Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Epic Cinnamon Rolls

Girls Night! Anyone looking for some holiday brunch ideas?! Our theme this month was Breakfast for Dinner. We had Craisin/Raisin/Coconut Baked Oatmeal, a Spinach, Onion, and Gouda Quiche, Blueberry muffins, some Breakfast Sausage, Fresh Fruit, and Cinnamon Rolls.

Have you ever watched the Cinnabon folks magically create those delicious cinnamon rolls?? It is quite an art. I have never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before but I have been very intrigued and pinning many different recipes. This one caught my eye since the dough didn't have to rise or need random ingredients or yeast! Great for an impulse throw together recipe! It had the added benefit of letting me use the food processor. Though you could also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.

I couldn't believe how easy and tasty these cinnamon rolls were!! Because it was a new recipe it did take me longer, but you could whip these babies up in less than an hour! And 20 minutes of that time will be tapping your foot while smelling the cinnamon glory that awaits you! You can also pre-make them and leave them in the fridge to cook in the morning.

Two things that surprised me was that these were not overly sticky sweet (more cinnamon less sugar sweet) AND there really wasn't as much butter in them as I had expected. I thought that these rolls were similar to the Pillsbury pop out of a can ones, minus all the preservatives. 

The recipe below was adapted from Don't Forget Delicious: Fastest Cinnamon Rolls. I substituted in sour cream for the ricotta/cottage cheese (I'm kind of cheap...) and made my own buttermilk concoction of milk and white vinegar (yep, still cheap!). I didn't have cardamom or allspice so I used nutmeg in its place. Another option for buttermilk would be using plain yogurt. I think I might try that next time.

My dough was very sticky (probably from the sour cream/ricotta swap) so I had some trouble with it sticking to...my hands, the counter, the cutting board, the knife, my phone from when I tried to take a picture (limited pictures during the dough process), the recipe, my laptop, the stove, etc. Long story short, I would add more flour next time. However, working with dough can be a trial and error situation - you learn what dough consistency you are looking for, you also never know about humidity or heat which can also impact the dough textures. Also, when adding in flour, add it in a little at a time because the dough texture can change quickly.

Cream cheese frosting would also be good, but I made more of an icing glaze since I had these ingredients in the house. Again, these ingredients vary but go with whatever consistency you want - thicker add more sugar, thinner add more milk.

Future variations: adding in walnuts or pecans, using the dough base for fruity rolls or chocolate chips.

These are pretty heavy, one was quite filling. Recipe made 8, we ate 7, there were 6 of us.

Even though they may not have been the prettiest of cinnamon rolls (this time!), the recipe is a keeper and I would try it again for a brunch or family breakfast.

Sour cream, "buttermilk", sugar, melted butter, and vanilla
Add the rest of the ingredients
Dump onto floured surface, kneed, flour some more, roll it out
Apply butter with back of the spoon and then pile on the sugar/spice combo

Spatula that helped me roll
While they look like they are struggling, they smelled awesome - so at least they would be tasty!
They expanded a lot during baking!

Add icing and serve!
Update 1/12/2014: I tried to make the Ina Garten cinnamon rolls but the yeast didn't rise properly and the rolls were tough and dry. Honestly, not worth trying other recipes when this one works so well!!

Update 2/1/2014: I want to make these without planning and I never have sour cream, ricotta, or Greek yogurt in the fridge (both good substitutes for sour cream). I found a baking substitute and it actually worked! I did a rough estimate to make the substitute from 1 cup to the actually requirement of 3/4 cups. 1 cup sour cream = 3/4 cup sour milk (milk & vinegar) + 1/3 cup butter. These are extra moist and should bake for closer to 30-35 minutes and cover with tinfoil towards the end to keep the rolls from getting too brown. 
updated picture with our fancy camera!

Cinnamon Rolls 
Makes 8 rolls

  • 3/4 cup sour cream : see above for substitute
  • 1/3 cup "buttermilk" : milk + 1/3 tbsp white vinegar = 1/3 cup; let sit 5 minutes after combining before adding into mixture
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • approx 2 cups all purpose flour (up to you to determine stickiness)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Just under 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
  • 3 (ish) tablespoons milk (or until desired consistency, I used light cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 8 or 9″ baking pan with cooking spray. 

Combine the sour cream, "buttermilk", sugar, melted butter, and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (approx 5-8 pulses). 

The dough will be soft and moist. If it is sticking to your hands, add a little more flour.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×15-inch rectangle (approx same size as plastic cutting board size, err on the side of smaller rectangle). I had lots of holes as I rolled the dough out too thin, but it also could have been because my dough was sticky.

Brush the dough with the melted butter, (drizzled the butter and then spread with back of a spoon) leaving a 1/2-inch border unbuttered around the edges. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and press gently into the surface. 

Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough. If you are having trouble with the dough sticking, I used a floured narrow spatula to scoop up the edges to roll that way.

With a sharp knife (floured if dough is still too sticky), cut the roll into equal pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry about gaps. 

Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 - 25 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

While baking is in process... In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to make a smooth glaze. Add milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. Spread onto warm rolls. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

I dolloped the icing on the rolls and served right out of baking dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment