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  • Writer's picturemandyjdc

Pillow-y Cinnamon Rolls

This was yet another first for me. Making homemade cinnamon rolls seemed a little too labor intensive when I could just get frozen cinnamon rolls, or rolls from those scary "pop" cans. I'll be honest, this isn't anything I'm going to be making all the time. It is a bit messy and time consuming, but for those times you're really craving an amazingly warm, soft, buttery, gooey cinnamon-y treat it IS worth it. It's definitely a special weekend breakfast . This dough will melt in your mouth, and no worries, there is PLENTY of buttery, cinnamon sugar throughout. No one wants to bite into a dry, cinnamon roll that skimps on the good stuff!

Then of course, there's the icing. I used almond extract instead of vanilla, because it's a bit different, and I love a bit of almond flavoring in baked goods. This icing was perfect- sweet with the nutty hint of almond, a little tang from the cream cheese, but not sickeningly sweet. Just...amazing. I ended up scarfing a whole roll within minutes, before I even knew what happened.

Anyways, I highly recommend making these at some point. Make them on a Saturday for a delicious treat later on, or save them for a lazy Sunday morning. Just pop it in the microwave for a warm, delectable treat that rivals any you'd find at a professional bakery.

Ingredients for Dough:

4 C Flour

1/2 C White sugar

3/4 tsp Salt

1/3 C Softened butter (cubed)

1 C Warm whole milk (98-103 degrees)

7g (2 tsp) Instant yeast

2 Large eggs

1 Large egg yolk

Softened butter for greasing pan

Ingredients for Filling:

1 C Brown sugar

2 1/2 Tbl Cinnamon

1/3 C Softened butter

Ingredients for glaze:

4 oz Cream Cheese

3/4 C Powdered sugar

3 Tbl Milk

Almond or vanilla extract to taste

How to:

  1. Whisk together flour, white sugar, and salt. Add in 1/3 C soft butter and blend into the flour with two forks until you get about pea sized crumbs.

  2. Heat milk in microwave until you get desired temperature, about 100 degrees. Stir in yeast and let sit for a few minutes and the top of the milk should be foamy if your yeast is active.

  3. Add your yeast milk and eggs to the flour mixture.

  4. Mix with a dough hook in a stand mixer on medium low speed for about 3 minutes until you get a smooth dough.

  5. Dough will be VERY sticky. Flour a work surface, and put flour on your hands. Dump dough on floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, and form into a ball. Place into an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

  6. While this is rising, go ahead and mix together your cinnamon and brown sugar.

  7. Once your dough has risen, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick rectangle. I found that it was easier to roll out in to a rectangle shape if I shaped the ball of dough into a rectangle first, and then rolled out once lengthwise, then once widthwise, and repeat! My rectangle came out to about 24 in long and 16 inch tall. This recipe makes almost Cinnabon sized rolls - be warned!

  8. Spread your softened 1/3 C butter over the surface of the rectangle. You want this butter super soft so you can easily spread it without tearing the dough. I used an offset spatula for this.

  9. Sprinkle your cinnamon sugar mixture all over the buttered surface and pat down so you get a nice, even layer of cinnamon sugar.

  10. Roll the dough tightly, lengthwise, until you get a long log.

  11. Cut dough into even rolls, about 2 inches wide.

  12. Thoroughly grease a 9 X 13 X 2 baking dish along the sides and bottom

  13. Place cinnamon rolls cut side down in dish, leaving a little bit of room in between, as they will grow during the resting process.

14. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 45 minutes.

15. The recipe I used said to heat oven to 375 degrees F, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Depending on how thick your rolls are, they may take longer to bake. If they start getting too brown without being cooked in the middle, tent with foil. Full disclosure, mine were under-baked at 20 minutes. I had to add another 10 minutes, and did the foil tent to prevent burning.

Baking is always a learning process. I think it would safer to bake at 350 degrees and bake longer to ensure thorough doneness without burning.

If you try this, let me know how it goes! I'll definitely be using 350 degrees for longer next time.

16. For the glaze, beat together your powdered sugar and cream cheese. Once smooth and creamy, add in the milk and extract of your choice.

17. Drizzle glaze over your hot cinnamon rolls, and you're ready to go!



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