Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

 When Joel and I first got married, I started looking up recipes that I could try. Some were easy, some were a little more challenging. This cinnamon roll recipe is one of the first recipes I ever tried, and it have been perfected over the last 7 years. Homemade cinnamon rolls – GOOD homemade cinnamon rolls – can be difficult to master. This recipe has been through it’s ups and downs, it’s trial and errors. There was a period for a few years were I just couldn’t get the dough correct. I had lost my touch and I felt like a scientist trying to find my way back, because there is legit science that goes into the perfect cinnamon roll.

This recipe cannot be taken lightly.
The steps need to be followed as directed leaving nothing out.
I recommend this recipe to those really wanting to push their skills or someone that is used to their way around baking in the kitchen.

Dough 
2 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast
1 cup milk, warmed
1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon of white sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour

Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium low and test it with a kitchen thermometer until it reads 110-115 degrees. Be sure not to make the milk too hot or it will kill your yeast.
Once your milk has reached the desired temperature, pour your milk into a bowl, then add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. This step of pouring the milk out of the pan is VERY important as the pan can be too hot and kill the yeast if left in the pan.
Whisk for a few seconds then set aside and let the yeast active for 10 minutes. [Once it’s done, your yeast should be foamy and look bigger in size on top of the milk.] If your yeast does not foam and rise, do not proceed with the recipe because your rolls will not rise or bake. The yeast has to activate.
In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the 1/2 cup of white sugar, butter, and salt.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each until well combined.
Add the 3 cups of flour one cup at a time, mixing between each.
Finally pour in your yeast/milk mixture and mix with the mixer using the dough hook.
Add the final 1 cup of flour and mix lightly, being careful not to over mix.
Remove the dough from bowl and begin kneading with your hands on a floured surface until dough is no longer sticky. Be careful not to over knead. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 3 hours.
The dough will double in size.

Filling
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Melt butter over a small sauce pan on medium low then set aside once it’s melted.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Cream Cheese Icing 
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 sticks of butter, softened
1 3/4  cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
Add the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing well.
Slowly add remaining 3 cups of sugar, one cup at a time until the icing is light and fluffy.
Set aside in an air tight container.

Once the dough has finished rising, flour your work surface again and roll out your dough to 16×12 inches. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Once dough is completely rolled out, gently pour the melted butter over the dough.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix until all gone leaving 1/2 inch around the edge of the dough.
Tightly roll your dough longwise, then cut into 2 inch pieces with a serrated knife.
Place rolls on a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the oven to rise over night.

The next morning, preheat your oven to 350 and bake the rolls for 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown.
Carefully remove from oven and let cool before putting the icing on.

Once the rolls have cooled, cover in icing, and enjoy!

Note: This photo was taken when I tried the pecan drizzle over top. You can find the drizzle on any Cinnabon copy cat site.

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