Recipe: Faux Cinnamon Rolls

Raise your hand if you ever wake up craving freshly baked cinnamon rolls, but haven't got six hours to make them (or the strength to wait that long). Wow, that's a lot of hands! Trust me, I know your pain. But, I've got a solution for you. This recipe is a cheat, of sorts, for the flavor of a delicious cinnamon roll in a fraction of the time--less than an hour! It will allow you to enjoy a weekend indulgence on a Monday morning. And it tastes SO much better than any of the quick-cook options you'll find in the freezer section of the grocery store. The other fabulous thing about this recipe is that you can easily adjust the serving size, depending on how you score the dough. You can make large, hearty rolls for individual servings, or bite-sized portions for a breakfast buffet or a calorie-conscious eater. (There seems to be a lot of those in January.) Faux Cinnamon Rolls Dough 2 1/4 cups milk 7 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons quick-rise yeast 2 tablespoons oil 1 tablespoon salt 4-5 cups flour Topping 1/2 cup butter, melted 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon Frosting 3 cups powdered sugar 3 tablespoons butter, melted 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (you can use maple, almond, or lemon flavoring as well) 3-5 tablespoons milk Directions Prepare a jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. On stovetop or in the microwave, heat the milk until very warm (not boiling). Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add yeast, allowing a few minutes for the mixture to become foamy. Mix in salt and oil and then transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix in flour and knead until dough forms and is soft, but not sticky. Transfer dough to the prepared jelly roll pan and press out evenly, using your hands. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, letting the dough rise a few minutes until the oven is hot. Prepare topping by mixing sugars and cinnamon together with a fork. Sprinkle topping evenly over dough, then pour melted butter over the topping. Use a spatula to distribute the butter and topping evenly. Using a pizza cutter or knife, score the dough into individual rolls, about 4 x 4 inches. (Remember, you can create servings as big or small as you like.) Bake rolls for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. While the rolls are baking, prepare the frosting by mixing the powdered sugar with the melted butter and flavoring. Slowly add each tablespoon of milk until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. (Less milk makes a thicker frosting, more milk creates a lighter icing.) Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting while still warm.
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