I love Fall. Though I live in a place that doesn't have seasons like many of you know and love, I celebrate it in spirit. Nothing says more to me than crispy fall mornings or holidays are coming more than cinnamon and sugar. My cinnamon rolls are a family favorite that I stumbled upon making by trial and error. I know the recipe seems long and daunting but once you get the flow you can whip these up pretty quickly. Just give them a try and before you judge the fat free milk or the salted butter just give them a try just his once.
4 cups of all purpose flour plus 2 cups
1/4 cup of butter salted or French softened
2 cups of fat free milk
6 tablespoons of sugar
3.5 teaspoons of yeast
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup of butter softened salted or French
¼ cup of milk
8 ounces of cream cheese softened
8 ounces of butter (salted or French)
4 cups of powdered sugar
1teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1. Start by mixing 4 cups of flour, 5 tablespoons of sugar in a large mixing bowl. Then mix milk, ¼ cup of butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, in a microwave safe bowl and then heat in the microwave for about 1 minute till it comes up to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add yeast and then mix and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
2. Then mix together flour mixture, eggs, and milk mixture. Slowly add in another cup and a half of flour. The mixture should still be slightly tacky but extremely soft. Do not over knead the mixture but the bowl should be smooth. Get another large stainless steel bowl and grease with butter or canola spray. Place dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Then place dishtowel over the plastic wrap. I keep my bowl outside to raise my dough, but you can do it in your favorite warm humid spot of the house. If you are making this during the winter then preheat oven to about 200 degrees. Then turn off the oven and rest your dough in there. After an hour I punch down the dough once and let rise for another hour.
3. I use parchment paper to help the rest the process along. I rip a long piece about 1 foot long and lay it across the countertop. I toss a little extra flour just a light dusting to help with sticking. Then place dough in the center and dust with more flour. Then rip off a second piece of parchment the same length as the first and place on top. Using your favorite rolling pin roll out dough evenly. Once you have got the dough rolled out gently remove the top parchment paper. That moment right there, is when you thank your lucky stars you dusted the top of the dough with flour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a small bowl mix cornstarch, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Take your softened butter and spread it out evenly over the dough. Then sprinkle the entire mixture over the dough, I like to leave about a half inch border at the end of the dough. Then starting at one side of the dough (the longest part) I roll the dough into its familiar spiral pattern by gently turning it onto itself over and over again. Sometimes I need to do it in sections because the dough is so big and heavy and that’s ok. When you get to the end, roll the dough one more time to make sure the seam is at the bottom of the roll. This helps seal the rolls better.
5. Get two large baking pans, I use 8” x 13” ceramic, and butter it generously. Then cut cinnamon rolls about 2 inches wide. I use the sharpest blade possible. There are hacks out there using dental floss but I’m more of a dental pick kind of gal so I stick to the knives. Place the cinnamon rolls about 1 inch apart from each other and fill up both pans with about 16 rolls. I then cover the pans with plastic wrap and towels again and let rest for about 45 minutes. You will be amazed how much more these guys expand. The reason I have you heat up your oven so long ago is you want it to be really even and heated. Now mix the final egg and milk together and brush generously on top of the rolls and pop into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Halfway through I rotate pans. They should be nice and brown and on top and very soft and fluffy on the inside.
6. For the frosting, make sure both the butter and the cream cheese are softened but not melted. Place in your large stand mixer or giant mixing bowl and beat till fluffy. Add heavy cream and vanilla bean paste and keeping whipping. Finally sieve in all the powdered sugar. You should have the fluffiest cream cheese frosting by now. I place mine back in the fridge while the buns bake and frost them when they are still warm but not hot. Enjoy!