Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing
A soft, sweet dough brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with a cinnamon / sugar mixture then rolled, sliced and baked. When removed from the oven, they are spread with a cream cheese frosting flavorfully enhanced with the addition of a vanilla bean.
1.5tablespoonsbutter melted, plus additional for brushing
¼teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
¼teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1vanilla beansliced lengthwise with seeds scraped out and reserved
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In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve yeast in the warm water with the half teaspoon of sugar.
With the paddle attachment, mix in the milk, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and enough flour to make a medium batter. The batter should be about the thickness of a pancake batter.
Allow to stand until light and foamy, about 8-10 minutes.
Add melted butter, eggs and salt.
Add enough flour to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
While dough is resting, prepare a large bowl by spraying it with cooking spray.
Knead dough until it is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes.
Place into prepared bowl and turn over, coating it with oil.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set to rise in a warm area until double in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down.
On a lightly floured surface and with a lightly floured rolling pin, flatten dough into a rectangle approximately 15 X 20-inches and about 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Prepare a 9 X 13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
For the filling:
Spread the melted butter evenly onto the dough, up to the edges.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar required for the filling in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Evenly sprinkle it all over the dough.
Starting from the long side, gently roll the dough up into one long roll.
Using a clean piece of dental floss, cut into slices about 1 1/2-inches thick.
Place into prepared baking dish, leaving an inch or so between each, if possible.
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping until completely mixed.
Spread some of the melted butter on top of each roll then sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon onto the top.
Freshly grate the nutmeg over each roll. (Can also be mixed with cinnamon sugar and sprinkled altogether.)
Tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm area until double in size, about 1 hour.
For the frosting:
In a cleaned mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds. Beat till well combined.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and thoroughly mix.
Add the tablespoon of milk and beat until smooth and creamy.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake rolls for 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden.
Upon removing rolls from oven, spread with frosting.
I've found it super helpful to use a piece of unflavored dental floss when slicing the dough into individual rolls. It helps them keep their shape as opposed to cutting the dough with a knife which can sometimes flatten them.