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The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and Her Mom's Cinnamon Roll Recipe

This week Ree Drummond, also know as The Pioneer Woman, was on the Today Show talking about her mother’s cinnamon rolls and how they are a treasured holiday recipe.  My mom has not yet passed down a cinnamon roll recipe to me but I do know that every so often my husband will randomly state that he wants “Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls.” Since we do not have a Cinnabon around here (thank goodness), I need to start finding the perfect recipe.

Oh, wouldn’t these be a perfect part of Christmas morning breakfast? Maybe I should place these out for Santa instead of cookies…

This recipe for cinnamon rolls also has a maple icing and is stated to make enough for 40-50 rolls so plan on freezing half for another time and cutting the icing recipe down accordingly.

Cinnamon rolls by Ree Drummond (40 to 50 cinnamon rolls)
Ingredients for the Dough:
1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons total) active dry yeast
9 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping tablespoon salt

Ingredients for the Filling:
2 cups melted butter, plus more as needed
1/4 cup ground cinnamon for sprinkling
2 cups sugar, plus more as needed

Maple icing:
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, more if needed for thinning
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon maple flavoring or maple extract

Preparation:

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

Add additional 1 cup flour, along with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and use dough immediately or refrigerate, covered, overnight.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches.

To make the filling, pour 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.

Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar!

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight.

When you reach the end, pinch the seam together. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Transfer to a cutting board and with a sharp knife, make 1½-inch slices. One log will produce 20 to 25 rolls.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter into the desired pie pans or baking dishes and swirl to coat.

Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd.

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cover the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown. While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing!

In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee and salt.

Splash in the maple flavoring.

Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be thick but still pourable.

When the rolls come out of the oven, notice the gooey filling inside.

While the rolls are still warm, generously drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top.

Tips:

You can freeze them once they are cooked: Allow the iced cinnamon rolls after they’ve cooled slightly. Then just pull them out of the freezer and warm them in a 250º F oven for 15 minutes.

Variations:

Add finely chopped pecans to the rolls after sprinkling on the cinnamon and sugar.

Substitute 8 tablespoons of orange marmalade and 1 cup brown sugar (per half batch of dough) for the cinnamon and white sugar, then substitute orange juice for the maple and coffee in the icing.

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