You need more cinnamon rolls in your life.
They make everything better.
Envision it - you + a warm, soft roll + hot coffee/tea = a much better day.
This recipe is a bit of a twist on an old standby. I am a huge fan of Heidi Swanson from the blog, 101 Cookbooks. Her cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, was one of the first cookbooks I bought when I started to transition from pre-mixed, processed foods to a whole foods approach. That cookbook has been a stellar guide to navigate the changes I was trying to make. Her take on these cinnamon rolls has the added depth of cardamom (which I'm a huge fan of) and it is wonderful.
Also, the frosting is definitely necessary. Just trust me on this.
So give yourself a lazy weekend morning to mix a few simple ingredients, knead away your worries, and let the dough rise. You'll be oh so glad you did.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
based on 101 Cookbook's recipe
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm whole milk (105F to 115F)
3/4 cup light muscovado or brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, barely melted
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light muscovado or brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk in a large bowl. Add a pinch of the sugar and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for a few minutes or until foamy.
2. Add the remaining sugar, the egg, melted butter, and cardamom. Stir until smooth.
3. Stir the salt into the flour, then gradually add the flour to the bowl, a bit at a time, incorporating the flour after each addition.
4. Transfer the dough to a floured counter top and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn it to coat with oil, and cover with a kitchen towel or equivalent. Let the dough rise in a sunny or warm place until doubled, about an hour.
5. Cut the dough in half on a floured counter top and form each piece into a ball. One at a time, roll each piece into a rectangle 12 inches and 1/2 inch thick.
6. For the filling, start by combining the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Spread half of the butter evenly over one rectangle of the dough. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture evenly across the butter.
7. Roll the dough up tightly lengthwise, then turn it so that the seam side is down. Cut the roll into 12 equal slices. Butter a pie dish and arrange slices about 1/2 inch from one another to allow rising room. (I had to use several pie dishes.)
8. Cover the rolls you are going to bake with a dry towel and let rise in a sunny or warm spot until doubled, about an hour. The timing is pretty flexible here - you can go a few hours depending on what is convenient.
9. Whisk together the ingredients for the icing until smooth. Set aside.
10. Heat the oven to 400F with a rack in the top third. Bake the buns until golden brown, roughly 15-18 minutes. Don't over bake, the buns will dry out = not as good. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with icing and serve warm.
Happy Monday, friends!
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