- ⅓ cup very warm water (110-115 degrees like a warm baby bottle)
- 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons) - not rapid rise
- ¼ teaspoon granulated white sugar
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ⅓ cup whole buttermilk (room temperature)
- ½ cup whole milk (room temperature)
- 7 tablespoons of real salted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (may need more or less)
- ½ cup of light brown sugar
- ½ cup of dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 2-4 tablespoons whole milk (may need more or less)
- 1 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
1) In a measuring cup stir together water, ¼ teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Let mixture sit for a few minutes until it frothy or foamy (it should rise).
2) Pour yeast mixture into a large bowl. Add in ½ cup sugar, whole buttermilk, whole milk, melted salted butter, canola oil, vanilla extract, and eggs. Mix until combined. Mix in salt and baking powder. Gradually mix in the flour a little at a time, using just enough so that the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl. It will be sticky but shouldn't stick to a clean finger when enough flour is added. Once dough has formed (Now for a softer roll, don’t fiddle with dough too much, for a tougher bun type roll, knead dough a few times but these are SOFT rolls so don’t fiddle) place the ball of dough into a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with a couple of kitchen towels and place the bowl in a warm location. Let sit for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
3) Once dough has risen, gently punch the dough down a few times (kids are GREAT at this part) to release the air. Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour and turn dough onto floured surface. Knead the dough gently a couple of times and then pat the dough into a rectangle that is about ¼ inch thick. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter and vanila mixture.
4) In the bowl of a food processor, blend together brown sugars & cinnamon (You can do this earlier in the prep process too).
TIP: You want to let this run for about a minute so everything is fully combined AND you have smaller crystals of sugar. This will cause it to melt even more in the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the dough, pressing in slightly. Brush again with butter remaining butter and vanilla. Starting from the end furthest from you, begin tightly rolling up the dough.
5) When done, place the roll seam-side down, and carefully slice (Technique: Use unflavored dental floss to cut these for perfectly non smashed rolls) the roll into 12 (1½-inch) sections.
6) Place the rolls in a buttered13x9 dish (don’t use a dark coated pan, I find these work BEST when using one of those 13x9 disposable aluminum cake pans),sides touching. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location to let rise.
7) Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes (if make the rolls night before and refrigerate and bake next day, let rise for an hour in a warm place or come up to room temp before baking) or until sides of cinnamon rolls are lightly golden.
8) While rolls are baking, prepare the glaze by combining all cream cheese glaze ingredients in a bowl or food processor (make sure you rinse it out from having the brown sugar mixture in here, you don’t want ‘crunchy’ glaze) silky.
9) When cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, brush rolls with melted brown butter (salted butter) let cool for a few minutes and then spread on the glaze. Enjoy!
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