Hello, 2015! And hello, blog readers! I know you probably don’t recognize me and I’m hoping to change all that. I’m going to try blogging twice a week to start (on Tuesdays and Fridays I’m thinking). Several people have told me they are excited for me to start blogging again and, honestly, I didn’t realize that many of you were still looking forward to blog posts! Such a sweet thing to hear.
Speaking of sweet things…I posed the question on my Facebook page a few days ago as to what the first recipe should be when I started blogging again. Seeing as everyone is trying to eat healthy and get back to basics health-wise, it seems right that we start with Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls…
You guys. You crack me up. Too bad I can’t “healthify” these like Gina at Skinnytaste!
Anyhow, on to the cinnamon roll story.
One day in November I got a rare weekday off from work. (Quick update: I got promoted last January so now I have nights and weekends off. I love it, but I don’t get as much time to do things…like blog.) I dropped Jake off at daycare and went home to spend the day cleaning and prepping food for the week. Instead I made cinnamon rolls.
Guys. These cinnamon rolls are epic. They are so wonderful. Light and fluffy, deliciously cinnamony, topped with a sweet, slightly coffee flavored glaze. Mmmmm. Geez this was the wrong post to write when I’m trying to eat healthy.
Disclaimer: they take a little time and a little bit of work to do, but they are so worth it. Trust me.
Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls
(Adapted from this post)
- 1 quart Whole Milk
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
- 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
- 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
- Plenty Of Melted Butter
- 2 cups Sugar
- Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
- 1 bag Powdered Sugar*
- 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Melted Butter
- 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- Extra kosher salt to taste
In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar until it’s nearly boiling. Then pull off the heat and bring down to room temperature. The first batch I made I put the pan over an ice bath, but the second batch I just left on the stovetop for 30 minutes or so. Once it’s cooled, sprinkle the top of the milk mixture with the yeast. Let it sit for a minute.
Add the 8 cups of flour and mix until just combined. Cover with a towel and let rest for an hour. After an hour, sprinkle the remaining cup of flour on the mixture as well as the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine until mixture resembles a nice dough. **I ended up having to add a bit more flour (maybe a cup) for my dough to have the consistency I thought it should.
Once your dough is combined, turn half the dough out onto a floured board or, in my case, a clean counter top. Roll your dough into a rectangle shape. I think mine was about 12 inches tall by 24 inches wide if I remember correctly.
Cover the dough with melted butter. I believe I used about a stick. Then top that with 2 cups of sugar and lots of cinnamon. You want the top of the dough to basically be covered with brown. Starting from the edge furthest from you, you want to roll the dough in a typewriter motion. I start in the top lefthand corner and start rolling to the right. Then continue rolling right to left and back again. Eventually you’ll end up with a log of gooey goodness.
Now we cut. I used a serrated knife for ease of slicing. I cut the log in half, then put the two halves together and cut in half again. Then I split each of those in three or four slices (I can’t remember now!). Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Spray some round cake pans with cooking spray or more melted butter. You could also use some 13×9 pans if you choose also. Whatever you decide, you need to make sure there are edges to your pan. Place rolls in your pan, but do not crowd. I ended up having to use 7 pans for all my rolls. Cover all the pans with towels and let rise for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375*.
Bake rolls at 375* for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown.
While your rolls are baking, make your maple icing. The first time I did this, I made the icing with half the amount of powdered sugar because I forgot there was 32 oz of sugar in a bag. I calculated it with 16 oz. The good news is you now have two options for ways to top your rolls.
*You make the icing the exact same way…just combine all the ingredients together either by hand or in your stand mixer. If you use a whole bag of sugar, your icing will be more like frosting. This is how Ree intended them to be.
I prefer to half the amount of sugar and turn the icing into more of a glaze. I think the full amount of sugar is too sweet and takes away from the cinnamon rolls, but that’s my opinion. I also like to sprinkle the rolls with just a hint of kosher salt. This brings out the flavor of the cinnamon roll as well.
I could easily eat my weight in cinnamon rolls and go happily into a food coma. But as I’m trying to lose weight and get healthy, I’ll leave this challenge up to you.