Stuffy nose. Swollen sinuses. Pulsing headache. Fever. Chills. Ugh. That’s been my life for the past 6 days and the end feels nowhere in sight. I just want to feel better!!! I haven’t had energy to do much. No cooking. No baking. Much reduced blogging. As a matter of fact, the only reason the banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies got posted the other day is because I had already written that one a couple weeks ago. And this post was already written, too–I had forgotten about it. So, enough whining about my flu woes. Let me get to the recipe and give you some goodness.
The maple icing of these cinnamon buns caught my attention when I saw Ree Drummond make this on her cooking show, The Pioneer Woman, about a year ago. However, I rarely make cinnamon buns because of the time involved. Usually when winter sets in, though, I crave the comfort of warm, gooey buns. Winter in Southern California means temperate weather, for the most part, so we don’t really get a hardcore winter here. I was on winter break from teaching, though, and awoke one day to dreary, rainy weather. Perfect cinnamon bun morning!
The recipe is easy enough but still takes time. Compared to the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Rolls I made last year, these are just okay, in my opinion. They taste fine enough, but the cream cheese dough of the other recipe creates a more flavorful and tender dough.
The icing on this recipe, I must say, ranks high in flavor. When you add both coffee and maple flavoring to the icing, the flavor factor has to skyrocket–how can it not?! And don’t be afraid to drench these babies in the icing. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
The yeast didn’t proof properly for me (tends to be hit or miss when I bake, truthfully), so I popped the pot with the dough during its rising time into an oven that I had briefly heated up. Although it didn’t appear to help a whole heckuva lot, I proceeded with rolling the dough anyway. That’s why you see a ton of rolls in the pan. Normally, you’d squeeze 7-9 buns in a round pan. I figured we’d just have mini buns if they cooked up correctly, which they did–yay!
I do like that this dough can be made then stored in the fridge for several days. I only baked up half the dough and saved the rest for a few days later.
Cinnamon Buns with Maple Icing
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 4 cups + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tbsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts), optional
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
- 2 tbsp. melted butter
- 2 tbsp. brewed coffee (I used 1/2 tsp. instant espresso)
- 1 tbsp. hot water
- 1 tsp. maple flavoring
- pinch of salt
- For the dough: Heat milk, oil, and sugar in large saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil (that’s called scalding). Set aside and cool until warm, about 30-60 minutes.
- Once the milk/oil/sugar mixture cools to lukewarm, sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for one minute.
- Add 4 cups flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a relatively warm place for one hour for dough to rise.
- After one hour, remove the towel; add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Dough can be used right away, but it will be sticky at this point. Or, refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Dough is much easier to work with when it has been chilled for at least an hour or so.)
- When ready to assemble rolls, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- To assemble rolls: remove half the dough from the bowl. On a generously floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 10 X 15 inches.
- For filling, use a pastry brush to evenly spread about 2 tbsp. melted butter over the rolled out dough.
- Whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Generously sprinkle 4-5 tbsp. of the dry ingredients over the butter.
- Then sprinkle 4-5 tbsp. of chopped nuts, if using.
- Beginning at the long end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, careful to keep the roll tight. Use a think spatula or baker’s blade to help lift any dough that stubbornly sticks to the rolling surface. Don’t fret if filling oozes out a bit. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so the seam is face down.
- Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1-inch slices. One rolled log of dough will produce 20-25 slices (or cinnamon rolls).
- Pour 1-2 tbsp. of melted butter into the baking pan and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, careful to not overcrowd. Each pan should hold 7-9 rolls.
- Cover pans with kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 20-30 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until light golden brown.
- During baking, mix the icing. In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Add more wet or dry ingredients if you need to thin or thicken the icing or adjust the flavor. Icing should be thick yet pourable.
- Remove pans from oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top, making sure to get it all around the edges and over the top.
YIELD: about 7 pans of rolls with 7-9 rolls per pan; or 20-25 slices per log & you’ll get two logs following the recipe. IF I CUT THIS RECIPE IN HALF, I SHOULD GET ABOUT 2 DOZEN ROLLS.
SOURCE: The Pioneer Woman