This week we have a very unexpected recipe, chili and cinnamon rolls. We were not expecting these two things together and we definitely did not expect them to be so good together! And we mean together literally; a hot bowl of chili with a sweet homemade cinnamon roll not as a dessert but in the bowl of chili and it was so much better than we expected. So if this has you even a little bit curious then let’s get into it.
We had heard that chili and cinnamon rolls are a classic combo here in the Midwest so we had to find out why for ourselves. We opted to make our own cinnamon rolls from scratch for this recipe and that adds a lot of prep time over using store bought cinnamon rolls. But don’t let that turn you away from enjoying homemade cinnamon rolls, the recipe is still very simple, homemade dough just needs to be left aside for a couple of hours to proof and expand if you want finished rolls that are the right size and consistency. But that waiting isn’t wasted as it gives you plenty of time to make your chili and keep it warm until the rolls are done. Or if you instead decide you want to enjoy these two treats separately, you can always make this quick and easy chili for dinner, prepare your rolls that night, and have it ready when you want fresh baked cinnamon rolls quickly the next morning.
For the chili we kept it simple and went with the classic style and made a hot, hearty, and delicious chili that’s perfect for the colder weather and can be enjoyed through Fall and Winter. This is part of the recipe that can easily be done while you wait for your cinnamon roll dough to proof. Our secret ingredient in this chili however was a little bit of our beef bacon than we cooked beforehand to add the pot with everything else later. But otherwise, we just threw some veggies, chili and black beans, and ground beef with some seasonings in a pot with some halal beef broth to simmer together to make a thick and delicious pot of chili that was rich and flavorful with just a little bit of spiciness that went great with the rolls later.
When you do finally make your cinnamon rolls just remember to keep your work surface and rolling pin oiled to keep your dough from sticking. Otherwise, it’s a simple process of rolling the dough out flat, covering it with cinnamon and sugar, and rolling it back up to be cut into rolls. This is followed by yet another round of proofing in a sheet pan to let the rolls expand before baking them for 20 to 30 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to make your own cream cheese frosting. A quick mix of butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar gets you sweet and smooth frosting that’s ready to go on the rolls while they’re still warm so that homemade sweetness melts over the whole roll and is absolutely fantastic!
And that mix of sweetness with a little bit of spice is really the secret behind this whole recipe. If you aren’t a spice lover then fear not because the chili flavor pairs so well with the sweetness of the roll that you only get the best of both without either being too overpowering. The two parts were great on their own but really came together to make a recipe that really surprised us. And that’s this weeks recipe! We see now why it’s a Midwest favorite so we wanted to share it with you, we’re hoping you share it with someone else, or let us know what you did differently. Until next time and we hope you enjoy!