Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls




I'm not even sure these Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls need an introduction!  The picture says it all.

What is it about cinnamon rolls?   Warm, gooey, cinnamony, sugary......I honestly haven't met anyone who doesn't drool at the thought of a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  Am I right??

This recipe come from Joy The Baker.  Please take a moment to visit her blog.  Joy is clearly a wonderful baker, but she's also witty and down to earth. 

This is the first time I've made this recipe, and to be honest, I didn't even get to eat one!  Hubby brought the cinnamon rolls to work today.......lucky coworkers.  ;)

I will definitely be making these again, and SOON! 

The recipe is lengthy, with many steps, but it's not difficult.  If you've ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, this recipe isn't much different.  

You mix up a yeast dough and let it rise for an hour and a half or so in a warm place.   Typically I'll preheat my oven to 200, then turn the oven off.  I then bring some water to a boil in my tea kettle and pour an inch or so into a glass 9 x 13 baking dish which is on the bottom shelf of my oven.  I place my dough in its covered bowl on the top rack of my oven, and happy things happen.  The moist warmth of the oven is my perfect solution for yeast doughs which otherwise struggle to rise on my countertops.  It only took me three years to figure this out?!





Roll it into a 10 inch square, and spread 4 ounces of softened cream cheese over the dough.




Fold the bottom third of the dough up, then fold the top third of the dough down, envelope style.





Fold one side over, then the other side.  Now you have nine layers, essentially, of cream cheese and dough!  Think about all those yummy, flakey layers you've just made!





Next, roll the dough into a 10 by 20 inch rectangle. 




Spread melted butter over the dough, and sprinkle the filling over top.  The filling is brown sugar, white sugar, finely chopped nuts, and cinnamon.  (I adapted the filling to suit our tastes---the original recipe called for raisins.)




Roll up the dough, beginning with the short end.




Slice the dough into eight pieces.   I use my electric knife, and it's a breeze!




Place the rolls into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.




Cover loosely with a tea towel and allow to rise for 2 hours or so.  See how puffy and yummy they look already?!  Things are looking promising!




Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown.




Sinfully, brush with additional melted butter, and allow to cool while you prepare the glaze.  Resist the urge to dig your fork right in at this point.




Prepare a glaze of powdered sugar and buttermilk.  I keep buttermilk powder in my fridge for baking, and this worked perfectly for the glaze!  The tanginess from the buttermilk was a perfect balance with the super sweet powdered sugar.  

Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls while they're still warm.  This would be the perfect time to scoop one out and dig in!

If you are bringing the cinnamon rolls to work such as my lucky husband, allow the pan to cool completely, then cover lightly with a piece of wax paper, followed by plastic wrap. 

If you would like to delay the baking of the rolls, say for breakfast the next morning, you can follow all the steps up until the second rising.  Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and place the pan in your fridge overnight.  Give the pan at least 15 minutes to come to room temperature before baking the next morning.   They ought to have risen in the fridge.  If not, give them a little time to warm up and rise before baking.





Here's the recipe as I baked it!  I made a few changed to suit my family's tastes, but if you'd like to see the original recipe, visit Joy's blog here to see. 

Please make these for your family!  They'll be so grateful!



Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
(Adapted from a recipe found on joythebaker.com)

For the Dough:
1 – 1/4oz package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened

For the Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, melted, divided

For the Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon buttermilk powder
1/4 cup water

To prepare the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup water heated to 115 degrees F.  Stir to combine and let sit until frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.  Beat until well combined.  Add the flour and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough just begins to come together.  Turn the machine on medium-high and knead the dough for 4 minutes.
Add the butter and continue to knead for about 6 minutes.  The dough will the wet and sticky.  Place the dough on a well floured work surface, and knead about 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into the dough.  The dough still may still be a little sticky.  Place the dough in a large, greased bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises, make the filling.  Combine the sugar,  brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, dump if from the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface.  Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed, just a little at a time.  Work the dough for about 1 or 2 minutes.  Once it’s no longer sticky, place a kitchen towel over the dough and let rest for 5 minutes before you roll it out.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 x 10-inch square.
In a small bowl, stir the cream cheese with a spoon until it’s smooth and spreadable.
Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square.  Fold the square into thirds like you would fold a letter to fit into an envelope.  Take the open ends of the rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square.

Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll it into a 10 x 20-inch rectangle.  You make find that some cream cheese sneaks through.  Be as gently as possible with the dough, but continue to work it until you reach the size you need.
of the dough.  Brush the top of the dough with half of the melted butter.  We’ll use the rest of the butter after the rolls are baked.  Pour all of the filling onto the dough.  Spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch boarder at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed.  Lightly press the filling into the dough.

Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough (on the 10 inch side)and roll it forward into a tight cylinder.  Place dough cylinder seam side down on a cutting board.  Cut cylinder into 8 equal slices.  Place the slices, cut side up and evenly spaced, in a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours.  You may also refrigerate rolls overnight.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Uncover the rolls.  If you refrigerated the rolls, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack and brush with remaining melted butter. 

To prepare the icing:  
Whisk together the powdered sugar, buttermilk powder, and water in a small bowl until smooth.  Drizzle icing over cinnamon rolls.  Serve!  Enjoy!

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