Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
In the years since I’ve been writing this blog, someone — who shall remain nameless — has been pestering me for an “easy cinnamon roll” recipe. As my mother will attest, I was raised “a pleaser” and really wanted to comply with this request. But with every cinnamon roll recipe I searched out, “easy” seemed an impossibility. With one or two rises plus jelly roll-like rolling — to say nothing of the fact that this all has to be done hours before you might actually want breakfast — it seemed I was trying to fight a losing battle. And I’m not into that. So the easy cinnamon roll recipe languished.
Anyone who knows me will probably guffaw right out loud with this next sentence, but: I love mornings. Or, shall I say, I love the idea of the morning. And much as I wish I were built to get up and embrace the day with a five-mile jog, my physiology seems to resist this with its every joint, fiber, and ligament. Mornings, my mind and body seem to agree, are for strong coffee, reading in bed, and quiet games of chess. Eventually, it is nice if a steward or lover brings you bagels or pancakes while you’re propped on pillows, but you’ll rarely find me making elaborate breakfasts on a weekend. I have to laze for approximately an hour and half before I am adequately awake.
That is why I have never made cinnamon rolls. My friend Katie makes the best sticky, cinnamon-y, nutty rolls of goodness, but she is, of course, the very essence of a morning person. She doesn’t even need a cup of coffee to come to life, and she is an inspiration to lazy bones like me.
But you can’t fight nature — at least, you can’t if you haven’t a tremendous amount of discipline and self-will. In other words, I can’t. So this cinnamon roll recipe, in which night owls can roll their buns in the evening hours and wake up only with enough energy to make the coffee and shove these in the oven, is heaven-sent.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
I have to admit, I’m rather proud of this recipe. After months and months of searching for the perfect cinnamon roll to suit my needs, I ended up combining a little of this, a little of that, and in one round, managed to mix together what is, for me, the perfect cinnamon roll. No raisins, a powdered sugar glaze rather than cream cheese frosting, and a dough that was a buttery beauty.
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup maple sugar (if you can’t get maple sugar, use 2 cups powdered sugar, and you could add some maple flavoring, if desired)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (or more) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add eggs and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed, about 5 minutes.
Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together filling ingredients.
Roll out dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Spread dough evenly with filling mixture. Roll up dough from the long end and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in a 9×12″ baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, remove cinnamon rolls from refrigerator and let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients, adding more milk to thin glaze, if necessary. Remove rolls from oven, and pour glaze over hot cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.