Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possible want and hold.~ Judith Olney
A few weeks ago I posted a picture of some cinnamon rolls and several people asked for the recipe. So hear goes. If you've never made cinnamon rolls before I hope this recipe sounds as easy as it really is. If you have, you already know what a cinch it is and how much fun it can be to roll up the dough like a big sleeping bag. Kids love to help with that part. And one nice thing I like to remember when I'm baking with a new recipe is that if it calls for a lot of butter and sugar (like this one), it's pretty much impossible to flub up completely. The results WILL be good, by the very nature of the ingredients.
I make these on Saturday and store them in the fridge overnight. First thing Sunday morning I take them out and let them rise at room temperature or on top of a warm oven until they are doubled in size and ready to bake. This way they're ready in time for brunch and you still get to enjoy a lazy morning because you've done the fussing around with dough the day before.
Sunday Cinnamon Rolls
I use a bread machine, but I hear this recipe does just as well by hand if you are familiar with the basic dough-making process.
Into the bread machine (in the order listed):
1 cup of very warm milk
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1/3 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of white sugar
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
Set the bread machine to the dough setting and start the dough. When the dough cycle is finished turn the dough (which should be doubled in size) onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a big rectangle, about 16X20 inches.
In a small mixing bowl or covered container, mix together:
1 cup of brown sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons of cinnamon
Spread or brush the rectangle with:
1/2 cup of softened butter
And then sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Starting from one of the long sides of the rectangle, roll up the dough. Then cut into 12 pieces. I cut it like this to make the rolls as equal in thickness as possible: Cut the dough in half, then each half into half again, to make quarters that are more or less equal in length. Then it's really easy to cut each quarter into thirds and they are all about the same thickness. Set the rolls into greased 13x 9 pan, cut sides up, the let them rise in a warm place. (Or cover and refrigerate overnight at this point.) When the rolls are doubled in size, bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.
We either sprinkle the rolls with powdered sugar, or (more often) we go the whole hog and spread them with cream cheese frosting. It's super easy to make homemade cream cheese frosting, just blend together equal parts butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer (about 3 T each), add a little vanilla extract, and then add powdered sugar until you get the right consistancy for spreading. Another way to make super easy icing is to just blend a little bowl of powdered sugar with a teaspoon or so of water or milk, and stir with a fork, adding more liquid a few drops at a time until it's the texture you want. Then just drizzle on top of the cinnamon rolls once they are almost all they way cool.
These rolls are best served with fresh fruit and hot coffee or cold milk. Avoid the effort completely if your brunch mates are ones to dwell on the calories, however if you have a sweet-toothed and easygoing crowd they will be a sure hit.