Holy Smokes Cinnamon Buns

I cook and bake a lot. It’s therapeutic for me. And, I mean, it’s a great hobby. Why punch a pillow when you can bake a cake? One thing I truly love about cooking and baking is when you just get something right. Like you make it 4 times, but the 5th, it just comes out right. Then you only make it that way from now on. I have that special relationship with a few things; a penne a la vodka recipe, cajun chicken alfredo, homemade chicken soup. And now, cinnamon buns.

I’ve made this recipe before, but somehow, I don’t think I kneaded the dough, or paid attention or something. Because I definitely don’t remember kneading the last time. I’ve made some bad cinnamon rolls in my time. Ones that stay tiny and don’t rise or expand, ones where the cinnamon and sugar slips out to the bottom and nothing is left in the roll (not fun), and ones where I smoosh the rolls when I’m cutting them (you know what I mean, take your time, and use a sharp, slightly serrated knife).

bun that was devoured .3 seconds following this photo

Here’s what I did.

Pink of Perfection’s Overnight Rolls

1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs

1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add eggs and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed, about 5 minutes.

Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together filling ingredients.

Roll out dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Spread dough evenly with filling mixture. Roll up dough from the long end and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in a 9×12″ baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove cinnamon rolls from refrigerator and let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned.

Now, when it comes to the topping, I got particular. I’ve had some great fails there too, and NEVER made any good topping. So I did some googling prior to this, and discovered that the secret cinnabon recipe (which calls for a box of instant pudding-ick!) is always topped with cream cheese frosting…duh!

I had some of this in the freezer and it worked PER.FECT.LY. Could not be yummier people.

5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Cream the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and add the sugar, tasting as you go. Spread this on these babies when they come out of the oven and try not to eat the whole pan. I dare you. I seriously contemplated eating a breakfast, lunch, and dinner of Cinnamon rolls today. I settled on a breakfast and a snack. 🙂