Imagine this: it’s Friday evening, and after a long day at the office, you come home to find your family together in the kitchen. The television is off, the Xbox is away, and instead of scrolling through their phones, everyone is laughing together while chopping, stirring and sautéing. You put on an apron and get to work, because this is about more than a meal: it’s about making memories.
If you think that this could never be your family, think again! Even if everyone is on different schedules, coming together to cook a meal every week (or every month) is a great way to reconnect. You’ll enjoy spending quality time with your kids, and they’ll leap at the chance to play with their food. While they see cooking together as a fun project, you know it’s that and so much more. Getting your kids involved in the kitchen is a wonderful way to inspire creativity, responsibility, and teamwork at any age. Young children are mystified by the ways that foods change with new ingredients and temperatures, like an edible art project, and older children are proud to take on an adult task. Cooking might become their passion, just as it did for Chef Lynn Michelle!
After spending many hours in the kitchen with her parents as a child, Chef Lynn Michelle went on to lead an award-winning career which took her all around the world. She worked as a private chef at the International School in Belgium, served Executive Chef at two bed & breakfasts in Beaufort County, and has worked at some of the Lowcountry’s most popular restaurants. But Chef Lynn discovered her true calling as a personal chef by coming back to what sparked her love of cooking in the first place: connecting families through delicious, home-cooked food.
Ready to start a new family tradition? Involve your kids in age-appropriate activities next time you’re at the stove, then gather around the table to savor something truly special. Chef Lynn Michelle can help you find recipes to please even the pickiest eaters, or introduce your family to fresh, flavorful dishes like these Gooey Cinnamon Rolls perfect for Christmas morning. Happy cooking!
Gooey Cinnamon Rolls
- Dough Base:
- 3 cups warm water
- 1 ½ tbsp. white sugar
- 3 envelope .25 oz each active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 10 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ,white sugar
- 1⁄4 cup shortening
- 1⁄2 cup butter melted
Cinnamon Roll Mixture
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 2 T. Cinnamon ( more or less as desired)
Make the Dough
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, mix together warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top, lightly stir, and let it stand for about 10 minutes or until foamy.
- In a separate large baking pan; add flour ,1 cup sugar, shortening; using your fingers; mix together, until the shortening barely noticeable.
- In a small bowl, blend; milk, eggs, and salt together; and add into the yeast mixture, stir.
- Gradually; add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture; using a wooden spoon or your hands until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball. Leave in large pan.
- Cover with a hot, damp towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
- When the dough has risen, pour melted butter over the top and knead for about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for a few minutes, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1 inch thick.
For Hot Rolls
- Cut dough into 2-inch squares, roll the squares into balls, and place them in greased pans about 1 inch apart. Let rise again until doubled in size. The dough can also be refrigerated and left to rise overnight for baking the next day.
- Bake rolls for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
For Gooey Cinnamon Rolls
- Make Dough Recipe as instructed. Mix the Cinnamon Roll mixture in a separate bowl.
- Cut dough into 2-inch squares, roll the squares (with your hands) into long 6-inch strips, dip each strip into the cinnamon mixture and wrap into a knot.
- Place the cinnamon knot into a pan and repeat this and place the cinnamon knots next to one another. Pour leftover cinnamon/butter mixture over the knots. Let rise again until your desire size of Cinnamon Rolls, then bake for about 12 minutes at 400F.