Sunday, November 6, 2011

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls...I swear it's true!

Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls
My husband loves cinnamon rolls. They are his absolute favourite treat. I'd even go as far as to say that he loves them even more than my Best Ever Fudge Brownies. Choosing a snack in a bakery is always super easy for him, if they have cinnamon rolls then that's what he's getting. Lately though he hasn't been very happy with the store bought/bakery versions he's been getting. Why is that? Well I'm shamelessly admitting that he prefers my cinnamon rolls more.

And he's right . This recipe is AMAZING. I've tried many different recipes for cinnamon rolls and I've come to the conclusion that a fantastic cinnamon roll needs to be yeasted, proofed overnight and smothered in cream cheese glaze. These cinnamon rolls are rich, soft, slightly gooey/raw (but not uncooked) on the inside, have the right balance of sweet and cinnamon, and have the most amazing hint of yeast flavor.

The cream cheese glaze is my recipe but the recipe I use for the dough is from allrecipes.com. Normally I only use that website for inspiration or research as I always find their recipes to be lacking a certain polish. This recipe is perfect as is. The only problem is that it was written for a bread machine! Who uses those anymore?

So I've rewritten the recipe for all you bakers who don't use bread machines because you know how important it is to proof the yeast, mix in the flour cup by cup, and knead, pinch, poke, and stretch the dough by hand to really feel when the gluten is elastic and ready to left alone to rise.

Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls
from allrecipes.com

Dough Ingredients:
  • 1 cup warm soy milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 room temperature eggs (they can't be cold, let them sit in warm water for a few minutes)
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour (bread flour will also work)


Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

Cream Cheese Glaze:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp of soy milk

Directions:
  1. Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer and stir in the sugar, sprinkle with the yeast. Wait until the yeast is activated and frothy. About 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the melted butter, eggs and salt and mix together using the paddle attachment.
  3. Mix in the flour cup by cup switching over to the dough hook when the dough forms a ball.
  4. Knead in the stand mixer for 8 minutes adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Remove dough from the mixer and place on a work surface and knead by hand for a couple of minutes. The dough should be smooth, elastic when you stretch it out with your fingers for the window pane test.
  5. Form dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Let rest until doubled in size. 1-1.5 hours.
  6. When the dough has doubled punch down and place on a floured or non-stick work mat. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough lengthwise and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch glass baking pan. Glass works best. I've used metal but glass pans tend to make a better looking roll.
  8. At this point you have two options: 
  • Recommended: Cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight in the refrigerator. Take them out the next morning and let them hang out on your counter top while you preheat the oven to 400F. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are puffed out and the tops are golden brown.
  • Same day option: Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F.  Bake rolls for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla to your stand mixer bowl and beat with the whisk attachment until smooth, remembering to scrape down the sides and bottom. Add the milk tbsp by tbsp to thin out the glaze. Top hot rolls, fresh out of the oven, with a spoonful of glaze. Use the backside of the spoon to spread it. Enjoy these little guys warm. 

Nutritional Info: These cinnamon rolls are criminal nutritionally. I recommend only enjoying one as they are 440 calories each (367 without the glaze)! Ouch! But everyone should enjoy a treat every once and awhile and on holidays calories don't exist right?