Cinnamon Rolls

by Jennifer

I found this recipe a couple years back on the Internet, and have made only a couple changes to it.  It’s incredible, not low-fat in the slightest, and best of all, can be made ahead.  It’s the perfect treat for breakfast when you’re having company stay;  you can assemble the rolls, freeze them for up to a month, then put them on the counter the night before you want to bake them.  In the morning, pop them in the oven, make the frosting and you’re good to stuff yourselves silly.

Dough:

  • 1 cup milk, heated in the microwave for 1 minute
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted PLUS
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (told you this wasn’t low-fat)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 TBS ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans – optional

Frosting:

  • 2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl combine all of the dough ingredients and mix well (handy to have a standing mixer).  Knead, by hand or with the dough hook of a standing mixer, for 10 minutes.

Cover the dough with a damp paper towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

While the dough is resting, combine the filling ingredients.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 15” x 24”.  Brush with the 1/4 cup melted butter, then spread the filling (1/2 cup melted butter through pecans, if using) over the dough.

Roll up the dough into a log, starting at a long end.  Cut the dough, using a sharp serrated knife, into 15 pieces.

Place pieces, cut-side up, in a 9” x 13” pan coated with cooking spray, so that they are not touching each other.  Now, you have some options.

Option #1 – Cover them and let them rise in a warm place until doubled in size (they’ll now touch each other), about 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Option #2 – Cover pan with plastic wrap, gently patting it down on top of the rolls, then wrap the pan well with aluminum foil, and put the pan in the freezer.  Freeze for up to one month.  The night before you want to bake them, remove from the freezer, unwrap the foil, loosen up the plastic wrap, and let sit on your counter for 10 – 12 hours, until they are thawed and doubled in size.  Precede with baking instructions.

Option #3 – Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, where they should slowly rise.  Remove from the refrigerator while you preheat the oven, then bake.

Once you remove the rolls from the oven, let them cool slightly while you make the frosting.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until creamy.

Spread over warm rolls.  (You can make the frosting up to a day ahead, and bring to room temperature before using.)

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