Who’s ready to kick the mid-week blues to the curb with some serious yumminess?????
So I realized the other day that I’ve never shared a recipe for basic cinnamon rolls on the blog. Whahhhh?!?!? I mean, I kind of already knew that but thinking about it made me really want to. Part of the reason for me not already having posted a recipe for them is that cinnamon rolls are pretty classic and you guys all know how I can’t seem to leave good enough or basic alone. It seems like every time I’ve gotten close to making cinnamon rolls for you guys I’ve been inspired to add some sort of extra or change the flavors around completely.
The other thing is that they are one of the things that give me an inferiority complex every time without fail. See, my mom has made the world’s best cinnamon rolls ever since I can remember and they are just one of those things that I’ve never felt I could make as good as hers, so why bother try, you know?
She usually only makes them for special occasions and stuff because, and she’d tell you this herself, she can’t make them without going all out. I think a motto that would fit her well here is go big or go home. Ha, she’s always saying that she’d be so fired if she ever tried to work in a pizza parlor because she would literally spend half an hour arranging her toppings. Ah, just one of the countless things I love about my mom.
Since she doesn’t make them that often it seems like everyone has wanted cinnamon rolls for their birthdays recently. Sidenote: the only downside of this is that I’ve been kind of missing all the chances to make my usual big over-the-top cakes for those occasions. Oh, and by the way I didn’t forget about that cake I mentioned recently that would be coming soon. In fact, I already have it in the process of being ready to post so stay tuned!
Anyway, it’s been a while since her last batch and someone was talking about cinnamon rolls the other day and I had the thought, what if I made miniature, less hassle, cinnamon rolls that you could just pick up and eat? I’ve probably mentioned more than a few times how one of the biggest conveniences we all miss about living in the States is Costco. Ah, how I’d love to be able to shop at one right now in our little town. Hey, maybe someday they’ll put a branch down here, that’d be awesome!
I don’t know if they still have them but they used to sell these packaged mini cinnamon rolls that were so cute and everyone loved them. Honestly, they’d probably be pretty disappointing if we could have them now, but I guess it was the novelty of them that made them so memorable. Those are what my mind went to at the idea of going for minis because they were finger desserts and cinnamon rolls at the same time. Now that’s one thing that could never be said about mom’s huge, fluffy, caramely, frosted ones. You definitely need a fork for that experience.
I have to ask, can you think of anything that’s more fun than mini-sized foods, ’cause I’m having a hard time coming up with one right now? These are an absolute must-make you guys! The kids were flipping out over the fact that I made baby cinnamon rolls and they disappeared super fast. I think my brother’s are still investigating who took the last one. Since I think it was one of them they get kudos for faking innocence pretty well.
So you are going to try these right? You’ll be everyone’s bff if you do because these are a major crowd-pleaser!
- 1/2 cup warm milk (not hot)
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook (or a large bowl if doing by hand), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Beat in egg and sugar, then butter and salt until combined. Add flour a cup at a time until your dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of bowl. Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can cover and refrigerate the dough overnight to have it ready for a quick breakfast. Just pull it out about an hour before you want to use it.)
- Now make your filling. Stir together the melted butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until well mixed. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment or silpads and set aside.
- Divide dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle, roughly 1/8 inch thick. Spread 1/2 of the cinnamon filling in an even layer on top and sprinkle with. Starting from the long end, roll it up until you have a log-like shape, then using a sharp knife, cut into 1 inch sections (you should get about 20 for each half of the dough) and place them about 2 inches apart on prepared pans (spirals face-up). Repeat with other half of dough until you have around 40 mini rolls. Cover pans with plastic and allow them to rise while your oven pre-heats.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Bake for 12 -15 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove pan(s) from oven and allow the to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
- For the icing, whisk ingredients together in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Use a fine tipped pastry bag or just a fork to drizzle over the warm buns. You can serve them warm and melty or allow them to cool completely and let the icing dry for a less messy option. (Tip: If you want the icing in solid lines as pictured then wait until the buns have cooled before piping the icing. If you pipe while they are still warm it'll melt and give a thinner, more even coat. Both options taste just as yummy!)