Friday, January 29, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe with Review

My friend Tamara asked me a couple weeks ago if I knew of a good cinnamon roll recipe.  She'd been craving them and had had some trouble with recipes in the past.  I told her I was in the boat, and never seemed to be able to find a good recipe or make them successfully.  Either I can't get them to rise correctly or they are too dry or just don't taste great.  So I told her I would do some research and try to find a killer recipe that is fool proof. 

The recipe I decided to try tonight comes from My Kitchen Cafe.  I've had a lot of luck with the recipes that Melanie posts so I thought I'd try out her "tried-and-true" cinnamon roll recipe. They're called Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting. Doesn't the name of the recipe just make your mouth water?

Since I'm more of a visual learner I love it when a recipe provides pictures of some of the steps along the way.  Cinnamon Rolls are just tricky enough that I think pictures can really help.  So I took a few pictures of my journey with these rolls and hopefully they (along with my tips) will help you out if you ever decide to make them.

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frostingfrom Melanie (My Kitchen Cafe) and A. Marilyn

½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Do not overflour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake). Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency). Makes about 24 very large rolls.

I forgot to take a picture of the dough making steps.  The only tips from that phase is that I used about 6 3/4 cups of flour and it still felt a bit sticky, but I didn't want to overflour like the recipe warned. 
I started to flour my counter top in preparation for rolling out the dough and THEN read the part about the size of the dough.  34 x 21 inches is HUGE!  Be sure to use your largest possible counter space (I should've used my island) or your kitchen table if needed.  This sucker is big!

One cup of butter and two cups of brown sugar sounds like a lot, but you need all of it to cover the super huge rectangle of dough.  I stirred up my room temp butter in a bowl so it was nice and smooth (like frosting), which made it easy to spread.  Smelled so good already!

Rolling the dough tightly like the recipe called for was kind of tricky.  I wouldn't even say that my log was "tight", but I did the best I could.  And I took this picture to show that my dough log was at the very back of my counter top, completely inconvenient for cutting.  But I wasn't about to move it, for fear of it unraveling on me, so I just craned my neck and arms and made it work back there.

To slice the rolls off of the log I used a big serrated knife and coated it with some of the butter "scraps" that was used to spread on the dough.  I reapplied the butter to the knife every couple of cuts and that kept me from smashing or tearing the dough.

I was so worried they wouldn't rise the second go around, but they did beautifully.

I cooked mine for 15 minutes and they were done.  Don't they look so pretty!
So how do they taste?

AMAZING. I have found a winner on my first try!  They are super soft, not too sweet and have a great flavor.  I'm so excited to have found such a great recipe.  A HUGE thanks to Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe!!!  Another spot on recipe from her archives.

Give them a try, I promise you won't be disappointed!


D said...

Yummy! I love My Kitchen Cafe!

Lisa said...

They sound delicious! Though you can't really go wrong when there are two cups of butter in the recipe:)

Melanie said...

Anissa - I'm so glad that you liked these cinnamon rolls! And thanks for linking back to my blog. I loved your step-by-step pictures, so helpful!

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