Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Most things worth doing are worth over-doing.

Like most our best recipes, this one has existed for some time on a ragged piece of paper, with notes in various colors of ink as it's been tweaked and perfected over time. As I was typing it up today, I realized I should share it.

When it comes to baking, I like to go above and beyond. This recipe involves more than just sweet rolls--they are cooked in a caramel made from vanilla ice cream (I like Breyer's extra-creamy vanilla.) These cannot be made in a hurry; they require time, attention, and a lot of dishes. But I promise, they are worth the effort!

Cinnamon Rolls
1 c milk
1 ½  c vanilla ice cream
2/3 c butter
1 c brown sugar
½ c water
1 c milk
1 c water
1 T active dry yeast
½ c butter
1 c white sugar
1 t salt
2 eggs
6 c all-purpose flour
2 T ground cinnamon
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
½ c butter, softened
3 c confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/3 c butter, softened
1 ½ t vanilla extract
1 ½ T milk

1.      Warm 1 c milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in ½ c butter; stir until melted. Add 1 c water and let cool till lukewarm.
2.      In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture from step 1, yeast, 1 c white sugar, 1 t salt, 2 eggs and 2 c flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour ½ c at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3.      Let dough rise 1 hour or till doubled in size. Beat down.
4.      Divide dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a 12” x 9” rectangle. In a bowl, stir together the cinnamon and 1 c each brown and white sugars. Spread each rectangle with half of the butter (1/2 c), half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll up dough, using a little water to seal the seam.
5.      In a small saucepan, melt 2/3 c butter. Add 1 c brown sugar, ½ c water and 1 ½ c vanilla ice cream; bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Pour caramel mixture into bottom of 2 greased 9 x 13 pans.
6.      Cut each roll into 12-14 slices using a very sharp knife. Place pieces into greased pans on top of caramel. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees.
7.      Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes until golden brown. While rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, stir together confectioner’s sugar, 1/3 c butter, vanilla and 1 ½ T milk. Let rolls cool slightly then spread with frosting.

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