Sunday, November 23, 2014

Maple Syrup Cinnamon Rolls

There's just something magical about the smell of cinnamon. Whether you're baking a pie or a batch of cookies, this sweet and spicy scent will find its way into every corner of the house and beckon you to follow its trail back into the kitchen. To me, it's the quintessential scent of the holidays.  And these warm and cozy cinnamon rolls will definitely bring some holiday cheer into your home.  

What I love about these cinnamon rolls is that they have just the right amount of cinnamon swirled into them.  There's nothing worse than biting into a cinnamon roll with a wimpy amount of cinnamon.  Another wonderful thing about these cinnamon rolls is that they stay soft and chewy for days, even after I stored them in the refrigerator (my secret: I used my pandesal recipe for the dough).  Also, instead of spreading cream cheese frosting or a powdered sugar glaze over them, I brushed some maple syrup instead.  It gave the cinnamon rolls just a light kiss of sweetness as well as a mouthwateringly delicious gloss.

I hope you make these cinnamon rolls and let the sweet scent of the holidays fill your home :-)

Maple Syrup Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls
Allergy note: contains wheat ingredients

for the dough:
4 cups bread flour
1/3 plus 2 Tbs. cups sugar
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) rapid rise yeast
2 tsp sugar
vegetable oil, for coating the bowl

for the filling:
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt

for the glaze:
1/4 cup maple syrup

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and 2 tsp. sugar in warm water.  Wait about 10 minutes for the yeast to activate (you'll see the liquid become frothy).  In a medium mixing bowl, sift together bread flour, sugar and salt. Pour in a cup of the flour mixture into the yeast/water.  Add the remaining flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic.  You can do this by hand onto a lightly floured surface but I prefer using the dough hook attachment in my stand mixer or hand mixer.  Lightly coat a bowl with oil then place the dough inside; cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to double in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a baking pan or line with parchment paper.   Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll into approximately a 9x13 rectangle. Brush with oil and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly on top. With the longer side facing you, roll up the dough and gently press the ends to keep them from unraveling.  Cut into 12 slices and place onto the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly brown.  Brush maple syrup over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving. 

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