I've always loved cinnamon but even more so once I discovered saigon cinnamon for my apple butter recipe several years ago.
I find cinnamon is a very comforting spice and I often find ways to use it throughout the dark and cold fall and winter days. That being said, I don't make cinnamon buns often for the fact that I can not stop at just one. The aroma and it's pillowy-soft bread that easily pulls apart draws me in and once the sweet icing and cinnamon flavors hit my taste buds, a trance-like effect washes over me and I am a slave to it's magical powers. I kid you not, I probably ate 2 at one sitting and then when lunch rolled around I ate another 2.
Shameful? Nah. Everyone has their demons and the first step in addressing addictions is admitting them, and I won't lie to you, I refuse to move through the other recovery steps as it is not an addiction I want to cure. I manage well enough with limiting my cinnamon bun making to several times a year. Chocolate, on the other hand, well, that is another post and a half I could write about!
The last time I made a batch, I believe I was watching many back-to-back episodes of Mad Men and I was swept up with 60's housewife nostalgia, and made a batch to be baked in the morning. I wouldn't say I fully played the part since I did not fix my hair and put on makeup. Also, I passed on the pastel flower print dress but I did don my flower print apron, complete with oven gloves, and a big cheerful smile when presenting my kids and hubby with a pan of warm cinnamon buns that morning. I earned my #1 Mom pin that day.
Will I wake up earlier to bake another batch for breakfast? Probably not. I am not a morning person but I did hear that the new season of Mad Men starts up in April. Never say never is a motto that I live by and the smell of cinnamon buns in the morning might once again snag me.
makes 12 buns
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg active dry yeast
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg yolk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2-3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted
1.25 cups icing sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp milk
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
Warm the milk up to about 35 celsius (95F) via stovetop or microwave. Add the yeast and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
To the above milk mixture, add butter, yolk and vanilla mixture. Stir until combined.
In a large bowl (if you are kneading by hand) or mixer bowl with dough hook, blend the flour, sugar and salt. Add the above milk mixture to the dry ingredients and knead for 8-10 minutes by hand or with mixer.
Shape into a ball and place into a greased butter bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1.5 hours.
Punch down the dough. Reshape into a ball and cover. Let rise for minimum of 4 hours. (If you would like to bake the buns the next morning, omit the double rise and move straight away into rolling and forming the buns. Cover and allow to double rise overnight)
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough out roughly into a 10 x 20 inch rectangle on a floured surface. Brush butter on the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough.
Roll the dough lengthwise. Seal by brushing water on the ends and pinching it together. Cut into 12 pieces and evenly distribute into a buttered 9 x13 baking pan. Cover and allow to rise for minimum 1 hour. (Omit if you already formed the rolls and allowed to rise overnight.)
Bake the rolls in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool while prepping the icing.
Mix together the icing ingredients and drizzle over the buns.