Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon Rolls

Oversized, overly rich cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting 

I have never made up a recipe for cinnamon rolls, so this was an experiment for me. I have followed recipes, but not enough to have become well-versed. I am not familiar with the proportions or the chemistry, so therefore, cinnamon rolls are not intuitive. 
     But Matthew requested cinnamon rolls. So I am giving it a try. I looked through several of my cookbooks, and I saw a LOT of variation when it came to cinnamon rolls. I liked this, because it means I have more flexibility to put my own spin on them. 
     Matthew specifically requested GIANT cinnamon rolls. And he said to LOAD IT with cream cheese frosting. So, I at least had an outline of what I wanted the outcome to be.
     Something I did notice is that some recipes call for bread flour, and some recipes called for all-purpose. My decision was made easily, because all I had was all-purpose flour. 
     I saw butter as a consistent ingredient for the dough, but I wanted to add oil as well, just because I thought it might help soften the dough. I don’t know if that’s how it works, but this was an experiment, so I wanted to try. 
     To make these GIANT cinnamon rolls, after rolling out the dough into the rectangle and spreading the filling on it, I cut it straight down the center. After rolling up one of the two strips, I “stacked” it on the other strip, rolling it with the second one. This DOUBLED the size of each cinnamon roll! 
     One other interesting thing I saw occasionally was pouring warmed heavy cream over the cinnamon rolls after rising for the second time and right before they go into the oven. The theory is this soaks into the rolls, keeping them moist and flavorful. Well, I didn’t have heavy cream, so I decided to use half & half and add a tablespoon of butter to it. I heated it just until the butter melted, and I made sure not to make it too hot. Then I poured it over the cinnamon rolls. A tiny bit of it spilled out of the side of the pan, but I may have just used a pan that was too small. We’ll see.
     Well, these smelled REALLY good while they were baking! Once I took them out of the oven, I noticed they were bursting out of the pan, basically overflowing. So, I guess I needed a bigger pan. Oh well. Next time.
     These are too much. I don’t want to make these again because I will just keep eating them. I need to never make these again. You can try them though….


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  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sour milk
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 TBS butter, softened
  • 1 TBS oil
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1 TBS butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 TBS butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Mix a pinch of sugar with yeast
  2. Add 1/4 cup warm water to the yeast, and allow to activate, about 10 minutes
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.
  4. Add yeast mixture, egg/egg yolk, vanilla, 6 tablespoons softened butter, and oil.
  5. Beat these together until a smooth dough ball forms (If you have a stand mixer, use that. I do not have a stand mixer, so I used a hand mixer. The dough was too thick, so I had to stop halfway through and mix it by hand until it all came together. Warning:the way I did it takes some muscle and may take a while) 
  6. Once the dough has been formed, place it in a large greased bowl.
  7. Cover the surface of the dough with plastic wrap, cover the bowl.
  8. Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  9. After rising, punch dough down.
  10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 16×20 inch rectangle. 
  11. Mix together 1/2 cup softened butter, dark brown sugar and cinnamon.
  12. Spread butter sugar mixture evenly over rolled out dough.
  13. With a pizza cutter, split dough in half by cutting down the center lengthwise.
  14. Carefully roll up one of the strips, starting with the small end.
  15. Sit that rolled up strip on top of the remaining strip and roll together.
  16. Cut into 5 equal slices.
  17. Place into a greased 9 inch cake pan and place the pan on a cookie sheet (these cinnamon rolls will have to be squished into the pan, and they will flow over the edges of the pan!)
  18. Allow to double in size, about 20-30 minutes.
  19. Warm up the half & half and one tablespoon of softened butter until butter is melted (mixture should be slightly warm, but not hot).
  20. Pour carefully and evenly over the risen rolls (it will soak and surround them).
  21. Bake the pan of rolls on the cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
  22. Prepare cream cheese frosting by beating the cream cheese and softened tablespoon of butter together until creamy.
  23. Add vanilla and mix well.
  24. Stir in powdered sugar, then beat with the electric mixer until fluffy.
  25. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.
  • These cinnamon rolls ended up overflowing in the 9 inch round cake pan, but I really liked how they looked! Also, you don’t want to use a pan that’s too big, otherwise it’s possible they may “unravel” in the oven!
  • I have not tested these without pouring the half & half mixture over them; I don’t know how it will turn out if that step is skipped. 

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