I made the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls on Saturday. If you're unfamiliar with the Pioneer Woman, you ought to be. Her cooking is the kind of butter-drenched, no-nonsense food that appeals to me, a normal person. Well, she uses a lot of onions, but other than that, it's great. That's what comes from living on a ranch, I think.
Anyway, Bakerella, another food blogger I follow, made PW's cinnamon rolls. She did a half batch, which seemed far more reasonable to me. (I still had plenty to give away, even with a half batch.) The recipe includes a maple frosting, but I really don't like maple that much. So I whipped up a batch of cream cheese frosting (what is with me making my own frosting lately?!) and holy cow, I'm pretty sure that's what heaven tastes like. I had three on Saturday, which is pretty dangerous, considering all the butter and sugar involved.
Be advised, it is a time-intensive recipe. You scald the milk and let it cool--one hour. Add yeast and flour, let rise--another hour. Add the rest of the ingredients, roll out, roll up, bake--another hour. Yes, three hours of my Saturday went to slaving over cinnamon rolls while the FH was out hitting a bucket of golf balls. But oh my, was it ever worth it.
The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls (half batch)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar (divided)
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsps)
4 1/2 cups flour (divided)
1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 scant tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter (I used 1/2 cup quite successfully)
Mix milk, oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Heat until just before boiling (i.e., scald), but turn it off before it starts to boil! Let it cool to lukewarm, about 45 minutes.
Sprinkle on yeast, let sit for one minute. Add 4 cups flour, stir just till combined. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
After an hour, add the last 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Spread with 1 cup melted butter (or 1/2 cup, if like me, you have an unholy terror of that much melted butter), sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and a healthy portion of cinnamon. Make sure you get it on the edges, or those end rolls will be sad and empty. Then, starting with the edge farthest from you, roll the dough towards you tightly. Cut into slices (PW says 3/4 to 1 inch, Bakerella said 1 1/2 inches. I got 30 instead of 25, so mine were on the short side. It means you can eat two instead of one).
Pour a tablespoon or so of melted butter in the bottom of your pan (again with the butter?) and toss your rolls in, touching but not too tight. Let them sit for 20-30 minutes, then bake at 375 for 13-17 minutes, until light golden brown.
You can follow the link for the maple frosting, or whip up an easy cream cheese frosting:
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
2 scant cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Whip till delicious. You should wait till they're cool to frost them, but I like to live on the edge and eat them right away. It was fine. Take that, conventional wisdom!
Anyway, yes, make these. Sure, they weren't ready until 2 pm, but it was still the best breakfast ever (and the best dessert last night!). I don't do the pretty step-by-step pictures, but PW and Bakerella do, so you're all set.
Go. Bake. Eat.