My friends, today is a very special day. Not only are Husband and I celebrating our anniversary, but you are getting privy to my favorite recipe. Cinnamon rolls are one of my ultimate favorites. As a kid, I got used to the tube of Pillsbury that you just pop open (fun part) and bake. I don’t think I remember ever having had goey cheese-covered cinnabon-type rolls at my house unless they were in a box from the mall chain.
As soon as I had an apt. in college with my own kitchen, I really started to cook. I’d put together a recipe book from online sources and tried the dishes, recipe by recipe. I remember very clearly one dud that I served to my parents and then bf that was a total grossfest. Imagine roasted green peppers stuffed with tomato paste, unsalted rice, and a can of black beans. No flavorings, no spices, just icky.
As a happy counterpart, I managed to hit the jackpot on a recipe for cinnamon rolls. I don’t know from where the recipe hails, as I never documented my sources, but this recipe is my ultimate favoritest most delumptuously delightful treasure of a recipe. It almost deserves a moment of silent reverence just for being. Yum. And just so ya know, this baby packs it big. You and your friends can both enjoy a plateful of sticky sweet joy in bread form. I’m talking like 20 rolls here.
2 1/2 t. active dry yeast
1 c. warm milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1 t. salt
4 c. flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. margarine, softened
1/4 c. margarine or butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cream cheese
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. milk
For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the milk in a large bowl. Milk should be lukewarm, slightly above body temp. Allow to grow for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, margarine, and the rest of the dough ingredients and mix well. Knead dough 5 minutes by hand or in stand mixer. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with damp tea towel. Place bowl in warm area and allow dough to double in size. 1-2 hrs.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of approximately 29″x14″. Make sure dough is not sticking to countertop before moving on. Using a spatula, spread margarine over dough evenly. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle atop. Working carefully from the bottom edge (looking at the dough hotdog style) begin stretching and rolling the dough from the center outward. Using a serrated knife, cut into 2″ rolls. Place rolls in a (couple of) greased baking dishes. You now have 2 options:
1. You may cover the rolls and allow to rise again, then bake.
2. You may cover the rolls in cellophane wrap and refridgerate or freeze until ready to bake.
Let’s say you choose option 1. Cover the rolls with the tea towel again and wait about an hour. Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the dish at the halfway point.
If you’re the delayed gratification type, cover the rolls with cellophane and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze for a month or so. Before baking, place the rolls in a cool oven accompanied by a coffeepot or pan of boiling water. Turn on the oven light and proof the rolls for about 30 minutes, or until they’ve gotten nice and puffy. Remove from oven and bake 30 min. in a 350 preheated oven.
For the icing: beat all the ingredients until the sugar is no longer grainy. Spread liberally over the top of warm rolls. Save some icing for when the rolls cool a bit, just in case it got melty and ran down to the bottom of the pan. Enjoy!