Monday, October 15, 2012

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls!!

I {LOVE} The Pioneer Woman and have tried several of her recipes.  I recently have enjoyed watching her cooking show on The Food Network.  Last year around the holidays, they aired an episode that showcased PW making cinnamon rolls to give to neighbors and friends. The episode is still on my DVR.  I knew as I was watching, I NEEDED to try the cinnamon rolls one day.  So then one day I did. I failed to realize that they would make 50-70 rolls! Even the 9 cups or so of flour didn’t clue me into that fact. Clearly, I had the finished product in mind and want to just get there to taste them! I ended up baking up about 3 foil trays of about 9 rolls and put 4 trays in the freezer for another time! They were amazing cinnamon rolls, so soft, buttery, full of maple flavor and just so PW worthy and delicious.  I do have to say though, the amounts of butter and sugar were a little too excessive for my taste (and waistline) so I did modify the filling a bit. It was a lot of work and then waiting and then work and then waiting but it was easy stuff and SOOO worth it.  Here is my modified version of the recipe:
  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Melted Butter
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil.  Set aside and cool to warm.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour.  Stir thoroughly to combine.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. I made my dough the night before and then made the rolls the following day.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.  Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 3/4 cup of the sugar over the butter.  If you want to add more butter and/or sugar you can, the original recipe called for an extra cup of each but I thought this was plenty!!!
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight.  When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, log.

With a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices.  Be sure not to cut them too thick as they will rise.  One “log” will produce 20 to 25 rolls or more if cut smaller.  Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat.  Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking.  If you are planning to freeze any rolls, do not let them rise.  Cover them with foil and place into a ziplock bag and put in the freezer immediately.  Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown, but not overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt.  Add in the maple flavoring and whisk until very smooth.  The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable. ** I just made half of the recipe when I baked 3 trays and it was the perfect amount.**
Remove pans from the oven.  Immediately drizzle icing over the top.  Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

These are definitely on my holiday baking list for this year. I think my friends and family would love to have a nice pan of these! I promise, even though it is a lot of work, it is so worth it. I have found that if I make the dough the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and make the rolls the next day, the process does not seem so overwhelming! Make some for your family, for friends, or even just for yourself and remember to take the Thyme to Savor…

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