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Cici’s Cinnamon Rolls: A Comforting Treat

  1. Introduction
  2. Cici’s Cinnamon Rolls: A Comforting Treat
  3. Ingredient Preparation
  4. A Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Dough
  5. Proofing: Letting the Dough Rise
  6. Rolling, Filling, and Shaping the Cinnamon Rolls
  7. Second Proofing: A Crucial Step
  8. Baking to Golden Perfection
  9. The Cinnamon-y Goodness: Filling and Icing
  10. The Magic of Cinnamon
  11. A Sweet Surprise: The Icing
  12. Cooking Techniques and Tips
  13. Mastering the Art of Rolling
  14. Filling Distribution: Avoiding a Sticky Mess
  15. Baking like a Pro: Oven Temperatures and Times
  16. Serving Suggestions and Storage
  17. Warm and Gooey: Serving these Rolls
  18. Storing and Reheating for Later Indulgence
  19. Frequently Asked Questions
  20. Conclusion: Why These Cinnamon Rolls Are Worth the Wait

Cici’s Cinnamon Rolls: A Comforting Treat

A Warm Welcome to the World of Cinnamon Rolls

Hey there! Are you ready to dive into the world of cinnamon rolls and create a treat that’s not only delicious but also a comforting, soul-warming dessert? I’m here to guide you through the process of making Cici’s Cinnamon Rolls, a recipe that’s been perfected over the years to bring you the ultimate indulgent experience. These cinnamon rolls are soft, fluffy, and packed with a generous helping of cinnamon and a sweet, creamy icing. It’s a recipe that’s perfect for a cozy afternoon at home, a weekend baking project, or even as a show-stopping dessert for your next dinner party.

So, get your aprons on, and let’s begin this step-by-step journey to cinnamon roll bliss!

Ingredient Preparation

Before you start, it’s important to have all your ingredients measured out and ready to go. This recipe is all about timing and precision, so having everything prepared in advance will make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

For the dough, you’ll need:

  • Warm water (not too hot, but warm to the touch)
  • Active dry yeast
  • Granulated sugar
  • Whole milk
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Large egg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fine sea salt

For the cinnamon filling:

  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Light brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon

And for that delicious icing:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk or heavy cream

A Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Dough

Activating the Yeast:

Begin by pouring warm water into a small bowl. You want it to be warm, but not too hot, as extreme temperatures can kill the yeast. Add a teaspoon of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of yeast. Give it a gentle mix and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it becomes frothy and foamy. This step ensures your yeast is active and will help your dough rise beautifully.

Mixing the Dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, butter, and sugar. Give it a whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. It’s important that your milk is not too hot, or it will curdle when you add the butter. Add the yeast mixture and give it a good stir.

Next, crack in your egg and whisk it into the mixture. You might notice a slight eggy smell, but don’t worry, this will disappear during baking, leaving your rolls with a neutral, pleasant aroma.

Adding the Dry Ingredients:

Now, it’s time to add the flour and salt. Start by adding half of the flour and mixing it in with a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula. As it starts to come together, add the remaining flour and the salt, and mix until you can’t see any more dry patches of flour.

Kneading the Dough:

This is the fun part! Sprinkle a clean work surface with a little flour and turn out your dough. It might be a little sticky, but that’s normal. Knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself towards you. Keep doing this, and if the dough sticks to your hands, just add a little more flour to your surface.

Proofing: Letting the Dough Rise

Once your dough is kneaded, shape it into a ball and place it back into your greased mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel or some plastic wrap. Choose a warm, draft-free spot in your kitchen and let the dough rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size. This process is called proofing, and it’s essential for those soft, fluffy rolls.

Rolling, Filling, and Shaping the Cinnamon Rolls

Rolling the Dough:

When your dough has doubled, it’s time to roll it out. Punch it down to remove any air bubbles, and then turn it out onto a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle, aiming for an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.

Creating the Cinnamon Filling:

In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, light brown sugar, and ground cinnamon until you have a paste-like mixture. This is the magic that will make your cinnamon rolls irresistible!

Spreading and Rolling:

Spread the cinnamon filling evenly over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. This border will help you seal the rolls when you cut and shape them. Once the filling is spread, carefully roll up the dough, starting from the long edge, into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed when you’ve finished rolling.

Slicing the Rolls:

Using a sharp serrated knife or some dental floss, slice the log into equal-sized rolls. Aim for about 1 1/2-inch thick slices. You should get around 12 rolls from the log, depending on how thick you’ve rolled your dough.

Second Proofing: A Crucial Step

Place the sliced rolls into a buttered baking dish, leaving a little space between them as they will expand. Cover them again with your tea towel or plastic wrap, and let them rise for a second time. This proofing step is crucial, as it allows the rolls to become even softer and fluffier. Let them rise for about 30-45 minutes, or until they look puffy and have expanded noticeably.

Baking to Golden Perfection

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) while your rolls are proofing. When they’re ready, bake them for about 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown and the cinnamon filling is melted and bubbly. Your kitchen will smell amazing!

The Cinnamon-y Goodness: Filling and Icing

While your rolls are baking, it’s a great time to prepare the icing and learn more about why cinnamon is the star of this show.

The Magic of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of trees in the Cinnamomum family. It has a long history of use in sweet and savory dishes, and its warm, spicy aroma and flavor make it a perfect pairing with the sweet dough and icing. There are different types of cinnamon, and for this recipe, you can use Ceylon cinnamon, which is a little milder, or the more intense and commonly found Cassia cinnamon.

A Sweet Surprise: The Icing

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix until combined. If your icing is too thick, add a little milk or cream to thin it out. You want it to be spreadable but not runny.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

Now, let’s dive into some tips and techniques to ensure your cinnamon rolls turn out perfectly every time.

Mastering the Art of Rolling

When rolling out the dough, it’s important to use a light touch and enough flour to prevent sticking. You want to aim for an even thickness so that your rolls bake evenly. If you find it difficult to roll, let the dough rest for a few minutes to relax the gluten, and then try again.

Filling Distribution: Avoiding a Sticky Mess

When spreading the cinnamon filling, it’s easy to get a little heavy-handed. Too much filling can cause a sticky mess when you try to roll and slice the dough. Aim for a thin, even layer, and don’t be tempted to overfill!

Baking like a Pro: Oven Temperatures and Times

Every oven is different, so it’s important to keep an eye on your cinnamon rolls as they bake. The specified temperature and time in this recipe should give you a perfect result, but if your rolls are browning too quickly, you can lower the temperature by 10-20 degrees and bake for a few minutes longer.

Serving Suggestions and Storage

Warm and Gooey: Serving these Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are best served warm, straight from the oven. Place one or two rolls on a plate, and drizzle over some of the prepared icings. They’re perfect as a dessert or even as a decadent breakfast treat!

Storing and Reheating for Later Indulgence

If you have any leftovers (which is unlikely, but just in case!), you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. To keep them longer, store them in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, simply pop them in the microwave for a few seconds or warm them in the oven for a minute or two.

Conclusion: Why These Cinnamon Rolls Are Worth the Wait

Cici’s Cinnamon Rolls are a labor of love, but the wait is so worth it. From the soft, fluffy dough to the generous filling and sweet icing, every bite is an explosion of comforting flavors. These rolls are perfect for any occasion, and the process of making them is a therapeutic and rewarding experience.

So, there you have it! You now hold the power to create these mouthwatering cinnamon rolls. Don’t be surprised if they disappear quickly, and be sure to share the love by baking a batch for your friends and family. Happy baking, and enjoy every bite!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I make the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge?
    Yes! You can prepare the dough up to the first proofing stage, then cover it tightly and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Bring it back to room temperature and continue with the rolling and filling steps when you’re ready to bake.
  2. My icing is too thin and runny, what can I do?
    If your icing is runny, simply add more powdered sugar to thicken it up. Add it gradually, mixing well, until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Can I freeze these cinnamon rolls?
    Absolutely! You can freeze the baked and iced cinnamon rolls in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature or overnight in the fridge, then warm them slightly before serving.
  4. How can I tell if my yeast is still active?
    The yeast activation step at the beginning is a great way to check. If your yeast doesn’t foam or froth after 10 minutes, it might be too old, and you’ll need to get a new packet.
  5. Can I use a stand mixer to make the dough?
    Absolutely. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, you can use it to mix and knead the dough. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results, but this can save you some time and effort!

I hope you enjoyed this journey into the world of cinnamon rolls! Happy baking, and feel free to adapt and make this recipe your own.

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