For a while now, I’ve had Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls on my list of things to make since it seemed like everyone I knew who made them raved about them. And, I am happy to report that I am no exception – these cinnamon rolls are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. While they take a bit of time to make, they really aren’t that hard…and they’re so worth it, especially because they freeze very well. PW says that you can freeze the rolls in several ways: unrisen in the pan – then you’ll just need to allow them to thaw and rise, and continue the baking and icing process. You can also freeze the rolls completely iced and finished – just allow them to cool before freezing. In addition, you can freeze the rolls baked but unfrosted – just thaw them out, warm them for just a few minutes in the oven, and then ice them while warm. That’s what I did, and it worked wonderfully. In fact, out of the 6 pans of rolls I got out of the recipe, I still have 5 pans in my freezer just waiting for a special weekend breakfast!
I also wanted to point out that my good friend Heather has once again updated my blog header for the season – isn’t it just so fun and festive? I think the mug of hot cocoa with the little candy cane sticking out is my favorite part. If you’re looking for any kind of graphic design work, check out her site and shoot her an e-mail – she does beautiful work!
Here’s the recipe, adapted from Ree:
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) flour
- 1 heaping tsp baking powder
- 1 scant tsp baking soda
- 1 heaping Tbsp salt
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
For the maple frosting:
- 1 bag powdered sugar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cups melted butter
- 1/4 cups brewed coffee
- 1/8 tsp salt
In a large pot, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar. Scald the mixture (heat until just about to boil), and then turn off the heat. Let cool 45 minutes to an hour.
When the mixture is lukewarm, whisk in the yeast and let it begin to dissolve.
Stir in the 8 cups of flour. Cover and let rise at least an hour.
Next, add in the last cup of flour as well as the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. PW says that at this point, you can cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pot, punch it down.
When you’re ready to make the rolls, take half the dough and form into a rough rectangle on a floured surface. Roll the dough thin, maintaining the rectangular shape, and then drizzle 1/2 cup of the melted butter over the dough.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over the butter, followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough toward you, keeping it as tight as possible. Pinch the seam to seal it at the end. Spread a tablespoon of melted butter in a 7″ round foil cake pan (I think my pans were 9″, which is why I got 6 pans of rolls instead of 7). Cut the rolls approximately 3/4″ to 1″ thick, and lay them in the buttered pans. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown.
For the frosting, mix together all the frosting ingredients and stir until smooth; it should be thick. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.
Freeze any rolls for later. I put each entire pan inside a freezer bag, and then stacked them in the freezer!