The snow has fallen and although dreaded winter, aka Jack Frost, Father Winter or what ever you call this season, is here to stay, our family always enjoys celebrating (or enduring, depending on who you ask) with comfort food and cuddling by the fire.
As promised, here’s my families favorite winter comfort food recipe – Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting!
I believe anyone can make delicious breads with the right instructions and a little practice. The most important things to remember: Don’t over-work the dough, sticky dough makes softer, yummier rolls! Good rolls take time, about 3 hours from start to finish but the smell alone is worth the wait.
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:
4- 4 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp or 1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup salted butter
1/4 cup melted salted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Caramel Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk
1 cup brown sugar
- Mix 2 cups flour with one package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp) in KitchenAid or in large bowl.
- In a sauce pan, stir over medium heat just until butter melts: 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (If using unsalted butter add 1/2 teaspoon salt.)
- Add 2 eggs to the flour, pour in warm milk mixture and combine on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then beat on high for 3 minutes.
- Turn mixer down to a low speed and slowly add 1 cup of flour.
- Once combined, change to a dough hook or use a large wooden spoon if using a hand held mixer. Then add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour. Knead on low for about 3 minutes. This is probably the most important part of bread making. Just put in enough flour so that the most of the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. It will still sticky to the touch.If you live in a humid climate, you may need to increase the amount of flour by a few tablespoons.
- Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a clean, large bowl. Lightly place the dough in the olive oil and then flip it over so both the top and the bottom are coated. Cover the dough with a clean towel and place in a warm area to rise until double the size, about 30 – 45 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and shape into a large ball. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Lightly flour a clean, dry counter top and roll dough into a large rectangle shape. Always roll dough from the middle out, never rolling back and forth.
- Melt 1/4 cup salted butter and pour onto dough spreading with a brush or the back of a spoon. Save about 2 tablespoons of the butter to brush on top of the rolls after you roll them.
- Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon and sprinkle on top of butter.
- Roll the long edge of the dough and cut into 12-14 pieces for pull apart rolls or 18 pieces for individual rolls. Dental floss works great to slide under the rolls and cut the dough.
- Spray one 9 x 13, OR two 8 ” round pans with non-stick spray for pull apart rolls, use two 9″ pans for individual rolls. Place rolls in pan and lightly brush with remaining melted butter, cover with a towel and let rise again for about 30 minutes, or double in size.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15-22 minutes (times may vary according to oven temperatures). The rolls should be light brown on the top but not doughy in the middle when done.
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting for the top!!
Combine 8 ounces cream cheese (cold), 3 tablespoons of milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of brown sugar and beat until creamy. Spread over the partially cooled (or totally cooled but not hot) rolls. Add or decrease milk by 1 tablespoon for desired thickness.