Our trips to Pismo always included two things: clam chowder from Splash Cafe and a cinnamon roll from Old West Cinnamon Rolls. You really can't beat either of them anywhere else...until now, perhaps. These homemade cinnamon rolls from America's Test Kitchen just might make Old West have a run for its money. Good thing the time and energy it takes to make these rolls will keep them as a seasonal treat.
Here's the recipe. If you are a cinnamon roll lover like myself, you really need to make these, and invite over your cinnamon roll friends to indulge with you.
3/4 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees (about a minute in the microwave)
1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons) rapid rise or instant yeast
3 large eggs, room temp (Trick - place them in warm water for five minutes)
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened (cut first - it's much easier)
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I actually use less, more like 2.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Prep: Adjust an oven rack to middle position and heat to 200 degrees, then shut off. Line a 13x9 in. baking pan with foil, allowing the excess to hang over. Grease foil. Grease a medium bowl or two small bowls if you are making the recipe into 16 rolls instead of 8.
1. Dough: Whisk milk and yeast in a large measuring cup (or bowl) until yeast dissolves, then whisk in the eggs. Using a stand mixer and the dough hook, mix the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add the milk mixture and mix until dough comes together, 1 minute. Increase to medium and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto a smooth clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball (or two smooth, round balls if you're wanting 16 less giant cinnamon rolls.) Transfer to prepared bowl(s), then cover with plastic wrap and place in oven. Let rise 2 hours or so.
2. Filling: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll out to be an 18x18 in. square. If you are making 16 rolls, you're going to do this twice. If you want, you can make a rectangle with the long side toward you -- this will ensure thicker dough for the rolling part, but still allow you to cut it into 16. Spread with softened butter, then sprinkle sugar mixture all over evenly. (Again, if you're making 18 rolls, you'll use half of the butter and sugar for the first batch, then the rest for the second.) With the nearest edge, tightly roll up the square to form a cylinder. Cut into 8 pieces and place in foiled pan. Cover in plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about an hour. (If needing to prepare them the next day, you can cover them and move them into the fridge, then take them out when ready and let sit for an hour.)
3. Glaze: Whisk ingredients together.
4. Remove plastic wrap on rolls and bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees (35 minutes was enough for the smaller rolls). Buns should be a golden brown and the filling should be melted. Transfer to wire rack and top with 1/2 of the glaze. Let cool for 30 minutes, then top with remaining glaze. Serve and ENJOY!