Thursday, January 19, 2012

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls.  Is there really anything better to wake up to?  On a cold winter morning when you don't really want to get out of bed.  The type of morning where you know you'll end up wearing your PJs all day, unless you put in the effort to throw on a pair of yoga pants.  The day you know you'll just want to snuggle on the couch watching trashy TV and eating guilty pleasure food all day.  Well, if you know the night before that you're going to wake up to that kind of day, you want this recipe.  You do all the work ahead of time and in the morning you'll actually want to get out of bed just to turn on the oven and get these lovely, sweet, messy, warm, tasty cinnamon roll baking just so you can devour the whole pan while watching [insert favorite reality TV marathon here].  Totally. Worth. It.

I made these when Dave's cousin Mike and his wife Donna came to visit because I knew if I made them for just Dave and I, we'd eat the whole pan.  Having guests eat a couple made it feel less indulgent.  At least I guess so because Dave ate three of them.  These were phenomenal.  The filling is amazing and the dough is soft and perfect.  Start to finish these guys do take about 16 hours, but most of that is resting time (in fact, I was surprised how little I worked with the dough). But you'll still want to plan ahead to make sure you'll be in the kitchen when you need to move on to the next step.  Again: Totally. Worth. It.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I'm featuring one of his recipes, but I love Alton Brown.  Dave is a chemist by trade and watching Alton Brown on the Food Network is what I think got Dave into cooking more creatively and actually interested in the cooking process.  I like him because he explains things that seem otherwise complicated.  So when I searched for cinnamon rolls and found this recipe from Alton, I knew it would be a winner.  And I was so right.  Alton suggests weighing the ingredients and I haven't been doing that as often as I should, so out came the scale, which actually is easy since there's less mess of measuring cups.  I didn't make the cream cheese frosting because I still had some leftover from the Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, but I included Alton's recipe for it here.  I'll admit I was intimidated by the length of the recipe, number of steps and the shear time when I totaled it up, but really it was far easier than I expected and again: Totally. Worth. It.  I'll be making these again, but probably when I can sit in my PJs with the whole pan in my lap watching TV (I just don't think that's appropriate behavior when I have guests).

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls



4 egg yolks, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar (approximately 1/4 cup)
3 ounces butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (approximately 6 Tablespoons)
6 ounces cream or buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces flour (approximately 4 cups), plus more for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast (approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
cooking spray


8 ounces brown sugar (approximately 1 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3/4 ounce butter, melted (approximately 1 1/2 Tablespoons)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, egg, sugar, butter, and cream.

Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt.  Whisk until moistened and combined.


Replace whisk with dough hook and add all but 3/4 cups flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes.  Check the consistency of the dough and add more flour if needed; the dough should feel soft and moist by not sticky.  Knead dough on low speed for 5 minutes or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 30 seconds.  Transfer dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Put a few light sprays of cooking spray on top of the dough, cover and let double in volume for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of salt until incorporated.  Set aside until ready to use in dough.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently shape dough into a rectangle with the long side near you.  Roll into an 18 by 12 inch rectangle.

Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/2 border on the top edge.  Sprinkle filing evenly over the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch border along the top edge and gently pressing the filling into the dough.

Beginning with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.  Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down.  Very gently, squeeze the cylinder to create an even thickness.

Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2 inch rolls (you should get 12).  Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking sheet.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove rolls from the refrigerator and remove plastic wrap.

Place in an oven that is turn off.  Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls.  Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they are slightly puffed, about 30 minutes.  Remove the rolls and the water from the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  When oven is heated, place rolls in the middle rack and bake until golden brown or the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F, approximately 30 minutes.



2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (approximately 1/4 cup)
3 Tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar (approximately 1 1/2 cups)

During the last few minutes of baking, whisk the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.  Add the milk and whisk to combine.  Sift in powder sugar and whisk until smooth. Spread over slightly cooled rolls and serve immediately.

Makes 12 cinnamon rolls.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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