cinnamon rolls with leftover frosting

April 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm 1 comment

I’ve mentioned before that Paula Deen’s cream cheese frosting recipe always seems to make twice as much as I need for my favorite red velvet cupcakes. I’ve taken to halving it, but I still end up with a container’s-worth left over. And it never gets as fluffy as Paula’s does. My last batch would actually be more-accurately characterized as “runny”. Either I’m impatient and not whipping it for long enough, or I need to get off my high-vanilla-horse and start halving the vanilla extract too.

The point of my rant about frosting is to tell you this: I made cinnamon rolls. So that I could use up my leftover frosting from my St. Patty’s Day green velvet experiment (yeah, you can use other colors than red). And I am so proud of myself! It was my first time making a yeast-based dough by hand, and I kneaded it, and I rolled it, and it didn’t fail! I’m almost so inspired that I want to try pie crust again, but not quite.

I busted out the classic Betty Crocker cookbook for this one. Since it was my first time attempting such a thing, I felt like a tried-and-true basic version would be the best place to start. And you know what? It wasn’t as hard as I expected. I would do it again.

You start by building a fairly simple yeast dough. You knead it for 3-5 minutes, until it’s smooth and springy. It’s a soft dough, so the kneading is a piece of cake.

Then you let it rise until it doubles in size, roll it out, and attack it gently sprinkle it with your filling. Rolling dough is always the challenge for me. I can never get anything rolled into a uniform shape. But this went better than usual.

Roll that puppy up, cut it into slices, and let them rise for about 30 minutes. Then bake! Then attack spread gently with frosting.

Ok, now you can attack them. With your face.

Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.

  • 3  1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages (4  1/2 teaspoons) regular or quick active dry yeast
  • 1 cup very warm milk (120F-130F)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or raisins (I used hazelnuts, because that’s what I had. Recommended!)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

Mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add warm milk, butter and the egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Then increase the speed to medium, and beat for 1 minute. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle (not too sticky).

Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead for about 3-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy. Grease a large bowl (I used canola oil spray, Betty suggests shortening), and place the dough inside, turning it to grease all sides. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. The dough is ready if an indentation remains when you touch it.

To make the filling, combine nuts and/or raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and mix thoroughly.

Gently push your fist into the dough to deflate it. Roll it out on a floured surface, until you have a roughly 15″x10″ rectangle. Spread with 2 tablespoons softened butter, and sprinkle with the filling. Roll the rectangle up tightly, starting with the 15″ side. Pinch the edge of the dough into the roll to seal it. Stretch and shape until the roll is even. Cut it into 1″ slices, using dental floss or thread (or a sharp serrated knife).

Place the slices slightly apart in a rectangular pan (I used a 13″x9″x2″ glass baking dish). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, then remove onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Spread with cream cheese frosting, or brown butter frosting.


Entry filed under: Kept to myself. Tags: , , .

for the sake of reference caramel apple pie

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mental Patient  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I imagine if Paula made it, you need more butter. 😉


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