I really wanted to make cinnamon rolls one day, but most of the recipes I found required ingredients I didn’t have on hand. I had already told Stephen of my plans, however, so there was no turning back. After a quick search, I found a recipe (with normal ingredients!) on this adorable blog called Shoplifting in a Ghost Town. Side note: Who calls them cinnamon buns? It sounds like a hot dog bun. Mustard and ketchup for breakfast, mmm-mm!
Hers was a little hard to follow, because you have to scroll all over the place to match up the ingredients with the directions. However, it’s the cutest recipe I’ve ever seen, so at least go check it out just to make you smile!
Surprise, surprise – I didn’t make any drastic changes! Here’s what I used:
- 2 1/4 tsp (or 1 package) yeast
- 1 1/4 cup warm (not hot; she says go for “baby’s bathwater” temperature) milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 Tbs butter, softened (I always use unsalted)
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla… YUM)
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbs ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 Tbs softened butter
- 1/2 package cream cheese, very softened (I used the “1/3 less fat” neufchatel cheese, but it ended up slightly lumpy, so it might be smoother with real cream cheese)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract (or less, but I love the extra flavor)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (I used a little less than a cup)
It’s pretty easy to make, but you need to block out some time to let it rise. I actually made the dough ahead of time, let it rise and then stuck it in the refrigerator for a few days. It lost some of its “pouf” because of it, but not much, and it still turned out perfect. I would definitely go the refrigerator route again, especially if I wanted to make the cinnamon rolls for breakfast without a huge wait.
- Warm the milk in a mixing bowl and pour on the yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes before stirring.
- Add the 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbs vanilla, 2 eggs and 6 Tbs butter and mix.
- Stir in the 4 1/2 cups flour. I started with 2 cups, stirred in 2 more cups, and then added the last 1/2 cup. It should be thick enough to knead together.
- Heavily flour a flat surface (like a kitchen counter) and knead the dough for a few minutes until it’s smooth. Flour your hands too!
- Lightly grease another bowl and place the ball of dough inside. Make sure the bowl is big enough, because the dough should double in size after rising. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dishtowel and let it rise in a warm place. I set the bowl on a stool near a space heater (but make sure it doesn’t get too hot!). It should take about 1 1/2-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
- While it rises, you can mix together all the ingredients for the filling (except the butter) and set aside.
- When the dough has doubled in size, flour that flat surface again and place the dough on it. Roll it into a large rectangle. Some people use a rolling pin. I use a bottle of smoky olive oil. To each his own…
- Spread the 2 Tbs of softened butter on the dough rectangle. And by “spread,” I mean smear it around with your fingers. Cover it with the filling mixture.
- Roll it up long-ways and cut about every 1 1/2 inches. Place in a buttered dish (I ended up using 2 small dishes for 12 cinnamon rolls). Optional: let it sit in the pan for about 30 minutes to expand some more. I didn’t do this and they turned out great. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes.
- Beat together the frosting ingredients and pour on top of the cinnamon rolls when they’re finished.
- Devour with your husband and sister-in-law (or whoever is in the vicinity). Leave no prisoners.
I didn’t get any pictures when I initially made the dough, but here’s what it looked like when I put it together: