Friday, January 8, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

We all love cinnamon rolls in this family. C & H especially. But really, what kid doesn't?

I go back and forth between this recipe and the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. These rolls are not as rich but the glaze is. I really need to do a side-by-side comparison because it seems the one that is my favorite is the one I most recently made! On the plus side for these rolls, is that we will have one pan for breakfast and the other gets put in the freezer, with half the glaze, for another morning.

I have gotten into the habit of making these rolls to give as gifts to teachers and friends around the holidays. When I give these as a gift, I give them frozen and I also include a tub of the glaze. They have been well received and I include instructions on how to store, let them rise and baking.

The dough comes together easily. My boys love adding the ingredients to the mixer and then turning up the speed. I do it all in the stand mixer. The boys do love giving it a knead or two, so of course I let them. They love the smell of the dough and everything coming together.

I usually make these the night before we have them for breakfast. I follow the directions through placing the rolls in the pan and covering with plastic wrap. Then, I put the covered rolls in the fridge for a slow rise. The next morning, I pull them out for about half an hour to sit at room temperature while the oven heats up.

When I am giving them as a gift or putting a pan in the freezer, I usually let the rolls sit out, covered with plastic wrap, about 30- 45 minutes before covering with foil and putting them in the freezer. The night before the rolls will be eaten, I put them in the refrigerator to thaw/slow rise, about 8 - 10 hours. If using frozen glaze, pull that out and put that in the fridge as well. Again, let the rolls sit at room temperature about half an hour while the oven heats up.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg

1 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Replace paddle with dough hook. Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Bring speed up to medium and knead for about 4 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Or, after a ball is formed in the mixer, turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.

Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.

Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

Spray two 9-inch baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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