Two Birds, One Pie Plate of Cinnamon Rolls

This past week, I killed two birds with one stone!  Not only did I complete one of my “creative pay-it-forward” items, (see below,) but I can now check off “cinnamon rolls” from my Bake-It List.  Hooray!  And may I say, they were pretty delicious even if they were a lot of work.

The Creative Pay-It-Forward was something that went viral on facebook, (not sure where it originated, and I normally don’t partake in viral facebook stuff, but this seemed right up my alley.)  Here it is:  “2013 Creative Pay-It-Forward: The first five people to comment on my status will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a homemade gift – a small surprise of some sort (baked goods, a card, piece of art…whatever I think would suit you)! There won’t be a warning and it will happen without notice and whenever the mood strikes me. The catch? Those five people must make the same offer in their Facebook status. Keep paying it forward and spread the happy. Oh, and “likes” don’t count. You must comment!”

homemade happiness | The Fairly Good Mother

The first friend of mine to comment happens to live 3 minutes away, so I thought, why not make the cinnamon rolls & if they turn out ok, I’ll run them up to her as a sweet surprise.  I wanted to make the cinnamon rolls as close to the holidays as possible because I know we’re all on a healthy-eating kick.  Fortunately for me, I am always ready with an excuse to indulge in sweets & my friend doesn’t believe in dieting 🙂

So, the other day afternoon, I began making the dough for my cinnamon rolls. I started with Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but halved it.  NOTE: Unless you want to wake up at like 5am & have 2 child-free, interruption-free hours, you will need to make the dough the night before, which is what I did.

Here’s the recipe with the measurements I used:

(makes 4 pans of rolls / 5 rolls per pan)

2 C whole milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
4 C flour
1/2 C flour
1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 scant tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp salt

1 C melted butter
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C cinnamon (or more depending on preference)

1/2 bag powdered sugar
1/4 C milk
1 tsp maple flavoring (you can use vanilla instead for a different flavor or if you cannot find maple extract)
2 tbsp melted butter
splash of coffee (use only if you use the maple flavoring)
pinch of salt

Mix whole milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald to 150 degrees. Let cool until lukewarm (about 45 mins or so.) Sprinkle in yeast and let sit for a few minutes. Then add 4 C flour, stir mixture together. Cover and let sit for one hour.  Add 1/2 C flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture together.

*If you don’t want to make these right away, you can cover the dough in an air-tight container & keep in the fridge for a day or two.**

Sprinkle surface generously with flour and form into a rectangle, roll the dough thin, maintaining a rectangular shape. Drizzle melted butter over dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough toward you, (note: this is MESSY, I don’t have any advice for how to try and keep in the buttery cinnamonny sugar … it will ooze out & I guess that’s just ok.) Pinch the seam to seal it, (note: I didn’t do a great job at this & it didn’t really end up being a big deal.) Swirl melted butter in the bottom of foil pie pans. Cut rolls 3/4 to 1 inch thick and lay in pans. Let rolls sit for 30 minutes to rise.

Bake at 400 for 15 to 18 minutes.

Combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Generously drizzle frosting over warm rolls after they come out of the oven.

Finished Product!
Finished Product … YUM!

Much to my excitement, the cinnamon rolls turned out quite delicious!  Both The Boy & The Husband gobbled them up quickly.  Luckily, my friend was home, so that was one pie plate & I had two extra pie plates that I didn’t want lying around the kitchen tempting me, so I packed up The Boy & loaded the rolls into my car, and took them down to our neighborhood fire station.  The firefighters were pleasantly surprised & The Boy got to hang out in the fire truck for a bit.  Win, win, win!

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