Cinnamon rolls can take hoursssss to make, but they are so freaking fantastic. I'm the girl that really only likes to eat the insides of the buns. I added cinnamon chips in the dough so the outsides of the dough are just as delicious as the centers. It worked splendidly. Then to top these calorie loaded delights, I piled cream cheese frosting nice and high. Now this is an awesome breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert.
These rolls were ginormous. The size of them reminded me of the huge Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. I wasn't introduced to them until my college years. Where I lived we didn't have a Cinnabon. The mall that was an hour away had auntie ann's pretzels, but no Cinnabon. Don't get me wrong, I can gobble down a cinnamon and sugar pretzel every single time I hit up that mall. I normally sport some sugar all over my chest and chin while doing so too. It's really quite a sight.
I used a half sheet cake pan for my rolls. That's how they managed to get their big square shape. I gave them plenty of room to expand and such. Look at all those gorgeous cinnamon chips. Gosh, I miss these rolls. I made this batch the day before we went to my parent's house so I boxed them up to share. I think I ate one. Sharing is caring, right?
- 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast (.25 oz packet)
- ¾ cup warm water (110 degrees)
- ½ cup + 1 tsp. granulated sugar divided
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 4-5 cups bread flour
- 1 cup cinnamon chips
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 T. ground cinnamon
- Dissolved yeast in the warm water. The water needs to be about 110 - 115 degrees otherwise the yeast won't activate. Use a thermometer to make sure it's not too cold or too hot.
- Add in the teaspoon of sugar into the yeast mixture. Let it sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should start to foam.
- In the mixing bowl, add the remaining sugar, 4 cups of flour, and cinnamon chips. Give it a good stir until everything is combined.
- Add in the milk and eggs and mix on 2 with a dough hook if you're using a Kitchenaid mixer.
- Once everything is combined, add in the yeast mixture and mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. If it's still too loose, add in half a cup of flour at a time and mix thoroughly. Mine only took an additional half of a cup for the dough to start pulling away.
- Scoop out onto a clean, floured work surface. Knead for a few minutes until the dough has elasticity.
- Oil a clean bowl and roll the dough in it once. Cover and place in a warm place until it doubles in size. It took my dough 2 hours to double. My house can be pretty cool though.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch it down carefully. Flour the clean work surface again and begin to roll out the dough. Make sure you have a nice rectangle form. I would say I rolled mine out close to 16 inches by 18 inches.
- Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- Spread the butter all over the rectangular shaped dough. Make sure you get close to the edges.
- Spread the brown sugar and cinnamon all over the dough. I added an additonal ¼ cup of brown sugar to my rolls. It didn't need it, but I'm crazy about the filling. It's really not necessary.
- Begin rolling the dough up starting with the longest side. This way your roll of dough will be longer rather than fatter.
- Prepare a half sheet pan (12x18) with cooking spray.
- Using a piece of unflavored floss, slide it under the bottom of the dough. Measure about an inch and a half from the end and cross the two ends of the floss to cut it. This is the easiest way I've found to do this.
- Place each roll in the prepared pan and give it a press down. Cover the rolls and let double again. Mine took another 2 hours to double.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pan of cinnamon rolls in the oven for 25 minutes or until they're done. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat with the hand mixer until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- Add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix on low until the powdered sugar is well incorporated. Turn mixer on high and mix for an additional minute or two.
- Spread on cinnamon rolls.