Cinnamon Rolls (yes, better than Cinnabon)

A long, long, long time ago, I used to get cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon. My friend and I could not go to the mall without getting one. It was tradition! They were warm, gooey, cinnamony, and oh so sweet. As I transitioned to a healthier diet, they had to be eliminated, along with other unhealthy foods that I don’t miss at all. On a recent trip to the mall, I could smell the fresh cinnamon aroma coming from Cinnabon. Not once did I consider buying one, but it encouraged me to make my own version. These are much healthier and they have 1/2 the calories. Oh yeah!

| Makes: 9 servings | 9 rolls |

{ Ingredients }

Dough:

1/2 cup of homemade almond milk
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups + extra of unbleached flour (organic if possible)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 of a large egg
1 1/8 teaspoons of yeast (1/2 of an envelope)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
cooking oil for greasing

Filling:

1/3 cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon (organic if possible)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of unsalted softened butter

Glaze:

1 cup of powdered sugar (organic if possible)
1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted softened butter
1 – 2 tablespoon of warm almond milk
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract (organic if possible)

{ Directions }

  1. For the dough, warm the almond milk and butter in the microwave, or in a pot on on low heat. You just want to warm the milk and melt the butter.
  2.  If you’re using a hand mixer with a dough hook transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. If you’re using a stand mixer transfer it to the compatible bowl. Add 1/2 cup of  flour, sugar, egg, yeast and salt. Mix well at medium speed until combined.
  3. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cup of flour and mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky add flour in 1 tablespoon increments.
  4. Once a ball is formed, remove the dough and place on a well floured surface for kneading.
  5. Knead the dough for 6 – 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, set aside.
  6. Oil a deep bowl, place the dough in the bowl and cover with a perfectly fitting plate or a towel.
  7. Let rise on the counter for 2 hour, until doubled in size.
  8. While the dough is rising, you can mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Cover and set aside.
  9. While you wait, why not make the glaze? Combine the powdered sugar, butter and milk. Blend until mixed well. If you desire a thicker glaze add more powdered sugar. If you want thinner glaze add milk (a few drops at a time).
  10. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a well floured surface, and roll out to an 11″ x 8″ rectangle. Don’t beat yourself up; it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  11. Spread the softened butter on the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  12. Evenly spread the brown sugar/cinnamon filling, using your hands to evenly distribute.
  13. Begin rolling the dough from the long side, lightly pinching to keep the it rolled.
  14. Cut the roll into 9 even’ish pieces. I usually make test indentations to make sure I don’t end up with something useless at the end of the roll.
  15. Grease a 9″ x 11″ baking dish.
  16. Cut the rolls and place them in rows of 3, cut side up.
  17. Cover and let rise on the counter for 45 minutes, until the rolls have doubled in size
  18. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 18 – 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  19. Let the rolls cool for about 5 – 10 minutes.
  20. Glaze and enjoy!
Dough recipe adapted (healthier of course) from bon appetit
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