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Comfort Cozy Cinnamon Rolls

If there was one thing all of us gals knew how to make when we went to college it was cinnamon rolls. All of us were known for our weekly "Sunday Sweets" and cinnamon rolls were always a popular all star desert for us. Once I got married there were few things that I could make and only one that I could make that my Mother In Law didn't...that was cinnamon rolls. Over time my technique has improved and the rolls have gotten better and better. By far this is one of Slim Jim's favorite deserts that I make.

Before I start I am going to warn you if you are looking for quick cinnamon roll fix, sigh I can't give you that, there are lots of refrigerator options for the quick fix. But there taste will not even approach the level of decadence of this recipe. I promise if you are willing to put in the wait time and follow my instructions for fail free, I promise you that it will be worth it. K?

Roll Dough
2 Tbsp. yeast, soften in 1/2 c. warm
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 c. milk, scalded and cooled
1/2 c melted shortening
2 tsp. salt
2 egg, beaten
6- 6 1/2 c. flour

First you are going to start by softening the yeast.  
(You will be tempted in a bind for time to skip this step but if you do I can only give you a 50 percent chance of it working out? Please, just take the extra 10 minutes to do this because in the end it will keep you from throwing out ingredients.)
In your bread bowl place your warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes. (Walk away from it: change your laundry, play with your kids, check your e-mail/facebook/instagram, potentially do your dishes but DON'T put anything else in that bowl for 10 minutes). Now when you come back you should see all these big beautiful bubbles and that your yeast has "grown". If it hasn't your yeast may need more time, you might have used too cold or too hot of water or your yeast might be old (I keep mine in the fridge to keep it fresh, though we use it so much that I am sure I wouldn't have a problem). Do not proceed until you have soften yeast.
Okay, now we are going to put in the rest of our wet ingredients. You are going to start by scalding your milk. You can do this by putting it on the stove and patiently waiting for it to be the perfect temperature. Or you could do like me and put 1 1/2 cup of milk it in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes then put the cold 1/2 of a cup in the milk to cool it.
Beat eggs. Put them in.
I thought I was a cinnamon roll expert because I always had pretty darn good cinnamon rolls and then I learned a trick from dough recipe that has amped this recipe to perfection. Melted Shortening. I know it isn't good for you but if you are looking to cinnamon rolls as a health food I am sorry it isn't but it is Comfort Cozy. I had always used melted butter or oil and it was good, but once I started using melted shortening the consistency of my dough vastly improved. It gives a much smoother softer consistency, one perfect for cinnamon rolls. If you don't have it you can still get pretty good rolls with butter or canola/vegetable oil. I just melt this in my microwave on mid temp until it is melted but not boiling over (again you could do this in a pan but I am not patience).
Add your first half of the flour and salt all at once and stir until it is smooth
 now start adding your cups of flour one cup at a time.
I use my stand mixer for this but if you don't have a stand mixer you still can make it just use a long spoon because the consistency will be so gooey it will make you want to add more flour than what it really needs.

See it is pretty sticky and still wet. To this batch I added the 6 1/2 cups.
Once it is all mixed and pulls away from the bowl, stop!

Cover and let rise in a warm spot until it doubles.

Now you might be tempted to make them into cinnamon rolls right now and they would be good but not great.

Punch them back down and wait for them to double again, the second time will go much faster.

Cinnamon Sugar Filling
1 cube of butter
2 tsp of Cinnamon
I used the Saigon Cinnamon from Costco, I like that it is sweeter and a little spicer than normal grocery store cinnamon, if you are using another brand you might want to increase the amount
1 packed cup of brown sugar

Now pour it out on a very well floured surface (for this I usually use my pastry cloth, so don't have to clean up a big floury mess) roll out until it is about 1/2 inch thick.

Usually I try to get a Jelly Roll pan sized rectangle (like 13" by 18") then I take a cube of softened butter (but not melted, I like to massage it into the dough and it doesn't get everywhere if it isn't liquid).
Then rub on 1 cup packed of brown sugar and sprinkle on the cinnamon until I am satisfied with the color. I love the Kirkland Brand Cinnamon from Costco it is a lot sweeter than most and the price is awesome.

Here is where you can be creative, if you want a very pretty presentation try and roll the rolls as tight as you can going from outside in and then work your hands back out.
For a more rustic look loosely roll, I like to this when universal size isn't necessary because I think they make bigger fuller looking rolls. Either application is beautiful.
I know this isn't the best angle for me but Ryder wanted to help and was so proud of himself that he had gotten picture of me making cinnamon rolls.
 Now making each one about 2 inches in length I cut the cinnamon rolls using dental floss (this will make sure they don't get smashed). Then evenly distribute them through the pan.
For our family I don't really worry about getting them all equal sized because I figure little ones are good for our kids. After you have them cut up into cute little rolls you have to wait again. Until they have doubled in size then you put them in a hot preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 or until they are brown (with my old apartments I rotate them half way through). I just keep my nose engaged and when they smell done they usually are.

The thing that really makes these over the top delicious is topping them with my MIL's cream cheese frosting recipe. I never make frosting unless it really will make a difference and though these are great without the frosting they are through the roof with frosting.

4 Tbsp. of butter
4 oz of Neufchatel Cheese (also sold as Low Fat Cream Cheese)
I use Neufchatel Cheese because it is softer and is easier to get a smooth consistency, but in a bind feel free to use Cream Cheese.
1/2 tsp. vanilla
I use Pure Vanilla Extract. I feel like in a non-cooked application you can really taste the difference between the real stuff and the imitation but in the end it is your call.
1 c. powdered sugar

I whip the butter together the "cream cheese".
When it is smoothly mixed then I put in my vanilla in the butter/cream cheese mixture
and when it is incorporated then I slowly put in the powdered sugar.
And beat until is gorgeously fluffy.

Then dress your sweet little rolls in the pretty little ivory icing and eat. These are a favorite for my husband, kiddos, neighbors, inlaws, blogging friends and husband's co-workers.  If I am making these for a crowd I double it and put it in a larger bowl to rise. 
Here is the tin foil wrapped goodie bunch that I took to Slim Jim at work


  1. Yum! Yum! You almost got me off track for today, but I will wait until tomorrow!

  2. These look so yummy!! I think we'll try them this weekend. :)

  3. Ah! These look SO incredible! I wish there was sometimes a "try this" button and the product could just come out of the computer screen.... they look THAT good. I'll definitely have to try these!


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