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Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

The butter you spread on the rolled-out dough should be very soft so that the dough won't tear.

Southern Living DECEMBER 2011

  • Yield: Makes 16 rolls
  • Hands-on:30 Minutes
  • Total:3 Hours, 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup very soft butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Cream Cheese Icing

Preparation

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

2. Beat 1/2 cup softened butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp. salt, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and next 2 ingredients, beating until blended. Stir in yeast mixture.

3. Combine 4 1/2 cups bread flour and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended.

4. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup bread flour onto a flat surface; turn dough out, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes), adding up to 1/4 cup bread flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands and surface. Place dough in a lightly greased large bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

6. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread with 1/2 cup very soft butter, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and sprinkle sugar mixture over butter.

7. Top with pecans. Roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side; cut into 16 slices (about 1 inch thick).

8. Place rolls, cut sides down, in 2 lightly greased 10-inch round pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85º), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

9. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Brush rolls with Cream Cheese Icing. Serve immediately.

TRY THESE TWISTS!

Apple-Cinnamon Rolls: Prepare as directed through Step 5. Peel and chop 2 Granny Smith apples (about 3 cups). Place apples in a microwave-safe bowl, and pour 1 cup apple cider over apples. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool 15 minutes. Proceed as directed, sprinkling apples over sugar mixture in Step 6 before topping with pecans. Hands-on time: 30 min.; Total time: 4 hr., including icing.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Rolls: Prepare as directed through Step 6. Chop 2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars; sprinkle over sugar mixture. Proceed as directed. Hands-on time: 35 min.; Total time: 3 hr., 40 min., including icing.

Cranberry-Cinnamon Rolls: Prepare as directed through Step 5. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup dried cranberries; let stand 15 minutes. Drain cranberries. Proceed as directed, sprinkling cranberries over sugar mixture in Step 6.

Hands-on time: 30 min.; Total time: 3 hr., 55 min., including icing.

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Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing recipe

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