Well guys. It's February. I guess that means you're expecting me to cook up something romantic for Valentine's Day.
But you know, I may not be the biggest authority on romance around here. I mean, if you ask me, the greatest chick flick of all time is Star Wars Episode V, and my idea of a hot date would be taking my little brother to Wendy's for some hot fries. If you want to know who the real romantic in this family is, look no further than the little four-year-old sister who is under the bad influence of her four big sisters.
In fact, just the other day when we were listening to the Les Misérables soundtrack, Cookie was like, "I love Russel Crowe. I love his voice... and his hair..." then she started chuckling quietly to herself.
"What's so funny, Cook?" we asked.
She shook her head and returned her attention back to Dora the Explorer, "I think I'm in love with a guy who's too big for a little girl." she said.
Well, I must say. I agree with you on all accounts young Cookie.
But enough about Cookies. Let's talk cinnamon rolls.
Er... Nutella rolls. Basically they're just red velvet flavored bread dough, rolled up with Nutella into a heart shape with plenty of cream cheese frosting and some more Nutella on top for good measure.
You can pretty much make these in about an hour, before your best beloved even wakes up on Valentine's Day. There are just three pretty simple steps:
1. Make some dough. Let it rise.
2. Slather it with Nutella, slice it into strips, and roll them up into hearts.
3. Bake them. Eat them. Love them.
Oh, and please... don't forget the frosting.
Red Velvet Nutella "Cinnamon" Roll Hearts
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 bottles red gel food coloring (1 oz. each, I think. Maybe I could have used less, but I wanted them to be really red!)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter (but not too hot)
1/4 cup oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
Mix together the sugar, yeast, water, food coloring, butter, and oil. Let sit for about five minutes.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add about 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients at a time, mixing well after each addition. Knead for about 10 minutes with dough hook on mixer or by hand.
Put dough in a greased bowl and cover in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet or so (don't worry about being exact). Spread on the Nutella (if it's not soft enough, you can warm some up in the microwave a little to make it easier).
Slice the dough into strips (maybe about 1 inch wide or so). Roll the edges of each strip towards each other and then pinch the bottom to make into a heart shape.
Place the spirals on a well greased baking sheet. Allow to rise at least five more minutes. Bake at 375º for about 9-11 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe below).
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time and beat until smooth. Spread over cinnamon rolls. Drizzle with more Nutella if desired.
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