Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

I've always been intimidated by yeast. It seems like every time I attempted it I either killed it right off the bat and the dough wouldn't rise correctly or I would get impatient and try to rush the process and ended up with rolls and cinnamon rolls that bore a striking resemblance to hockey pucks. So for many years I just avoided anything that looked like it might have a yeast component.

Then, I met Joan and Becky. They are both great cooks and make the best rolls and cinnamon rolls ever. I watched them do it and even tried to write down Joan's cinnamon roll recipe once but I couldn't make it come out right. However, they inspired me to keep trying. Assuring me that practice was all I needed and that I wasn't truly as yeast challenged as I thought I was they encouraged me to keep at it.

It's been several years now since those roll making lessons and I've made many hockey puck cinnamon rolls. I've tried all kinds of recipes and haven't been in love with any of them. This recipe is in several of my "ward" cookbooks and I finally decided to give it a whirl after I saw it on My Kitchen Cafe. The thought of light fluffy cinnamon rolls was too much to resist....guess what? IT WORKED!!! These rolls are light and airy and there isn't a hockey puck in the bunch!

Now if I can just resist eating them all myself...

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

Rolls:
½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour

Filling:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

  1. In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Do not over flour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky.
  2. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  3. Roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife.
  4. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t over bake). Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency). Makes about 24 very large rolls.

*Freezable Recipe: After shaping the rolls and placing them on the baking sheet, cover with lightly greased saran wrap and a layer of tin foil. Store in the freezer. The night before you want to serve them take out the rolls and put them in the refrigerator. Let them thaw in the refrigerator. Take them out about 8-9 hours after being in the refrigerator and let them rise until doubled. Bake according to the recipe. (If you have less time, you can take the rolls out of the freezer and let them come to room temperature on the counter – about 4 hours, then let rise until doubled).

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