There are a few things I crave when the sky is gray and it looks like rain. One of them is a big bowl of chili; the other is a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Since it is raining out, and my hubby is not a big Chili fan I decided to go the Cinnamon Roll route.
I had quite an obsession for Cinnamon Rolls, specifically Cinnabon Rolls. I remember, back when I worked for a particular airline based out of Charlotte, whenever I went there for training I would have to stop by to feed my obsession. I mean they were just so good, as soon as I got off the plane and made my way through the terminal and, if I ever caught a whiff of the sweet cinnamonny, buttery goodness. I would just have to get one or four. Yeah, that happen a lot.
Nowadays, since the closest Cinnabon is about 20 minutes away and current gas prices are almost $4.00 a gallon, I decided to try my hand at making these wonderful confections myself. I'll admit I was a bit nervous at first, because working with yeast can be tricky. If the water is too cold the yeast won't bloom, and if it's too hot you'll kill it. But with my trusty thermometer (and prayer) I got it right on the first try. The recipe I adapted my happiness from called for hand mixing the dough, but I'm not in to manual labor. I broke out my best friend, the KitchenAid mixer. Now if you don't have one, drop everything you are doing and get one now, or just use a wooden spoon.
The next thing I started thinking about was the icing. Cinnabon uses a cream cheese icing (so they say) but I do not like cream cheese… at all. The mere mention of it gets my face to turning up in all kinds of directions. I don't like the taste, the smell… I'm just not a fan. Usually when I make the icing I will simply use my good old Buttercream recipe, but since I have 3, 3lb containers of cream cheese in the freezer I figured I would give it a try.
A quick heads up before you get started following along with me; this recipe calls for Bread Flour. I know not everyone keeps a 50lb bag of bread flour in their kitchen like I do, but cinnamon rolls are breakfast bread so it is needed. There are plenty of good, no expensive brands you can find in the store. Pillsbury and King Arthur's are both good brands.
•1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
•2 eggs, room temperature
•1/3 cup butter, melted
•4 1/2 cups bread flour
•1 teas salt
•1/2 cup white sugar
•1 pkg yeast (1/4 ounce or 2 ½ tsp if you buy in bulk like me)
For the Filling:
•1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
•2 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 cup butter, softened
For the Icing:
•3 oz cream cheese, softened
•1/2 cup butter, softened
•2 cups confectioners' sugar
•1/2 tsp vanilla extract
•1/8 tsp salt
- Dissolve, yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Knead dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour otherwise you will be pick dough off your hands for hours. Put in a bowl and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. Now here is the great thing about making any kind of dough. If you aren't ready to use it, go and let out some aggression and punch down the dough. I call it dough therapy. Do this until you are ready to move to the next step.
3. Spray work surface, whatever it may be (counter top or grandma's antique table) with cooking spray or sprinkle flour on it otherwise get out your chisel to get the dried dough up.
4. Roll dough out into a 16x21 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread dough with 1/2 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture and pat it down.
5. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls (or smaller rolls). Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled. This should take about 30 minutes.
|To roll the log, start in the middle and work your way out until you get a long log.|
|To make sure you get even rolls. Using a serrated knife and slice log in half, then line the halves next to each other. Score tops of dough to ensure even size then slice through.|
6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 18–20 minutes.
7. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on while they are still warm so that it melts into the roll.
|Doesn't that look good.|
So the verdict on the cream cheese frosting, still not a fan. My compromise, add more butter (butter fixes everything especially pants being too loose). It is the perfect blend of butter and cream cheese. If you happen to be a fan of cream cheese, simply lower the butter to a ¼ cup. I hope you enjoy these yummy treats as much as I did. Be blessed.