Monday, February 21, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Oh yeah! Cinnamon rolls - so indulgent, so delicious. Warm, rich, buttery, cinnamon-kissed, swirls of frosting-covered yumminess. There's nothing quite like them! I love them, like love them, a lot.

This recipe is great because it can be made in advance. Just prepare the rolls the day before, and have an easy breakfast for those mornings when you're short on time. I encourage you to make them soon. They are SO GOOD!

Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 12 large rolls

For the dough:
1/4 cup warm water (110 ºF)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup milk, heated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
5 cups bread flour (or 25 oz. Soft White wheat flour)

For the filling:
1/4-1/2 cup butter, melted or softened (I used about 1/3 cup, melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
3-4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4-1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

To make filling: Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts (if using), until well mixed. Soften or melt butter. Set aside

For the frosting:
3-4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make frosting: (Make on the day you plan on using it). Stir together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar and extract until mixture is creamy. Set aside until ready to use.

To make dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, extract, butter, eggs, salt, sugar, and flour. Using dough hook, mix until everything comes together.

Turn out the dough on a lightly oiled surface. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until dough is elastic. Place in oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled (about 1-2 hours)

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish, and set aside. Once dough has doubled, roll it out into a large rectangle (about 15 x 24 in.) Brush dough with the softened or melted butter, (listed in the filling ingredients). Sprinkle with cinnamon filling. Roll up the dough lengthwise, and pinch seams to seal. (Note: Rolling the log too tightly will cause the cinnamon roll centers to pop up higher than the rest of the rolls during baking).

Using a sharp knife (or dental floss), cut into 12 even rolls. Place them, cut side up, in prepared baking dish. Flatten rolls slightly. (They shouldn't be touching each other). At this point you can either refrigerate the rolls for up to two days (covered), or you can freeze them for up to 1 month, allowing to thaw completely overnight before baking. Or, if you wish to bake immediately, allow rolls to rise until double in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. (They may take longer depending on the temperature of the rolls when you started baking.) Allow to cool slightly before spreading with cream cheese frosting. Best served warm. Enjoy!

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