Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Though I was an absolute fan of the Cinnamon Roll Cake, it need not be made in the same manner every time. In the more traditional approach, Cinnamon Rolls can be satisfying freshly baked and eaten, or frozen and stored for a rainy day (or when the inevitable craving strikes). Individual portions make the saving, waiting, and sharing a bit easier than having a double-layer cake you may find yourself eating the majority of...or am I the only one? However the cinnamon roll is crafted, both versions of this recipe are easy favorites if they aren't already household staples!

Servings: 10 large rolls
Prep Time: ~2hrs 30min

1/4 Cup of Water, lukewarm
2 Packages of Active Dry Yeast, rapid rise
1 1/2 Cup Nonfat Milk, lukewarm
3/4 Cup Butter, unsalted, melted
2/3 Cup Sugar, granulated
2 Tsp Salt
4-5 Cups Flour, All-Purpose

Cinnamon-Sugar Coating
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Butter, melted

2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (or Grand Marnier)
2-3 Tbsp Milk, Nonfat
2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted, room temperature

Pecans, Optional

Dough: Pour the water into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit for five minutes. Gently, using a whisk, mix the milk, butter, remaining sugar, and salt until smooth. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time, until a semi-tacky dough forms. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour onto a clean surface and knead dough until it is elastic and no longer sticky (may take up to 1 cup). Place the dough into a lightly oiled  medium-sized bowl, and evenly coat the dough with the oil. Cover the bowl and set aside until the dough doubles in size (~2 1/2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rolls - On a floured surface, flatten the dough into a large rectangular panel ~1/3 inch in thickness (18 x 9 is a fair guide, with rolls approximately 1" - 1.25" in height before a second rise). Coat with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar until evenly-coated. Roll the panel into a large log and slice into the desired number of rolls. Gently press ward upward from the bottom center of each roll to separate and lift the middle. Place each roll about 2" apart on a non-greased baking pan. Brush each roll with the remaining melted butter. Set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for up to 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

Note - If the dough is difficult to cut (i.e. it flattens out when slicing), place in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden slightly before cutting the remaining pieces.

Glaze - After the rolls have cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the rolls. If the rolls are warm, the heat will allow the glaze to drip into a sheer finish. If the rolls are cool to room temperature, the glaze will remain thick and white. Sprinkle with nuts before or after, slice up and serve, or eat straight from the pan!

Nutrition Info (1 cinnamon roll):
Calories 461, Total Fat: 15.9g, Sat. Fat: 10.1g, Cholesterol: 42.6mg, Sodium: 352.4mg, Carb: 72.5g, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugars: 35.5g, Protein: 6g