Cinnamon Rolls

4 Jan

I’ve been wanting to make Pioneer Woman’s legendary cinnamon rolls for ages, but couldn’t justify making so much food for just two people. So when I had several people visiting yesterday, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to finally create these beauties myself.

These are SO easy to make ahead and freeze extras if needed. What a perfect thing to have on hand if you need to feed a crowd! Plus, they make your house smell like a bakery – yum! They’re not difficult to make, you just need to set aside the time needed for the dough to rise and to assemble the rolls. I just made half the original recipe and had plenty to spare. (the recipe below is the half recipe) The dough is so light that you almost forget about all the butter, cinnamon, and sugar added to it. You can also adapt the icing to the consistency and flavor you like. I decided to forgo the coffee in the original recipe, since I didn’t think the kids would go for it, and just stuck to a basic icing with a touch of maple.

Which leads me to ask – are you a heavy or light icing person? I’m not much of an icing/frosting person in general, so had a light hand on it. But for those who adore it, you can definitely heap on more!

So next time you have a group to feed or want to indulge on your own, please please please make these cinnamon rolls. You won’t be sorry!

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 Tbsp salt

Filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
Plenty of ground cinnamon

Icing:
2+ cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt

Yield: 20-25 rolls

Directions:
For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour to rise. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place it in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. To assemble the rolls, remove the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour the melted butter on top of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle ground cinnamon and the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar!

Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log“ will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a few teaspoons of melted butter into your baking pan and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd.

Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 more minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the icing: In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. If it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar until it thickens. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time! Serve while warm and enjoy!

Source: Slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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