Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Want to be a Sunday morning hero?  Make these cinnamon rolls.  Seriously.  You'll never go back to rolls from a tube again. 

Ok, maybe you will still make rolls from the tube, since they are so darn convenient, but in my book, if you are going to eat a cinnamon roll, it'd better be amazing.  And I don't think anyone has bitten into a cinnamon roll baked from a tube and groaned in pleasure, "Oh my god, this is AMAZING." 

So if you want that reaction, make these cinnamon rolls.

My dear friend Jenny gave me the Pioneer Woman cookbook for Christmas 2009.  You know how bloggers sometimes say "Oh, reading that blog made me want to have a blog of my own!" or "That blogger inspired me so much."  Well, Pioneer Woman has had the opposite effect on me.  Every time I read her blog, I think 'Geez, why am I blogging again?'  Her blog is awesome - recipes, photos, funny, she's got it all.  Plus, she's pretty.  I mean, she's had four kids and is still smiling.  How many women can say that? 

Back to the cookbook, I've often flipped through it, noting to myself the recipes I'd like to try (migas, anyone?), but these cinnamon rolls are actually the very first recipe I've made from this cookbook.  And it's a keeper.

Here is the original Pioneer Woman post, with step-by-step photos.  Note that her original recipe makes SEVEN pie plates of cinnamon rolls.  I halved the recipe below to a more managable three plates plus a couple I baked individually in ramekins.

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Make three pie plates, or about 18-20 cinnamon rolls.  One for breakfast, one for nibbling or giveaway, and one for the freezer in my book. I made the dough the night before, then stored it in the fridge, taking it out the next morning and letting it sit on the counter for about 20 mins before rolling it out.  Worked like a charm. 

2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 cups (Plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt

1 cup (yup, 2 whole sticks) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

1 lb. Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Maple Flavoring (I skipped this and just added a few Tablespoons maple syrup, reducing the milk a little)
1/4 cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
2 Tablespoons Brewed Coffee

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle yeast on top. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 cup more of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Add as much additional butter and sugar as you dare. 

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.  Note that the rolls are going to look like they are drowning when you first pull them from the oven with so much melty syrup in the bottom of the pie plate, but trust me, that's the good stuff. 

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.

**WOW.  Very sweet, could've gone without all the frosting, but it's delicious!

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