Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls!

Anyone that follows the Pioneer Woman knows her cinnamon rolls are kind of a big deal. She talks about them alot. People seem to like them. And most importantly, they look delicious. Tons of butter and sugar and cinnamon...all good things. Now I have to admit, I didn't use quite as much butter or sugar. I am not by any means the type of person that counts calories or uses non-fat ANYTHING but there is a LOT of both in the recipe and it scared me a little. And more importantly, I didn't really believe I needed it to make delicious rolls. And I was right! These still contain plenty of fat and sugar and are defintely not good for you. I also halved the recipe but it still makes a lot of cinnamon rolls. I made these for Mother's day and still have a bunch saved in the freezer. Yay!

Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2 cups milk (I used 2%)
½ cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
4 cups (1 cup separated) all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tbsp salt

½ softened butter
¼ cup sugar
genereous sprinkling of cinnamon

½ bag icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla or maple syrup (I used vanilla but will try maple next time)
¼ cup milk
⅛ cup melted butter
⅛ cup brewed coffee (I used instant)
dash of salt

1. Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Heat until the mixture is just about to boil, turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. I'm not going to lie, I cheated a bit here...I think I let it cool for about 20 minutes and stuck it in the fridge for about another 5....basically let it cool until it's warm to the touch but NOT hot anymore or it will kill the yeast! Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit for a few minutes, until it starts to bubble. Add 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour in a warm place.

2. Once the dough is doubled, add 1 more cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together. Refrigerate if you're not using immediately for up to a day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit, or 205 degrees Celsius

3. When ready to prepare rolls, take the dough and form a rough rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough thin, trying to stay in a general rectangular shape. I tried to roll the dough to about 1 cm thick but you're just going to have to go with your gut here. I think I rolled the dough too thick in the middle so my rolls had a pretty big range in sizes but they still turned out yummy :)

4. Spread the softened butter over the dough. Now sprinkle sugar over the butter (you can use more than I did...the original recipe calls for half a cup) followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

5. Begin rolling the dough along the long side in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it (umm...I JUST read this. I did not do this step. My rolls did not collapse but it's probably a good idea in retrospect)

6. Grease a few pans with butter. I used one 9x13 pan and two round cake pans. Cut the rolls about 1 inch thick and place them in the buttered pans. Let the rolls rise again for another 20 to 30 minutes.

7. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden.

8. While the rolls are baking, make the frosting: mix together all the ingredients listed and stir until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Use more than you think you need, because the rolls will soak up the icing and the icing is GOOD. I don't even really like icing. Just trust me on this.

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