Are you interested in a trip to food heaven? Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls can take you there.
I’ve had some highs and lows when trying PW’s recipes, but these Cinnamon Rolls are the best of the best. In her cookbook, she mentions that the recipe has been passed down through the family, and I can see why it’s still in use. The rolls are sweet, gooey, and incredibly moist; it’s practically impossible to eat just one. I brought them to my brunch-themed gourmet club meeting as the dessert course, and the recipe was branded a “keeper.”
Between dough making, rising, rolling, filling, cutting, rising again, and baking, the rolls require some effort. I think they were delicious enough to be worth it, though, and even a half recipe will leave you with plenty of rolls to store or share.
As usual with PW’s recipes, I’ll let her show you how to make them. Here are my notes from the experience, though:
- I cut the recipe in half and ended up with around 23 rolls. (My dough rolling wasn’t perfect, so I lost a few on the ends.)
- After I scalded the milk, oil, and sugar, I let it drop to around 120°F before I proceeded with the dough making. (This took about 45 minutes.) I used an instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature.
- After I added the first quantity of flour, my dough seemed a bit loose and I was worried. Everything worked out fine with the rising and rolling.
- I refrigerated my dough overnight before using it. I just punched it down before I rolled it the next morning.
- Rolling the dough (both into a rectangle and into a roll) was a bit challenging. Hopefully, I’ll improve with practice!
- I used butter-flavored cooking spray to coat my baking pans instead of butter.
- My rolls didn’t rise much during the 20 – 30 minute pre-baking rise period, but it didn’t seem to matter.
- I used those 8 1/2-inch round aluminum foil cake pans that you can buy at the grocery store. I was afraid they would be too shallow (they’re about 1 1/2 inches high), but I didn’t have any trouble.
- I did a lot of needless worrying while trying this recipe. Have you noticed? 🙂
- I think the ideal number of rolls per pan is 7 or 8. I did as few as 6 in one pan and as many as 9. The more space you give them, the more they expand.
- I baked two pans right away and froze one (tightly wrapped in foil). I let the frozen one thaw on the counter for an hour and then factored in 20 minutes of rise time before baking. I baked each pan of rolls (fresh and previously frozen) for 17 minutes at 375°F.
- A half-recipe of icing makes approximately 1 3/4 cups. Divide it among your pans accordingly.
- When I say the rolls are sweet, I mean sweet. I’m a bit of a sugar addict and I definitely enjoyed them, but they may be too sweet for some. I think you could successfully cut the amount of sugar in the rolls in half; I was shocked when I had sprinkled the entire surface of the dough with sugar and still had half of it left in the measuring cup.
- I think the rolls are best when they’re warm, but they really were delicious the entire day they were baked. (I know because I couldn’t stop nibbling on them.) They did start to take on a “day-old pastry” taste the next day.
I can’t wait to make these again!
Recipe link: Cinnamon Rolls