This recipe by Carlie Carey of One Coastal on Fenwick Island. For the full “In My Kitchen” read more here.
For anyone out there who’s nervous to bake with yeast, this is your time to shine! No crazy long rise time, minimal tools needed, a foolproof method, and the most amazing cream cheese frosting to boot. Get ready to WOW the special people in your life with these. Cheers!
- 1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees. No thermometer? No problem! A good trick is once warm, dip your pinkie finger into the milk. If you have to pull it out because of the temperature, it’s too hot! Wait a few minutes and try again.)
- 2¼ teaspoons yeast
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- one-third cup butter, melted (I use salted, but either will do!)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ cup white sugar
- 4½ cups bread flour
- One-third cup butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- A bit of flour, for sprinkling
- 1 cup butter, salted, softened
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- *1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, if preferred
THE ROLLS: PART I
Warm milk and add yeast in a large bowl. Wait 5(ish) minutes for yeast to activate and become foamy. Add in eggs, vanilla, melted butter, salt and sugar until well combined. Mix in the bread flour and knead into a large ball, dusting hands with flour as needed. (Or you can use a mixer with the paddle attachment, whatever works for you.) After about 4-5 minutes of mixing, dough should be warm and still slightly tacky to the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size. (Usually about an hour.)
While dough is rising, make frosting. (Confession: this amount is doubled what’s usually called for, but people in my life have been known to mutiny when there isn’t extra. It won’t go to waste — that’s a promise!) Mix together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until light and creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, tasting as you go (some people prefer a sweeter frosting — if this is you, you’ll probably be adding closer to 8 cups powdered sugar). If your frosting is a bit thicker than you’d prefer when all is said and done, you can add a little bit of heavy cream (or in a pinch, whole milk) until it has the desired consistency. I always add a little bit of cream because I like the balance it brings.
THE ROLLS: PART II
Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle, approximately 16-by-22 inches. (As long as it’s got some semblance of being a rectangle, you’ll be just fine. No need to bust out the measuring tape!) Smooth softened butter evenly over dough — leaving a quarter-inch margin of no butter the far edge. (Trust me on this one.) Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over your dough — also avoiding the margin on the far side.
To help in preventing that magical filling from seeping out during baking, I then dust the mixture with just a little bit of flour and lightly press it all down — or roll with a rolling pin. Now we roll! When you roll up the dough, roll tightly — from the middle outward — and try to get a good seal on that non-buttered edge that we talked about earlier. (dough-to-dough, not dough-to-sugar.)
Cut into 12 pieces and place about 1 inch apart on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While hot, spread rolls with a about half of the icing — then top off with the remaining half once cooled. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve!