Cinnamon Rolls

I have made cinnamon rolls multiple times. They were actually on my dad’s dessert rotation a couple times. It’s harder with me not living near him to make them since you want them fresh. And, with a baby around, it’s kind of hard to make them in Maryland on a visit since they require a lot of time, even if the time is just for rising.

Well, here is a recipe that made me excited to try them again, and they really are faster than the usual batch…but I thought just as delicious. Maybe more so since they were a bit easier? I made them twice within a week since it uses half a block of cream cheese, and I wanted to use the whole block. What else do you make with cream cheese? I have a few meals and desserts, but most require a whole block.

By the way…I totally glazed these without letting them cool properly the first time since I was so excited about eating them. That’s why they look a bit…messy…they looked better once they cooled, and better the second time. But I forgot to take pictures that time. Because…you know, cinnamon rolls were fresh and ready to be eaten.

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Anyway, back to this recipe. You do want to use a dark pan to ensure proper browning. They were still a bit light on top for my taste, and that was with a dark pan. (Although the dark pan wouldn’t really help the top, just the bottom, which was perfect.) America’s Test Kitchen recommended melting all of the butter at the start of the recipe, but I found that to not be necessary.

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In fact, by melting just 1 stick first, I didn’t use the full amount they called for. I didn’t miss it, and didn’t have any extra (the first time I made them there was a bit of extra, which felt wasteful).

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These are the directions as I made them, which is close to the recipe, but slightly different (in case you want the *exact* version they did on the show).

Directions for Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter (melt 8 Tablespoons, and measure out 2 for this part of the recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together both sugars, the cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. The mixture should look like wet sand.

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Dough

  • 1.25 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2.75 cups flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • About 6 Tablespoons butter, melted (use from the melted stick of butter in the filling)

Spray a dark 9-inch cake pan. Microwave 1/4 cup of the milk until it is 110 degrees (about 15-20 seconds). Stir the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar into the milk, and let it sit for 5 minutes (until bubbly).

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Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and the rest of the sugar (5 teaspoons) in a large bowl.

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Stir in 2 Tablespoons butter, the yeast/milk mixture, and the remaining milk. A sticky dough will form.

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Knead it on a well-floured surface until smooth. Roll into a 12×9 inch rectangle, with the long side parallel to the countertop’s edge.

My..."rectangle"...I swear I can do math, but I am not good at rolling out shapes!

My…”rectangle”…I swear I can do math, but I am not good at rolling out shapes!

Brush more of the butter all over, leaving 1/2-inch border on the side furthest from you. Sprinkle the filling evenly all over the buttered part of the dough, pressing it into the dough.

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Roll the dough (away from you) into a tight log, and pinch the seam to seal it.

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Place the log seam side down and cut it into 8 pieces.

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Place the buns, cut side down, into the cake pan. As you place them, gently re-form them a bit into nice cylinders.

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Place them into the pan with one in the center, and the remaining 7 buns around that one. Have the seams face in to help keep them from opening up as they bake. Brush the tops with more of the melted butter, then cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

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After rising

After rising

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and bake them until the edges are browned, about 25 minutes. Let the buns cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them and place on a wire rack to cool for another 5 minutes. During this cooling stage, make the glaze.

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Glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted (use from the above stick of butter, melting more if necessary)
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted if you care about lumps, I didn’t and it was still smooth)

Whisk together everything except for the sugar until smooth. Then whisk in the sugar.

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Spread the glaze evenly on top of the buns. The glaze will run over, so set them on top of a plate, or set a baking sheet underneath.

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(No finished pictures other than the first one at the top of this post…sorry. I blame the cinnamon rolls.)

Directions for Cinnamon Rolls (without pictures)

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter (melt 8 Tablespoons, and measure out 2 for this part of the recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together both sugars, the cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. The mixture should look like wet sand.

Dough

  • 1.25 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2.75 cups flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • About 6 Tablespoons butter, melted (use from the melted stick of butter in the filling)

Spray a dark 9-inch cake pan. Microwave 1/4 cup of the milk until it is 110 degrees (about 15-20 seconds). Stir the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar into the milk, and let it sit for 5 minutes (until bubbly).

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and the rest of the sugar (5 teaspoons) in a large bowl. Stir in 2 Tablespoons butter, the yeast/milk mixture, and the remaining milk. A sticky dough will form. Knead it on a well-floured surface until smooth. Roll into a 12×9 inch rectangle, with the long side parallel to the countertop’s edge. Brush more of the butter all over, leaving 1/2-inch border on the side furthest from you. Sprinkle the filling evenly all over the buttered part of the dough, pressing it into the dough. Roll the dough (away from you) into a tight log, and pinch the seam to seal it.

Place the log seam side down and cut it into 8 pieces. Place the buns, cut side down, into the cake pan. As you place them, gently re-form them a bit into nice cylinders. Place them into the pan with one in the center, and the remaining 7 buns around that one. Have the seams face in to help keep them from opening up as they bake. Brush the tops with more of the melted butter, then cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and bake them until the edges are browned, about 25 minutes. Let the buns cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them and place on a wire rack to cool for another 5 minutes. During this cooling stage, make the glaze.

Glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted (use from the above stick of butter, melting more if necessary)
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted if you care about lumps, I didn’t and it was still smooth)

Whisk together everything except for the sugar until smooth. Then whisk in the sugar. Spread the glaze evenly on top of the buns. The glaze will run over, so set them on top of a plate, or set a baking sheet underneath.

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One thought on “Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Pingback: Mixed Bag Mondays (part 12): Repeat Winners and Brussel Sprouts | fudgingahead

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