Years ago, between the ages of 19-21, with the guidance of Auntie I learned to make incredible yeast rolls. After getting to “perfect” with my technique, Auntie warned me that if I ever stopped making them, I would loose the ability. I’m sure that I didn’t believe her because at about the age of 26, I stopped. For the last 7 years, I’ve sporadically tried my hand at everything from simple rolls to raisin bread. Whether I was following a “best” recipe or making them from memory, nothing turned out quite right..until now.
I found a recipe for cream cheese cinnamon rolls posted on Tasty Kitchen by Joy The Baker. After reading the recipe, I was intrigued by the process of working cream cheese into the dough, like butter for croissants. I made them the first time just as she specified and they were great! Remembering Auntie’s warning, practice makes perfect, and because they’re just that good, I’ve made them several times. I’ve also made a few modifications like using more yeast, more vanilla & more sugar.
Recipe & directions on next page…
|The baking sheet made measuring & cleanup ultra easy!|
|Adding raisins & nuts to half…Everybody is happy 🙂|
|Rolled up and ready to slice!|
Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 18 small or 8 huge…depending on how you roll
2 packets of yeast (1/4 ounce each)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (plus more for rolling)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup boiling water
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon sugar, yeast, and warm water. Stir to dissolve and set aside for 10 minutes. Mixture will be foamy and puffed up. Add sugars, milk, eggs, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed. Add 3 cups of flour and salt and beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Add butter and continue beating until no traces of the butter remain, increase mixer speed to high and knead for 5 minutes.
Flour surface with remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Turn out dough onto flour and knead until flour has been absorbed by dough. The dough will be soft and a little sticky. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes. Place dough in a large greased bowl(I washed my mixing bowl while the dough was resting and greased it) and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area for 1 1/2 hours until dough has doubled. I placed my dough in a cold oven, heated to warm(170 degrees) for 10 minutes, turned off heat and allowed the dough to remain undisturbed for 1 hour 20 minutes.
While waiting for the dough to rise, I made the filling. Place raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water, set aside and allow to cool to room temperature and then drain. In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon, sugars and vanilla.
When dough has doubled, turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle top as well and roll dough out to 10 x 10, carefully and evenly spread with 4 ounces of softened cream cheese. Fold dough over itself into thirds(like you’re folding a letter), then fold in half and roll back out to 10 x 10. Repeat this process twice, some of the cream cheese will break through. Sprinkle dough will flour once more and roll out to 20 x 14. I used a large baking sheet to gauge the size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Once rolled out, carefully spread with 1 stick of softened butter. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar mixture, followed by raisins and nuts. Because my daughter thinks that she does not like nuts or raisins, I only sprinkled them on half of the dough. Roll dough lengthwise and cut into 18 pieces or roll from short end and cut into 8 pieces. Place rolls about 1 1/2 inches apart in a greased 9 x13 inch baking pan. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake for 23-25 minutes for small or 30 minutes for large
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the icing. In a medium bowl, mix remaining 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter until mixed well. Beat in confectioners sugar until thick and creamy. Slowly beat in milk and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls.