If I had children I’d say these were a celebration treat for back-to-school.
But I don’t. And these were made for no other reason except for the I-wanted-cinnamon-sugar-in-my-belly-now reason.
For the majority of my life.
I think it was something related to my exposure to the wafting odors of Cinnabon at every mall and airport that did me in. I know people who go nuts for that smell. To me it was the smell of death. And I was very loud and opinionated about my complaint for many years.
Then something changed- at some point in adulthood I became a new appreciator of cinnamon-sugar-laden desserts. (And I perhaps had my first cinnamon roll sans cream cheese frosting or other white glaze). I do think it had something to do with trying layered cinnamon bread in Europe and realizing that this combination is really wonderful and doesn’t need to be anything. like. Cinnabon.And as Dave really only eats desserts in the form of cinnamon, I knew what I must do.
Hence I commenced with cinnamon roll creation. I scoured the internet and found thousands of options. But the one from Tasting Table really stood out in my mind due to the brioche pastry, generous quantity of cinnamon sugar, and the syrupy vanilla glaze (none of that white glaze nonsense). Thus, convinced of our similar values in what best makes a cinnamon roll, I began.
These cinnamon rolls are really a labor of love. They take at least 2 hours of commitment on the short end (i.e. if you don’t screw anything up), and about 3 hours if you’re like me and can’t seem to figure out how to activate yeast (I included my instructions below for successful yeast activation). But really, I do think that these cinnamon rolls, despite their time-intensivity- are worth every step and are definitely achievable for the average at-home baker.
The results are a perfectly puffed brioche dough with layers of melting cinnamon sugar/butter, and a carmelized and sticky bottom that will make you want to cry with bliss.The warm vanilla glaze is almost like a dulce de leche and, in my opinion, is the perfect (non white) glaze to pour over these cinnamon rolls. Dave preferred his plain. I preferred mine with extra sugar. (Yup, that’s how we roll).
So thank you Tasting Table for the most amazing Cinnamon Roll recipe known to man. (And- personal success – I did manage to stop after 1 roll and put the rest in the freezer for when guests come this weekend).
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze
_For the dough_
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 1 packet
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar divided
- 4 ½ cups flour plus extra for dusting and rolling
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons butter melted
- 3 large eggs
- Canola oil for greasing
_For the filling_
- ½ cup 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
_For the glaze_
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Start by activating your yeast. In a small bowl combine warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Pour in the yeast and stir/whisk until mostly dissolved. Cover, and set aside for about 10 minutes, or until yeast becomes foamy and doubles in size.
- In a large bowl, combine your yeast mixture, remaining sugar, melted butter, and milk. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Gradually add 2 ½ cups off flour and stir until the dough starts to come together (it will be lumpy).
- Add eggs and stir until they start to combine.
- With a hand mixer, finish mixing until the dough becomes uniform in texture and tacky.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix by hand until the dough forms a ball.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead (sprinkling with additional flour as needed) until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. This will take about 4 minutes.
- Grease a large mixing bowl and add your ball of dough, flipping once to grease the surface of the dough.
- Cover with plastic and let sit in a warm place (I used my oven which I had briefly preheated and then turned off) until the dough doubles in size, about 50-60 minutes.
- While the dough rises combine all ingredients for the filling in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Grease a 9x13 pan with butter.
- When your dough is done rising, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Also lightly flour the surface of the dough.
- Roll out your dough into approximately a 12x18 inch rectangle.
- Next, smear the cinnamon filling onto your dough, leaving about 1-inch of un-cinnamon-ed overhang on each side.
- Starting on one of the short sides, roll your dough (relatively tightly), to form a log.
- Slice off about 1 inch from each end (your overhang), and slice the remaining dough into 10 equal pieces (about 2 inches each).
- Place your rolls into the greased 9x13 pan and cover with plastic wrap.
- Set again in a warm place for about 20-25 minutes (the 2nd rise).
- Finally, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
- Bake until golden brown, about 18-22 minutes.
- While the cinnamon rolls are baking, combine all the glaze ingredients except vanilla in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for one minute, and then stir. If butter is still not completely melted, microwave for another 30 seconds or so until mixture is well combined.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Remove cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack. When they are cool enough to handle, slice and remove individual rolls from the pan.
- Drizzle each cinnamon roll with the vanilla glaze.