It's been a little while since I've posted thanks to the holidays, travel, and the unwelcome visit of a stomach bug to our home. So...for my first post back, I figured I owed you a good one. A really good one.
Cookie Bandit and I just love cinnamon rolls and have been on the search for a good recipe for a while now. After combining elements of several recipes and a few things from our own imagination, this is what we've come up with. It's positively divine!
The cinnamon rolls are deliciously moist because of mashed potatoes (the most important secret ingredient in any cinnamon roll recipe). Because they rise overnight, you don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make them.
And the caramel cream cheese frosting? Yeah - that was my invention. You're welcome. :)
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, butter, salt, mashed potatoes, and bread flour. Gently add the yeast mixture and stir until combined.
At this point, you'll want to prepare the filling. All you do is combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Easy peasy.
Prepare two baking pans (rectangle or round) by spreading melted butter on the bottom.
Place your dough on a floured countertop. I suggest putting some flour on top of the dough to keep your rolling pin from sticking.
Roll dough into a large rectangle until it's about 1/4 inch thick. The rectangle doesn't have to be perfect!
Spread melted butter all over the top of the dough...
...and then very liberally sprinkle your cinnamon/brown sugar filling over that.
Oh my word, doesn't that look delicious?! My mouth is watering just by looking at the photos.
Roll up the dough jellyroll style. Take your time with this, moving a little at a time. Don't worry if it doesn't look pretty - it doesn't have to.
Cut into 24 slices, about 1 inch thick. Place slices into your prepared pans (a dozen per pan). It's okay if they touch - just nestle them in next to each other. Once again, it doesn't have to look pretty.
Cover your pans loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night. OR, if you don't want to wait until the next morning, just leave on the counter and let rise for another hour before baking. Works either way.
Meanwhile, make your icing! You can whip up the icing at any point, although I like to do it the night before and then refrigerate it so that I don't have to mess with it in the morning.
Melt some butter in a saucepan.
Add brown sugar and salt, cooking and stirring for about two minutes until you start to smell that distinctive caramel smell. Add milk and vanilla and remove from heat, letting it cool for at least ten minutes.
Toss in a package of cream cheese and some powdered sugar. Whip with an electric beater for the most even results.
I generally start with 3 cups of powdered sugar and then add more if I think the consistency is too thin. Remember, as the icing cools it will thicken, so it's going to seem a little thinner than you would expect. And, we're not icing a cake - we just need to be able to spread it over cinnamon rolls.
When you get up the next morning, pull the cinnamon rolls out of the refrigerator and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then spread with icing. It's a perfect breakfast any day of the year!
For the rolls:
- 2 t. plus 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 t. salt
- 1 cup homemade mashed potatoes
- 6 cups bread flour
For the filling:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 T. cinnamon
- 6 T. melted butter
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
For the rolls, mix together 2 teaspoons sugar, warm water, and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine the rest of the roll ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast mixture. Stir gently. Cover dough and let double in size.
For filling, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Once the dough has finished rising, roll out into a rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick. Spread with 6 T. melted butter and sprinkle liberally with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style and cut into 1-inch slices. Nestle slices together onto two baking sheets or round baking pans that have been greased with melted butter. Cover loosely with cling wrap and place in refrigerator. Let rise overnight in refrigerator (6-8 hours).
The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove rolls from refrigerator and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
To make icing, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt. Cook on low for about 2 minutes or until butter has browned and mixture smells like caramel. Add milk; remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then add the cream cheese and 3 cups powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed - add more powdered sugar, if desired, to reach spreadable consistency (note: icing will thicken more as it continues to cool). Spread icing over baked cinnamon rolls. Icing may be made the night before and refrigerated.