Obligatory short story; I learned how to make cinnamon rolls completely out of utility I was nearing the end of my college career and had to leave my apartment soon, but my pantry still had an abundance of flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and a packet of yeast hidden on the top shelves. I didn’t want to buy a bunch of new groceries to satisfy my munchies, so instead I spent three hours making cinnamon rolls from scratch. The recipe I based my rolls off of comes courtesy of Paula Dean and the Food Network, I have no shame. But having this recipe in my back pocket came in handy when I surprised my mom with an unannounced trip home and an oven full of rolls for her birthday (I even made the kitchen cleaner than when I got there). I digress about how awesome of a son I am, here’s the recipe.
- ¼ ounce package yeast
- ½ Cup warm water
- ½ scalded milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 3 ½ -4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup melted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup diced apples
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 7 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside for a few minutes for yeast to activate.
- In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, butter, salt, and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.
- Add yeast mixture to batter. Gradually add remaining flour as the dough begins to form. Once pliable, knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, loosely cover and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Dough will expand drastically. Once it’s about double its initial size, punch it down to release any large air pockets. Roll out on a floured surface until dough is about ¼ inch thick evenly. For most efficient use of dough, roll into a square shape. Spread melted butter evenly across the dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon, liberally sprinkle the mix over the buttered dough. At this point I like to add diced granny smith apples for flare.
- Start rolling the sheet of dough lengthwise, be careful to keep the tuck tight. As you finish the roll, pinch the edge to seal the dough. Cut into 1 ½ -2 inch slices.
- Thoroughly coat a baking pan with butter and place the cinnamon roll slices in close quarters, cover with a towel. Preheat oven to 350 F. Let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Then bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Wait 10 minutes to cool after baking before putting on icing.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter.
- Add vanilla and milk, gradually mix in powdered sugar and salt until smooth.
Enjoy some cinnamon rolls with a tall glass of milk, dark coffee, or a good scotch.