Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Don't be afraid if you haven't made them before. They really aren't very hard, and the recipe is stellar. Soft, tender roll, delicious cinnamon filling, and topped with a simple yet amazing cream cheese and butter frosting. Yum! You can also refrigerate the shaped rolls over night or freeze them and then continue on to baking when you're ready.
Yield: 15 cinnamon rolls
1 cup milk, heated about 1 minute in microwave
1/4 c. warm water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. white sugar
5 c. flour
1 T. instant active dry yeast
1/2 c. butter, melted or softened
1 c. firmly-packed brown sugar
4-5 T. ground cinnamon
3/4 - 1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given (for the dough). Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour, a little at a time. (I usually add all but 1 cup of the flour in case I don't need it all, then just add the rest until it clears the sides of the bowl, or is nice and elastic and a bit sticky).
Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl (or keep in your mixing bowl) and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until double in size.
Butter pans (I usually do one 9x13 and one cake or pie pan). After the dough has risen, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle. Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter over the top of the dough. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts, if using. Sprinkle the mixture over the butter on the dough. Starting with the long edge, roll up the dough; pinch seams to seal. Note: rolling the log too tightly will result in rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch sections. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut into rolls or slide a long piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. Bring the ends together over the top and pull through in opposite directions to cut. Place cut side up in the prepared pans, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked, unrisen rolls should not touch each other. Do not pack them together tightly. Let rise again until doubled.
Note: Before rising the 2nd time, you can put these in the refrigerator overnight to rise, or stick them in the freezer for later. If frozen, pull out of the freezer and let thaw and rise, then proceed to baking. If refrigerated, they can be baked as soon as they are risen. I've done this before - sometimes they don't rise enough over night, so I still have to let them sit on the counter for a bit or stick them in a warm oven for 20 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown.
While they are baking, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract until well mixed and creamy. It may look like it needs more liquid, but keep mixing and it will come together. If making beforehand, refrigerate until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.
After rolls come out, let cool for 1-2 minutes and then spread the frosting over. Devour!
Source: What's Cooking America