Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

I got this recipe from my mother, and we love it. Everyone I know who's ever tried it loves it.

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) quick-acting active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract*
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract*
4 teaspoons milk (more as needed)

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Heat milk , vanilla, sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon until just warm and butter is just beginning to melt (approx 110*-115*F), stirring constantly. Add milk mixture to flour and stir. Add eggs and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can (dough will be soft). Knead in enough flour to make a moderately soft dough (approx.3-5 minutes). Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half. Shape each half into a smooth ball and then cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll each half into a 12x8" rectangle. Spread each with 3 tablespoons of the softened butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half over each rectangle. Roll up from the short side. Seal edges; using a sharp, serrated knife, slice each roll into 8 pieces. Arrange slices evenly in a greased 13x9" baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350*F for 25-30 minutes until browned. Invert at once onto a wire rack and then invert again. Cool slightly.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, adding more milk as necessary to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over rolls.

*The point of the clear vanilla is, obviously, color. If you don't have clear, I'm sure regular vanilla extract would work just as well.

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