In the Lui household we love to make cinnamon rolls. As we have gotten older we don’t make it very often but when we do, the neighborhood is on the watch. This recipe does take some time to make but it is so worth it when it is done. We love the smell of cinnamon as it wafts through the house as it bakes.
Active prep time: 30 min
Inactive time: 120 min for two dough rises
Bake time: 25-30 min
Recipe can be halved.
5 cups all-purpose flour plus a bit extra to knead and roll out
1/2 cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (about 1 package)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half, room temperature
5 large eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
1/2 stick of melted butter
Mix flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment until blended. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. Mix into the dry ingredients until well blended.
Change to the hook blade and process for 5-10 minutes. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead by hand until dough is pliable and no extra flour is sticking to it. Put dough in a bowl and cover. Set bowl somewhere free of drafts and let dough rise until double in size (about an hour).
While dough rises, make the filling.
2 cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons cold butter, chopped in small pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup dark raisins (optional)
3 apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
Prepare the rolls
Once dough has doubled, punch it down. Prepare work area with flour. Roll dough out to 1/4″ in thickness, about 18″ long and 14″ wide. Pour the filling on the dough and spread to cover, leaving a one inch border around the edges. Now roll the dough, tightly, in a jellyroll fashion. Seal the edges closed by dabbing with a little water and squeezing the ends.
Lightly mark the top of the roll into 1″ increments with a knife. Cut into 18 slices using a sharp knife. Place slices onto two lightly greased 9×13” roasting pans leaving a ½” space between each slice.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for an hour or refrigerate overnight. If you choose to refrigerate it overnight, take the dough out of the refrigerator one hour before baking to bring to room temperature.
Before baking, brush the top with some half and half or whole milk or an egg wash (this will help the rolls to brown).
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You will know the rolls are done when you can smell them, they are golden brown, and sound hollow when tapped. Take out of the oven and cool completely before icing, if you can wait!
While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons half and half, milk, or water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all icing ingredients together in a small bowl. If you like a frosting consistency, add more sugar. If you like a thin icing, add more liquid by the teaspoon.
Depending on how sweet you like your cinnamon rolls you can drizzle icing with a spoon all over rolls.
Serve rolls with a mug of your favorite coffee, tea or hot chocolate!