Making my own homemade cinnamon rolls has been on my list of things I've really wanted to make in my own home kitchen for a long time now. So when my sister-in-law decided to throw her husband a 50th birthday brunch and asked me what I wanted to bring, cinnamon rolls were the thing that first came to my mind!
I found the original classic recipe on allrecipes.com which had a 5 star rating and it was a blue ribbon winner at the Iowa State Fair in 2008!
I did however adapt the recipe slightly and also made up my own recipe for Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows) that topped off these cinnamon rolls with just the right amount of sweet! Trust me when I tell you that is was the perfect compliment to these wonderful cinnamony buns!
What I like the most about this particular recipe (other than the 5 star ratings) was one surprise ingredient...mashed potatoes! Yep! Mashed potatoes!
Once I saw the mashed potatoes listed in the ingredients, I KNEW this was the recipe for me! Why, You ask?... Many years ago, when our boys were little, I remember making them fried donuts using a secret mashed potato recipe. Both my boys fell completely head over heals in love with them! To this day, they still remember mom's mashed potato donuts. In fact, the recipe was so secret I was never able to find it again and have not since made those donuts. Whoops! Sorry guys ;)
These cinnamon rolls are completely and utterly delicious, although they are a bit time consuming to make from start to finish. I made them on a Saturday and the party I was taking them to wasn't until the next morning, so they weren't as "out of the oven fresh" as they could have been. However, with the amount of time it takes to make them, starting them at 4:00 in the morning wasn't an option I was prepared to entertain (no matter who's birthday it is)!!! That said, they're still worth the time, effort...and calories! LOL!!!
Ready for the recipe and pictures? Good. Let's go...
HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS
Yield 24 large rolls Approximate time start to finish: 4 hours
1 cup mashed potatoes (dry, no milk added)
1 cup reserved cooked potato water
3/4 cups butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus I small pinch for yeast mixture
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup hot water
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 eggs, whisked
9 cups all purpose flour, plus more if needed
-Combine the mashed potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt and the hot water in a large mixing bowl.
-Stir all ingredients until the butter melts. Set aside.
-Combine the yeast and the 1/2 cup warm water with a small pinch of sugar.
-Stir to combine and dissolve the yeast.
-Set aside and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
-In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the potato mixture, the yeast mixture, the eggs and 2 cups flour.
-Using a dough hook, add 2 cups of the flour and beat on low speed until combined.
-Gradually add the remaining flour, in increments, until all is combined and you have a soft and supple dough (don't be afraid to add more flour if your dough is too sticky).
-Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand an additional few minutes.
-Place the dough in a large, greased bowl (turning to coat the top), and cover with plastic wrap.
-Allow the dough to rise in a *warm, draft free place* until doubled in volume (approximately 1 hour)
*I like to warm my oven to 200 degrees for a few minutes and allow to cool slightly before rising my dough in the oven.
CINNAMON ROLL FILLING
1 stick of butter softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut extract
-In a medium bowl and using a spoon, mix the sugar, cinnamon and coconut extract to the consistency of wet sand.
-When the dough has doubled, remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough to deflate.
-Divide the dough in half.
-Working with one half at a time, on a floured surface roll the dough out into a 12x18 inch rectangle.
-Using an off-set spatula, spread the dough with half of the softened butter.
-Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the buttered dough.
-Starting lenghtwise, roll the dough tightly making sure the seam is on the bottom when finished.
-Using a bench scraper to cut the dough cleanly, divide the dough in half and then portion the dough into 12 equal portions.
-Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet, pressing them lightly to form rounds.
-Repeat the exact same steps with the remaing dough until you have 24 equal rolls.
-Allow your dough to rise again one more time in your warm, draft free spot (approximately 40 minutes).
-Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approimately 40 minutes until nicely golden brown.
-Meanwhile, make your icing.
CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE ICING
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons milk
chopped pecans (optional)
-In the bowl of a stand mixer or with your hand mixer, add all the ingredients (except the nuts) and blend until well combined and you have the consistency you like. Add more powdered sugar if you need a thicker icing and more milk if you prefer a thinner icing.
-After the rolls are fully baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes before you spread the icing.
-I iced half of mine plain and the other half I added chopped pecans.
As I said, there were truly delicious. Because I was taking them to my brother-in-laws birthday brunch the next morning, I popped them in the fridge until I was ready to pack them up for the party the next day.
Being the nice mom that I am, I saved my son one to eat later Saturday night night when he got home. Having not ben able to try them myself, I was anxious to hear from him what he thought of the taste so I asked him to let me know. This is what I found on the counter the next day...
Three exclamation points!!! Not bad, huh? Thanks Greg! XO
And so the next morning, I packed them all up in the bakery boxes I still have from back in my cookie decorating days and I'm completely taken back by their aroma to the old days when I worked at the old Poundcakes Bakery in Bartlett, IL. The bakery is no longer there the but smell of these cinnamon rolls is as good (if not better) than anything we used to sell!
Like I said, these homemade cinnamon rolls are well worth taking the time and effort to make if you're ever in the mood to impress your family and friends with something wonderfully decident from your kitchen and I promise, they'll think you purchased them at the corner bakery!
But don't forget to take plenty of pictures because you'll need the proof that you really did make them yourself!!! *wink*