a blizzard named after a tropical fish has just left the east coast with a thick blanket of snow, and all i can think about is my intense longing for some sweet sunshine. don’t get me wrong, i love the winter, and in many ways i am a girl that was primed for the colder months. i dislike high temperatures and sunburns, and i very much like cozying up by the fireplace and comfort food. as i like to say, in the winter you can always put on more layers, but in the summer there’s only so much you can take off. but since coming back to fredonia a few weeks ago, it seems to have snowed or rained almost every day. i’ve worn out my snow boots and chunky scarves, i’ve had my fair share of runny noses and near-frostbitten fingers, and i’m ready for a glimpse of a clear blue sky and some sunshine.
until that sunny day of my dreams becomes a reality, i’ll find ways to make the most of these cold february days. enter the star of this post: homemade cinnamon rolls. this would be a picture of the first cinnamon roll I’ve ever baked – and also the first cinnamon roll i’ve ever eaten. i’m not sure how i’ve avoided them for this long, but i’m so pleased to have finally become acquainted with these fluffy, gooey, sticky-sweet pieces of heaven. these cinnamon rolls are quick to rise, easy to put together, and the results are oh-so-rewarding. i hope you’ll try them!
90-minute cinnamon rolls
adapted from the baker chick
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 egg
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- heat the milk in a saucepan until it starts to bubble, then remove from heat. mix in the butter and stir until melted. let mixture cool until lukewarm.
- in a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt; whisk together. add water, egg, and the milk mixture and beat well with a hand mixer. add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to stir well after each addition (dough will be too thick to use the mixer at this point).
- when the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes (the dough will spring back when lightly pressed, and it should resemble the feel of an earlobe when held between your fingers).
- cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
- meanwhile, place the butter in a saucepan. brown the butter by cooking it over medium-low heat for several minutes, until brown. see note**
- on a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough into a 12-by-9 inch rectangle. using a pastry brush, slather the dough with most of the brown butter.
- in a small bowl, combine the dark brown sugar and cinnamon. sprinkle the buttered dough with cinnamon-sugar mixture and press in lightly so it doesn’t fall out when you roll it. roll up the dough and pinch seam to seal. cut into 12 equal-size rolls and place in a 9-by-13 inch baking dish.
- preheat oven to 375°F.
- drizzle rolls with the remaining brown butter. cover with a dishtowel and let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately 30 minutes.
- bake for approximately 17-20 minutes, or until they’ve just browned. let cool for about 10 minutes and then spread them with frosting (recipe follows).
**note: the original recipe originally called for browning the butter in the microwave, but i had difficulty doing this. feel free to try it out though! the baker chick ‘s instructions call for putting the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and covering it with a microwave-safe saucer and microwaving for 3-5 minutes, until butter pops and turns brown. also, i promise these cinnamon rolls will still be super delicious if you just melt the butter instead of browning it!