To prepare rolls, combine milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Add egg and remaining granulated sugar to bowl. Stir in 5 ounces (1 cup) flour; let stand 10 minutes.
Add 25 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) flour and salt to milk mixture; stir until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 35 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rise 35 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; roll dough into an 18 x 11–inch rectangle. Brush remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter over dough; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Beginning at one long side, roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut dough into 18 (1-inch) slices. Arrange 9 slices, cut sides up, in each of 2 (8-inch) square baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 35 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover rolls. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes in dishes on a wire rack. Turn rolls out onto wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Turn rolls over.
To prepare icing, combine 3 tablespoons softened butter and cream; stir with a whisk. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar; stir until blended. Spread icing over rolls; serve warm.
These take a while to make so I make them the day before I need them and then the next morning I let them do a final 60 minute rise before baking them. They don't rise much on either rise but they still turn out fine. They are just not extremely big rolls so we end up eating 2 of them. Delicious treat!
I've made many different cinnamon roll recipes and this one is perfect. I prefer these even to the Pioneer Woman recipe---which is great---but too rich. I don't like it when a cinnamon roll puts me into a coma because it's so loaded with fat and sugar---and I'm not a nut about this stuff. The icing is nice, but I have also used variations made with cream cheese and stolen the idea of a splash of coffee in it from Pioneer Woman. If you're looking for a super rich Cinnabon type roll, then these are not quite that. They are warm and oozy and cinnamony and delicious, but you can eat more than one and not feel awful. The only knock on a lighter dough with less fat is they don't hold for as many days after you've baked them because they get hard a little quicker than a fattier dough.
Tried these after making the cinnamon rolls from Cook's Illustrated. I found these to be even better. They were softer and I liked that you could make them in 2 pans. I made them on Friday evening and baked one on Saturday and one on Sunday. I let them rise for about an hour before baking and they came out perfect both times.
I thought these were really good. In the past, I'd been making a recipe from whatscookingamerica called Harvest Cinnamon rolls and haven't strayed too far away from it because they always came out so delicious, but they were definitely extremely fattening even though I cut back on some of the butter and sugar in the filling. Anyways, these were almost as good, but just maybe not quite as gooey and moist as the others were. I did cut the butter in the filling to 2 TBP and on the brown sugar a little bit, so maybe if I put in the listed amount next time, I would be perfectly happy with the results. The dough did not rise much (definitely didn't double) during the risings but it didn't seem to affect the rising while baking. I also placed these in the fridge overnight to substitute for the final rising. I took them out on Christmas morning and baked them and it worked very well!