This past Saturday was gorgeous, unfortunately, I could not say the same for its weekend counterpart Sunday. The weather report called for rain and a chill. A little bummed about what to do stuck inside on a rainy Sunday, my thoughts turned to food. What better way to brighten a rainy Sunday than with a batch of fresh, warm, and gooey cinnamon rolls! Sunday brunch means happiness. There has never been a time I have not looked forward to brunch plans. You really can’t lose, the best of breakfast and lunch on the menu, lots of bread, jams, sweets, and decadence.
It had been a few years since I had made these rolls and was eager to impress my friends with a fresh batch. They are fun to make, the swirls of cinnamon and sugar smell amazing, and they look very VERY impressive. The only downfall to yeasty rolls like these is the need to prepare the dough the evening before. I planned on making the dough Saturday night and leaving it in the kitchen to double in size. I’m psyched how these came out, even with a few cocktails beforehand. Unfortunately, I was out of brown sugar and had to substitute white, which worked out fine. I also love raisins, so I threw those in and sliced almonds as well. You can really mess around with the filling. I’ve made these before with cocoa powder and chocolate chips as well.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
- 1 teaspoon salt as mentioned before. I never use salt
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, soft enough to spread with a knife
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine milk and butter in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts 30 seconds. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape downsides of the bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and the dough is sticky, scraping downsides of the bowl. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into a ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to the bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours I left overnight. I always leave in the kitchen, I find it to be the warmest place in the home.
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Punch down dough. Transfer to a floured work surface. Roll out to a 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar, raisins, and half the sliced almonds evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide). I learned this great string cutting trick a few years ago. You take sewing string and place under the roll.. then pull across until it slices. No knives to wash and a clean cut.
Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes. I cheated here. I turned the oven on to 200 or warm, then shut the oven off and placed the baking dish inside the oven for about 25-30 minutes. We don’t all have ideal rising conditions in our homes.. so we cheat.
Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert immediately onto the rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up. If they brown too much it’s ok because you invert them anyway!
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.