Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

By: Christy

This week is 'bake with cream cheese' week. I didn't go with the obvious pick using one of the many phenomenal recipes that have cream cheese as the MVP (I'm sure I will in the future though) but I went with a recipe where the cream cheese is the best supporting actress: not the front runner but completely crucial to make the recipe sooo amazing. Today's recipe is for Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls. Now I know we focus on quick easy recipes but this one is just too good not to pass along. It's not that the steps aren't easy, but this recipe is just a bit more time consuming than most. The quote, "Good things come to those who wait".... well in this instance that is TOTALLY true.
These are so special that they deserve to be served on a day like Christmas morning filling the whole house with its cinnamon goodness. The dough has 12 thin layers of cream cheese which makes the dough super moist, flaky and like no other cinnamon roll you have ever had or made. I have seen a couple different versions of this recipe and this is just my personal rendition- I promise you that you can't go wrong with it!

Have a SWEET day!

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe yields 8 large Cinnamon Rolls (I usually make 2 batches at once)

For activating yeast:
2 1/4 instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup hot water

For rest of dough:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter

For Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts (I prefer half walnuts and half pecans)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 ground clove
2 tablespoons maple syrup
(optional: raisins)

Additional ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick of butter

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
(optional) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First you need to activate your yeast mixture. Mix your instant yeast, sugar, and hot water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes (when it gets foamy looking).

Next, whisk sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and the egg yolk) with the yeast mixture. Using your kneading hook add flour and salt to the mixture on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Then, add the butter and continue kneading for 5 more minutes. Remove the wet sticky dough and kneed in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of additional flour into the dough (its okay if it is still sticky) and once combined put the dough in a greased bowl in a warm place covered in plastic wrap for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

To make the filling combine all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside. 
After the dough has finished rising, put it on a heavily floured piece of wax paper or surface and keep kneading in additional flour until the dough is no longer sticky. 

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (~9x13) and then use cream cheese that is at room temperature and spread it over the rolled out dough. I found it easiest to just spread the cream cheese with my hands. 

Then fold the dough into thirds.
Then take the open ends and fold the dough into thirds again. 

Fold it like a piece a paper going into an envelope
The white on the dough  is actually cream cheese under a very thin layer of dough

Flip the dough over so the ends are face down and using a rolling pin gently re-roll out the dough. The dough will be much tougher to roll out but try to get it as large as possible without busting the dough. You will probably see some cream cheese slip out but just be as gentle as possible. 

Pour 4 tablespoons (half the stick) of butter onto the dough. Let soak for a minute and then add the filling on top lightly pushing it into the dough. 
Take the edge of the dough and start rolling the dough up into a tight cylinder and end with the seam down. Using a very sharp knife cut the cylinder into 8 slices. Nestle the slices in an 9x13 greased pan. Cover the pan and let sit for another two hours for them to continue rising.  You may also refrigerate these over night. ( I always do this since the prep takes so long)
Can you see the layers of cream cheese goodness?
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake until golden brown (usually 30-45 minutes). Once cooling, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the top of the cinnamon rolls letting it soak a couple of minutes.  

The icing is super simple, just whisk the powdered sugar and milk together (add more milk if you want it to be runnier, or add more powdered sugar if you want it to be thicker depending on the consistency you prefer). Drizzle the icing onto the warm cinnamon rolls, and wah-lah you're done! 

This recipe was adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker recipe 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sampled these and wondered how the dough stayed moist and I know, multiple layers of cream cheese in the dough. Delicious!