Making and eating these rolls, I can’t stop thinking about how my Granny would have loved them. She would have loved making them and watching movies while they rose and eating them. Unfortunately, she’s been gone for just over seven years, so I’ll never get that memory, but I often imagine what it might be like.
By the time I got up (and I never sleep past eight), she would have already watched a movie (perhaps A Few Good Men or Legally Blonde), drank a few cups of coffee, and eaten something sweet, maybe a homemade muffin from the day before.
After I got up, we’d watch a little news and eat breakfast. Then we’d make the rolls. We wouldn’t break out the stand mixer, but instead Granny would mix them by hand as I added ingredients. We’d wrap up the dough to rest and go take a walk. (This is my day dream, it can be summer :)). Our amble through the neighborhood would be full of birds singing, fresh flowers, and bright sunshine.
We’d roll the dough and slather on the butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Roll up the swirl and cut it into buns to rise again. I’d pop a DVD in or check OnDemand for another movie while we waited for them to rise again.
We’d eat a quick and light a dinner (more room for cinnamon rolls), bake off the rolls, make the cream cheese frosting, and indulge in the best cinnamon rolls we’d ever had. We’d watch another movie before Granny would head to bed and I’d sit up awhile, relishing in the perfect day I had with my grandmother.
Of course this will never happen, since she’s gone, but I take comfort in imagining it, thinking of her daily, and asking for her guidance in this crazy thing we call life.
This week’s Sunday Supper was all about casseroles. These are admittedly not exactly a casserole. But they are baked in a casserole sized dish and are best served warm from the oven, like many other casseroles, so I went with it. And you should be glad I did because these cinnamon rolls are THE BOMB!
After just the first bite, I was instantly transported to the Cinnabons I used to love. Except these are infinitely better. The sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on the bottom of the pan makes these soft, giant rolls that much better because it intensifies the cinnamon-y goodness in the roll itself. Oh, and the frosting, slather it on. Not only does it keep the buns soft, but it also tastes fabulous with the little vanilla bean flecks.
I have no doubt Granny would have loved these and I would love them just a little more if I could share one with her.
¾ cup warm water
1 packet dry active yeast
½ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
2 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Make the dough. In a large bowl, pour in water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir and let proof 5 minutes. When the mixture is bubbly, add remaining ½ cup sugar and salt. Stir to incorporate.
In a small bowl, stir together milk, oil, and egg. Add to the yeast mixture and stir to incorporate. Add 2 cups of flour and mix to combine. Add additional flour in ½ cup increments until the dough comes together and is sticky, but not sticky enough to stick to hands. Knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl (the same one is fine), cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours until at least doubled in size.
Prepare the pan. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment. Butter with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Make the filling. In a medium sized bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch.
Flour a large, clean surface to roll out the dough. Lightly flour the dough, the rolling pin, and your hands. Roll out dough to a large rectangle, perhaps about 12 by 20 inches, until it is ¼-1/2 inch thick. Just do the best you can – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Spread the butter over the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over it. Use all of it. Lightly press it into the dough.
Starting from one of the long sides of dough, roll into a tight spiral. Cut off the uneven ends. Then cut the roll in half, in half again, and then cut each half into thirds, leaving you with 12 rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours. They should be giant and touching.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. I highly recommend peeking inside one of the center ones with a fork or knife to be sure it’s cooked (I made the mistake of not doing that with a different recipe. My frosted cinnamon rolls were raw. No bueno!)
While the rolls bake, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter using a hand or stand mixer. Add vanilla bean paste, corn syrup, and lemon juice and beat to combine. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar while beating on low. Once all the sugar has been added, beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
Remove the rolls from the oven and frost immediately with half of the frosting. Allow them to cool a couple minutes and then add more frosting. You can also serve with a dollop of frosting on the side.
Rolls are best served hot out of the oven, but they may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Rolls may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a couple hours or in the microwave for about 1 minute, until warm.
Additional, inactive prep time of 4 hours is necessary for the dough to rise.
Recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Captivating Breakfast Casseroles
- Boozy Baked French Toast from Brunch with Joy
- Orange & Date Wife Saver Breakfast Casserole from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole from The Redhead Baker
Appetizing Casserole Sides
- Baked Cauli-Tots Casserole from Cupcake and Kale Chips
- Savory Sweet Potato and Sausage Bread Pudding from Nik Snacks
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Casserole from Take A Bite Out of Boca
Main Event Casseroles
- Artichoke and Spinach Macaroni and Cheese Casserole from Ruffles & Truffles
- Baked Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Italian Sausage from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Bison Meatloaf Casserole from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Cheesy Chicken Corkscrew Casserole from Recipes Food and Cooking
- Cheesy, Creamy, Cauliflower and Sausage Casserole from Eating In Instead
- Chicken Enchiladas from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Bake from Alida’s Kitchen
- Chicken Ramen Mini Casseroles from The Ninja Baker
- Chicken with Whole Grains Casserole from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chinese Noodle Casserole from Momma’s Meals
- Crab Casserole for Two from Magnolia Days
- Homemade Poppy Seed Chicken from Food Done Light
- Fully Loaded Tater Tot Casserole from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- King Ranch Casserole from The Texan New Yorker
- King Ranch Mac and Cheese from The Weekend Gourmet
- Baked Ziti with Meatballs from Curious Cuisiniere
- Mexican Lasagna from MealDiva
- Mom’s Taco Casserole from Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Moroccan Polenta Casserole from Pancake Warriors
- Moussaka from Nosh My Way
- Neeps & Tatties Casserole from Happy Baking Days
- Quick No Boil Tuna Pasta Bake from Mess Makes Food
- Sausage Peppers and Onion Pasta Casserole from Family Foodie
- Southwestern Spaghetti Pie from The Messy Baker
- Cheesy, Layered Italian Pasta Torta from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Stove-top Four Cheese Mac and Cheese from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Supreme Pizza Strata from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Sweet Corn and Green Chile Chicken Tamale Pie from Simply Healthy Family
- Taco Casserole from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Decadent Dessert and Sweet Casseroles
- Baked Lemon Dessert from Food Lust People Love
- The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from Pies and Plots
- Butterscotch Bread Pudding from The Foodie Army Wife
- Classic Apple Crisp from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Ultimate Deep Dish Brownies from Recipe for Perfection
- Vegan Oreo Rice Krispie Treats from Killer Bunnies, Inc
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