Mmmmmmm…warm, gooey cinnamon rolls!  My husband is so lucky! My waistline, not so much. Regardless, this recipe is a keeper.  As far as I’m concerned, Paula Deen hit the nail on the head with this one.

These take some time, kneading, resting, rolling, more resting, baking…..You’ll want to give yourself a good 3 hour window for total prep time, but it is completely worth the wait.

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Cinnamon Rolls

Source: Paula Deen; FoodNetwork.com

Makes 10-15 Cinnamon Rolls

Dough:

1/4 oz package yeast

1/2 c warm water

1/2 c scalded milk (whole milk)

1/4  c sugar

1/3 c butter or shortening, melted (I used butter, always use butter!)

1 tsp salt

1 egg

3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour

Filling:

1/2 c melted butter, plus more for pan

3/4 c sugar, plus more for pan

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

3/4 c raisins, walnuts or pecans, optional (or if you’re like Oozing Ink, some high quality 70% chocolate, chopped)

Glaze: NOTE: I’m providing you with Paula’s glaze that is included in the recipe as it reads in print, however I did not use this glaze.  In this house we prefer “frosting” as opposed to glaze and I’m partial to cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.  While I’m sure this glaze is delicious, look to the bottom of this post for the cream cheese frosting glaze recipe that I used for this batch.

4 tbsp butter

2 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

3-6 tbsp hot water

Directions:

Heat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.  In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg.  Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.  Add yeast mixture.  Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle (I ended up using all 4 cups). Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes (I went the full 10, a nice little workout!).  Place in a well-buttered bowl, cover and let rise until dough is doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

A note on dough rising: Turning the oven on and leaving the bowl on top or near the warm oven helps it to rise quicker.

When doubled in size, punch down dough.  Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 x 9 rectangle.  Spread the 1/2 cup melted butter all over the dough (if I had used the entire half cup, I would have had a mess on my kitchen floor, I probably used half and reserved the rest for the pan).  Mix sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over dough.  Sprinkle in walnuts, pecans, raisins (or chocolate) if desired.

Beginning at the 15-inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal.  Cut into 12-15 even slices.

Coat the bottom and sides of the baking pan with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar (about 1/4 cup).  Place cinnamon rolls slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes.  Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add hot water 1 tbsp at a time until glaz reaches desired consistency.  Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Oozing Ink’s Cream Cheese Frosting Glaze

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

2 c powdered sugar

1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

With mixer, cream cream cheese and butter  on medium- high speed until smooth.  Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla, mix on low speed until smooth. Add additional 1 cup sugar and mix on low speed until combined.  Increase speed of mixer to high speed and mix for about 30 seconds until very smooth and creamy.

Spread on slightly cooled cinnamon rolls.

For the chocolate cinnamon rolls, I shaved about 1/2 cup high quality 70% chocolate and mixed it into 1 cup of the cream cheese frosting.  Then spread it onto slightly cooled rolls. This makes for a very rich roll, just a warning! 

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