Walt and I house-sat for his parents this weekend while they went away for a wedding. House-sitting at Fair Oaks Manor includes 5 crazed dogs, so Walt's brother Hunter and his girlfriend drove up from Athens to assist, thank god. Turns out we needed all the help we could get. So with burgers on the grill and much-needed cocktails in hand (and no parents in sight), we set out to party away the weekend in true Thompson fashion.
On Saturday evening we were to attend a cocktail party for their soon-to-be-married cousin Courtney. Pre-gaming started early with a round of margaritas. While we sipped our frozen concoctions around the kitchen island, I began working on a batch of "Mother's Day" cinnamon rolls. (Yes, I drink and bake. Call it multi-tasking at it's finest.)
The plan was to eat these on Sunday morning; however, they looked so tasty once rolled and cut that I decided they'd make a pretty good pre-party appetizer. I put 3 slices in a small pan (Hunter meanwhile gathered the remaining dough into a ball, smothered it with white chocolate chips, and tossed it into the lot) and waited patiently until done. At about 7:25 PM -- 10 minutes after we should have left the house -- out came the little balls of heaven. I slathered them with a little glaze and we promptly gobbled them up. Who knew how well cinnamon rolls went with tequila?
The next morning, veeeerrry groggy from last night's festivities, I dutifully drug myself out of bed at 7 AM to pull the rolls from the fridge to rise. Two hours later (oops), I awoke from a catnap with a very rumbly -- and hung-over -- tummy. Must. Eat. Cinnamon rolls. I stumbled back upstairs and into the oven the dough went. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.
And oh my goodness, were these guys ever worth the wait. Although not the Pillsbury rolls from my past (I'm not gonna lie -- I love those things), they were doughy, soft, and delicious. And with the glaze? Don't mind if I have another. Go make these for your mom, ASAP!
ON A SIDE NOTE: Mom, thanks for always being supportive of my crazy shenanigans. I appreciate it (and you) more than you will ever know.
Xoxoxox, Daughter Number 3
Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2008
Yields: 18 cinnamon rolls
FOR THE DOUGH:
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (1 envelope)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
FOR THE FILLING:
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
4 - 6 tablespoons ground cinnamon, or to taste
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
FOR THE GLAZE:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE DOUGH: Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
FOR THE FILLING: Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side down (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Remove dough from fridge and allow to rise in warm draft-free area for at least one hour, or until almost doubled in volume. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 17 - 20 minutes. Glaze immediately and serve warm.
FOR THE GLAZE: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. (This makes a lot of glaze, but don't worry, I'm sure you can find a good use for it)
Kitchen tip: If you don't need all of these, freeze half for later. Place the rolls on a large sheet pan and freeze. Once dough is frozen, remove from pan and place in freezer-safe zip lock bag. When ready to cook, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw completely at room temperature. Bake according to the directions above.