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Let’s celebrate with cinnamon rolls!

Blogger tells me that this is my 200th post.  Yay!!  Whenever we are celebrating something here, we have cinnamon rolls – homemade, gooey, smothered in cream cheese frosting…

Cinnamon Roll Recipe

 These are not like most recipes I have seen.  These do not have any rise time, though they do have yeast.  They are so easy and quick to make.  Not quite as quick as popping open a can, but quick enough to make (too?) often.

After setting out a stick of butter and package of cream cheese to soften, I start the yeast and honey.  The “official” recipe says to put it all in the mixer (save for about 1/3 of the flour) at once.  I usually get these started while gathering the rest of the ingredients.

I use both all-purpose and whole wheat flours (always King Arthur :D).  If I have some available, I use milk powder.  If not, I found the same amount of corn starch works just as well.
After adding the above with melted butter, eggs and salt, mix – adding the reserved flour until you have a nice dough.  Not too sticky, not too dry.  I don’t knead this like I do for bread, just mix well.
Meanwhile, take that butter and put half in a bowl with the cream cheese.  The other half will be spread over the dough before sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Sometimes I add some cardamom for part of the cinnamon – yum!!
Divide the dough in half and roll it out into a rectangle.  I have a large cutting board that I roll dough on.  It is almost “seasoned” so that I don’t have to use much flour to keep the dough from sticking.  Spread with half of the butter.  I usually use a small silicone spatula for this – it doesn’t gouge the dough.
Now for the good stuff!  Spread half of the brown sugar/spice mixture over your buttered dough.  Roll up tightly, pressing to seal.  This is also about the time I remember to turn the oven on to preheat.
I use my bench knife to cut into 12 equal portions and place in a greased baking dish.  I use a 5qt glass dish for the whole recipe.  You could also use 2 smaller (8×11) pans.  Repeat with the remaining dough, butter and brown sugar/spice.
You may be thinking “those look awfully anemic”  “I want fuller rolls”  “surely I need to let these rise!”  Trust me!  Just put in the hot oven and bake (about 15 minutes or so).
See?  Yummy goodness.  Almost perfection….while they are baking and cooling (a bit) mix some vanilla with that cream cheese and butter.  Add enough powdered sugar to make the icing how you like it.  I usually use about one pound – not too runny when they are hot and fresh, but not too thick when they cool and it sets up.  Now they are ready to eat.

The recipe was inspired by “World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls” from Marsha Sawyer in the MOMYS cookbook.  I have (of course) tweaked it to make it my own.  During birthday season, they are made so often, I don’t even need the recipe. Here is my version:

Cinnamon Rolls

Servings 24 rolls

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 T yeast
  • 1 C water
  • 1/4-1/3 C honey
  • 1/2 C butter melted
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T milk powder or corn starch
  • 2 C all-purpose flour and any additional needed for rolling out
  • 2 C whole wheat flour

Sugar & Spice

  • 1/4 C butter softened - to spread on rolled out dough
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 3 T cinnamon or 2 T cinnamon + 1 T cardamom

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1/4 C butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 t vanilla or more!
  • 1 # powdered sugar more or less for desired consistency

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400º
  2. Combine dough ingredients in mixing bowl -- reserving 1 to 1 1/2 C flour until everything else is mixed.
  3. Add remaining flour until dough is formed. Knead lightly if mixing by hand. Too much machine mixing/kneading develops too much gluten and a bread-like texture.
  4. Divide dough into two parts, working with one half at a time.
  5. Roll out on floured surface into large rectangle.
  6. In small bowl, combine sugar & spice ingredients with a fork.
  7. Spread half of 1/4 C butter over the rolled out dough. Cover with half of sugar & spice mixture.
  8. Roll up starting with long edge. Cut into twelve pieces.
  9. Place in greased pan and repeat with other half of dough, butter and sugar & spice mixture.
  10. Bake 15 minutes (can bake longer for more color).
  11. While baking, cream butter and cream cheese for icing.
  12. Add vanilla and half of powdered sugar.
  13. Continue adding powdered sugar 1 C at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  14. Remove pan from oven and cool on rack 10 minutes.
  15. Spread icing over rolls and serve.
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