When I requested cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast this year, we decided to try a new recipe, and all I can say is Oh. My. Goodness. Paul Deen has done it once again. And I will never use another recipe for cinnamon rolls. EVER. It's that good, and surprisingly, not too hard to make.
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen
1/4 ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans (optional)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 teaspoons hot water
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 - 10 minutes. Place in a well greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
3. When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins, if desired. Beginning at the 15 inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
4. Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
5. Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.
For the filling, we used a total of 1 cup of sugar (1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar), rather than the 3/4 cup of white sugar called for in the recipe. It was AMAZING! We didn't add nuts or raisins this time, but will definitely try this recipe with nuts next time.
We actually prepared our dough and filling the night before and left in the refrigerator overnight. It worked great that way. Just bring it up to room temperature before you cook your rolls.
These rolls reheat nicely in the microwave. Cover with a paper towel and heat for 30-35 seconds. The icing will stay intact.