrin that most of my previous (and upcoming!) posts are sweet. Eek! After I finish these up I will do my best to get back in touch with my healthificating tendencies. Although, I must add that there is a time for sweet indulgences in every diet. The important thing is that they are small portions and are not eaten on a regular basis.

With that said, let's go on to the rolls! Meyer lemons were on sale and so I jumped at the chance to experiment! I made these for brunch with a couple friends and I think they turned out quite tasty. It's a very different take on the typical cinnamon roll...and I must mention that I DID reduce the butter and sugar and they were still very sweet and rich! I also made half the amount of frosting and it still covered the rolls completely with extra left over for the half batch I froze.

First off, I have to show you how I cook. Usually, this is what it looks like. Saving trees, but killing computers.

That yummy dough you see up there is about to be rolled and sliced.

Here's the recipe:

Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls
adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

2 cups very warm water*
2 tbsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk*
1/2 cup + 9 tbsp sugar, separated
2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
5-5.5 cups AP flour
zest of 6 Meyer lemons
juice of 3 Meyer lemons
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar

*Alright, so if you're like me, you don't have nonfat dry milk laying around. So I combined 2/3 cup nonfat milk with 1 1/3 cup water and heated it up just a bit in the microwave. Worked like a charm!

In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water (or milk/water mixture) and yeast. Allow it to proof by setting aside for about 5 minutes. If a foam forms at the top, it's ready.

Whisk in the dry milk (or omit if you used liquid milk), 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Add 1/2 cup softened butter and egg. Slowly begin stirring in the flour, one cup at a time. Add just enough flour to create a soft, but not sticky, dough. (I ended up using about 6 cups) Knead the dough until elastic. Make into a ball, place in a large clean bowl, and drizzle a little olive on top. Cover lightly with a damp towel and let rise for one hour in a warm place.

Cut the risen dough into thirds. Use a rolling pin to spread it into a long, thin rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Melt 1/2 cup butter and use a basting brush to cover the surface of the dough, leaving enough butter for the other two dough sections. Sprinkle the zest of two lemons over the butter and then sprinkle 3 tbsp of sugar over that. Roll the dough up tightly. Now, the original recipe did not specify which way to roll it, so I just chose to roll it from one short side to the other, and that worked well for me. Slice into 1 1/2 inch rolls and put on a parchment lined baking sheet or a greased pyrex dish. Repeat until all the dough has been used.

I didn't realize how much this made, so I froze half of my batch.

Preheat the oven to 375 and let rolls rise again on top of the oven for 20-30 minutes. Bake for 16-20 minutes (less for baking sheet, more for pyrex dish), or until the tops are a light, golden brown.

While baking, make the icing. Beat together the lemon juice, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until very smooth. Frost the rolls right out of the oven with the icing.


  1. You're killing me with these luscious looking recipes! I just want a bite of this and a bite of that! I love the idea of using lemon but my husband would hate them. I'll have to wait until I have a special event.

  2. Wow, that is one yumalicious looking batch of rolls. Aren't I the lucky one to just happen to have a bag of Meyer lemons - making these tomorrow!