I got the pictures back from our family photo shoot and I am thrilled with the results! Kel Elwood Photography is ah-mazing. Not only can she compose a photo but her editing is superb. I'm gonna share some of my favorite photos from the shoot below, but first let us talk about cinnamon rolls. But not just any old cinnamon rolls. Come hither, and let me tell you a tale about dough you make and let rise the night before so all you have to do it pop them in the oven the next morning when you are ready and voila, you have gooey, chewy, cinnamon rolls that taste exactly like Cinnabon. Exactly. I don't even think this recipe is a copycat. I think it's the real one. Like, for reals, reals.
Before they rise:
After they rise:
And the icing! The icing is to die for and tastes like sweet butter and cream. I really enjoy baking at night so preparing these is no problem for me. After the dinner mess is cleaned, the dishwasher is humming and my family is on the couch watching some TV before bed, I go to work-happily. The dough comes together in 5 minutes and then it's just a matter of kneading, filling and rising. I turn my oven on for a few minutes so my dough will have a warm place to rise. If you do it this way it cuts the rising time by a third or so. The temperature should be warm but not hot enough to cook anything. I usually turn the oven on at 350 for 2 minutes then turn it off again but keep the oven door shut. It never heats up past 200 degrees and stays nice and warm when I put the dough in. This dough rolls out easily making everything rather effortless. After you have rolled the filling in the dough and cut your cinnamon rolls, let it rise again in your warm oven. After they have risen, cover in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge. All that's left to do is bake the next morning.
Okay, The cinnamon roll recipe is coming, but now let me share some highlights from our photo session!
The sun was crazy bright:
I posted a lot of pictures but I had a hard time narrowing them down. Alright, now patience can be rewarded. Here is the cinnamon roll recipe:
Overnight Homemade Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Food Network magazine, Nov. 2009
makes 6 big rolls
FOR THE DOUGH
1 cup whole milk
1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the bowl
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
FOR THE FILLING:
All-purpose flour, for dusting
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
FOR THE GLAZE
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Make the dough: warm the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until it reaches about 110 degrees (or is warm to the touch, but not hot). Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar (don't stir). Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla.
Whisk the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the salt and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer. make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed with a dough hook until thick and slightly sticky. Knead on medium speed until the dough gathers around the hook, 6 minutes. (add up to 2 more tablespoons flour if necessary.)
Remove the dough and shape into a ball. Butter the mixer bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat with butter. Cover with a cloth hand towel and let rise until doubled, 1 hour 15 minutes. Or about 40 minutes if you use my warm oven method mentioned above.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-by-14-inch rectangle with the loner side facing you. Spread with the softened butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the far long edge. Mix the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the butter. Brush the un-buttered far edge with water. Roll the dough away from you in a tight cylinder and press on the long edge to seal. Cut the cylinder with a sharp knife to make 6 equal-size buns.
Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; place the buns cut side down in the pan, leaving space between each. Cover with the towel and let rise until doubled, 40 minutes. Or about 25 minutes if using my warm oven method. Cover risen buns with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for the next morning. You can also bake these right away if desired.
The next morning, take the buns out of the fridge, take the plastic wrap off and let them set at room temperature for about 20 minutes to take the chill off. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake buns until golden, about 35 minutes (check them at 30-you don't want them to overcook). Cool in the pan 15 minutes. meanwhile, make the glaze: Sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl, then whisk in the cream and melted butter. Transfer the buns to a rack and spoon the glaze on top while still warm. (I just glazed them in the pan).
I'm still on vacation until tomorrow. Wahoo!