Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls.

These cinnamon rolls are simply amazing.  The Baker Chick gets credit for my inspiration on this one.  Her pictures were enough to convince me to experiment with a few recipes and this is where I ended up.  The recipe takes an hour and a half to two hours from start to finish.  It's a little fussy - but the rolls called to me and after a couple of tries and some adaptations, I’ve decided they’re worth the investment in time.
There are four distinct parts to this recipe: the dough, the filling, the browned butter for the filling, and the frosting.

Part I: The Dough
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

Heat the milk until it just starts to bubble.  Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until it melts completely.  Cool to about 120 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour, sugar and salt.  When milk/butter mixture is cooled, add yeast to it and stir.  Then, add the milk mixture, egg, and water to the dry ingredients.  Mix with hand mixer until smooth.  Stir in remaining 1 ¼ cups of flour, ¼ cup at a time.  Dough will be stiff so mixing by hand is your best choice at this point.  When dough starts to pull together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Part II: The Filling
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.

Part III: The Browned Butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, sliced

Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt, stirring frequently.  Once melted, the butter will start to foam up. Watch and continue to stir. When the foam subsides, brown specks will start to form on the bottom of the pan.  As soon as this happens, remove from heat to stop further cooking.  [Watching the butter closely will avoid burning it.  If it burns, start over. Browned butter gives a rich, nutty flavor; burned butter tastes, well, burned.]
While the butter cools a bit, roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 9 x 13 rectangle.  Use a pastry brush to spread butter generously over dough.  Sprinkle brown sugar & cinnamon evenly on dough and press it in gently using fingers.  Roll dough into a cylinder, starting on a long edge.  Pinch the seam to close it securely.  Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into 12 equal size pieces and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle any remaining butter over the top.  Cover and let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Once rolls have doubled in size, bake in a 375 degree oven for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and spread with frosting.

Part IV: The Frosting
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Use hand mixer to mix together butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Spread on warm rolls and enjoy!