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Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls Erin McDowell

We’re guessing that at some point in your life, you’ve patronized a certain retailer that sells warm, gooey cinnamon rolls slathered in creamy icing. You were probably dashing through the airport. Or maybe you were at the mall, trying to find the latest whatever-me-Elmo for your sister’s kid. Either way, you needed a sugar fix, stat. Well, this holiday season, it’s time to slow down and make your own. The dough for this recipe can be made a day ahead--meaning all you have to do in the morning is pop those puppies into the oven. We promise you’ll never miss the mall variety.

Makes 9 cinnamon rolls
Start to Finish: 12 hours (includes rising and baking time)

Ingredients

Cinnamon Rolls

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup whole milk, at room temperature

3 eggs, at room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, softened

Cinnamon Filling

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

Icing

⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar

⅓ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and set on low speed, mix the flour with the yeast, sugar and salt to combine.

2. Add the milk and eggs and mix on low speed until the dough comes together, 4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. During the last minute of mixing, gradually add the softened butter.

3. Lightly grease a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, then transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (8 to 10 hours).

4. Make the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl, mix the butter with the cinnamon, sugar and flour until smooth. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with the softened butter.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Pour the filling onto the dough and spread it evenly with a spatula all the way to the edges.

6. Roll the dough into a long log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1¼-inch-thick slices. Place the rolls flat on the prepared baking pan.

7. Place the pan in the oven, then immediately lower the temperature to 375°. Bake until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown and baked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

8. While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make the icing: In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cream and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle the icing onto the slightly cooled cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Don’t crowd those buns! Make sure you give your rolls enough room to rise and expand by placing them at least half an inch apart in the baking pan.

  • Try boosting the flavor of your icing with some orange zest. Stir a tablespoon of zest into your finished icing. Bonus: The smell is amazing.

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