Cinnamon Rolls

A sweet baked dough filled with cinnamon sugar and roasted walnuts, this delicious treat is worth the effort to make. Slathered in a cream cheese frosting, it is the perfect dessert any time of the day.

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1/2 cup milk, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Ingredients – Filling
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup roughly chopped nuts*
1/4 cup melted butter

Ingredients – Frosting
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons milk

Warm-up 1/4 cup of the milk. Mix the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl and add it to the warm milk. Let the yeast rest for 10 minutes to activate. Mix the remaining milk with the eggs. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, sift the flour, sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Add the egg-milk mixture and the yeast. Mix at a slow speed until the mixture is just combined. Cube the butter and add one cube at a time until fully incorporated and the mixture forms a ball. Remove it from the bowl and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Alternatively, the mixture can be made in a food processor by pulsing all the ingredients until a ball forms. This mixture also works well for bread machines. Remove the ball when the machine reaches the “rise” stage. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour covered in a buttered bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper. Set the pan aside. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling and the frosting. To make the filling, whisk together the brown and white sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside. To make the frosting, in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time and whisk until the frosting is smooth. Cover and set aside. In the preheated oven, roast the chopped nuts for 10 minutes (*walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans). Once roasted, allow them to cool. (At this point, you can turn the oven off and preheat it once again when the rolls are ready to bake).

Once the dough has risen, lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough to a 1/4” thickness, trimming the edges to make a square shape. (Note: The trimmed edges can be rolled out again.) Brush half the melted butter on the rolled-out dough and sprinkle the entire surface with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the cinnamon sugar and tightly roll the dough into a log shape. Cut the rolled dough into 1/2” sections and place cut-side down onto the prepared pan. Place the pieces closely next to each other, touching at some points. Any cinnamon sugar and nuts that fall out can be placed in the crevices where the rolls don’t touch. Brush the entire surface with the remaining butter and set it aside. Allow the prepared rolls to rise for 1 hour before baking. Preheat the oven once again 15 minutes prior to the rising time finishing.

Bake the cinnamon rolls for approximately 30 minutes on the middle rack or until golden brown on the top. The rolls should sound hollow when tapped. Cool the rolls for 10 minutes and then frost with the cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon when serving. Makes 15 to 20 rolls.


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