Valentine’s Brunch: Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch!

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I love Valentine’s Day. Chocolate, flowers, cards, dinner dates, pink everywhere- it’s an all around winning combination. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always seem that guys see the winning side of things. The date planning, reservation making, and flower giving seem to fall on the guy’s shoulders; while I love it, it just doesn’t always seem fair. Plus, this year the holiday is additionally in my favor as there is a Bachelor Special on tonight (titled “The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love” so you know it’s going to be good) featuring the wedding of two Bachelor franchise cast-offs who found love on the ridiculous (but I love it anyway) spin-off show, “Bachelor in Paradise.” It’s a 2-hour segment, and I will be watching the entire thing with Kyle by my side.

To say thank you to him, I decided to wake up early and start the holiday off with one of his favorite breakfasts- cinnamon rolls. Yes, it would have been easy to simply buy the already-prepared cinnamon rolls in the can, bake them for 15 minutes, and call the holiday even. However, I insisted on making them from scratch.

They were delicious (like Cinnabon level), but fair warning, it was close to a 3-hour process. I’m not saying it’s not worth trying, but just make sure you have the time. Below is the recipe! Enjoy!!

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (2% milk works too)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine yeast, water, and sugar. Allow ten minutes for mixture to rise.
  2. Add whipping cream to melted butter, stir, and then add mixture to the yeast/water/sugar combo.
  3. Add the egg.
  4. Mix on low to combine all ingredients.
  5. Combine flour and salt in a separate mixing bowl and stir.
  6. Add the the flour/salt mixture slowly to the yeast/water/sugar/egg while consistently stirring the ingredients together.
  7. Transfer dough back into mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and allow to sit for 60 minutes. The dough should double in size during this time.

While you are waiting for the dough to rise, move on to making the cinnamon sugar filling.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (to be spread on the dough)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
  2. Stir the mixture and set aside.

 MAKING THE ROLLS

Once the dough has risen, it’s time to actually make the rolls! First clean the area of counter you will be working on. Cover the counter generously with flour as well as the rolling pin.

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Next, place the ball of dough in the center of the counter space and begin rolling it flat with the rolling pin.

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Then use a knife to cut off the sides, creating an even-sided rectangle, and cover the entire surface with the 4 tbsp of butter you set aside while making the cinnamon sugar filling.

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Cover the entire surface with the cinnamon sugar mixture and spread it around until you have even coverage.

Roll the dough into an even cylinder.

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Slice the cylinder into rolls (about an 1 1/2 wide).

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Place the rolls on a buttered pan (I even sprinkled the extra cinnamon sugar mixture on the pan for a crunchy bottom.

Heat the oven at 170 degrees and place the pan of cinnamon rolls in the oven for about 30 minutes. This allows the rolls to rise (it doesn’t actually bake them yet). After the 30 minutes has passed, increase the heat to 350 degrees and let bake for 16-18 minutes.

You will know they are ready when they are golden brown.

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ICING

To avoid waisting time, aim to make the icing while the rolls are in the oven. Below is the recipe I used.

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INGREDIENTS FOR ICING

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted melted butter.
  • 8 oz. cream cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine ingredients into mixer.
  2. Stir until there is a creamy consistency (about 2 minutes).
  3. Spread icing on top of baked cinnamon rolls while the rolls are still warm from the oven.

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ENJOY- preferably with a mimosa! Also, avoid thinking about how much sugar and butter you are about to consume.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!

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