BRIOCHE CINNAMON ROLLS.
I hope you had the merriest of Christmases, friend! It’s always wild to me how we have an entire season devoted to all things Christmas, & then the day arrives & speeds by like a rocket. At midnight, the radio stops playing Mariah, & people go back to work the next day. But considering I’m the girl who has zero chill about blaring some Bing on a scorching July day, I don’t exactly shut Christmas down right away. I never did make homemade hot chocolate this year, so I feel like that’s going to happen one night this week, & you can’t fully enjoy hot chocolate without a Christmas movie, so I’ll basically be forced to do that, too. Sometimes adulting is hard.
If you still have family in town or you’re down for a slow, quiet Saturday, or maybe you want a fun breakfast for the first morning of 2019, I have just the recipe for you. I’ve always wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, & this was my first year to pull it off. And you guys– I think I’m in love. A friend gave me the Half Baked Harvest cookbook as an early Christmas present, & when I saw this recipe, I knew in my heart it was meant to be. I may never bake from a can again. That’s a lie– I totally will. Because baking takes time & preparation– & plus #kids. But every time I do bake from a can, I’ll reminisce on the goodness I know exists within this recipe. Put this one on your docket, friend– it’s a keeper.
SALTED BRIOCHE CINNAMON ROLLS (Is your mouth watering yet?) Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
1/4 C warm water
1 T instant yeast
2 T granulated sugar
1/2 C whole milk, warmed
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing (Consider butter as your bff in this recipe)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 – 4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C packed dark brown sugar (I mixed coconut sugar & brown sugar cause I’m risky like that)
2 T ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean split with seeds scraped out (I went rogue & substituted 1 tsp pure vanilla extract because #Kroger)
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 C confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Milk, as needed
Sea salt, for sprinkling
1. In the bowl of a standard mixer (use your dough hook), combine water, yeast, & sugar for about 30 seconds. Mix in milk, eggs, melted butter, & salt. Gradually add in 3 1/2 C flour. Mix until combined & dough pulls away from the bowl. If it’s sticky, add in another 1/2 C flour.
2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead into a ball. Grease your mixer with butter, & return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel & let it sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours or the dough has doubled in size.
3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, & salt for the filling.
4. Dust your surface with more flour, & punch or roll your flour into a rectangle about 10×16 inches. (Yes, I got out a tape measurer because asking me to estimate that is as stressful as when someone asks me to estimate how many people are in a large room. I DON’T KNOW.)
5. Position yourself so you’re facing a long side of the rectangle. Spread the 1/2 C butter over the dough & then sprinkle the filling over the dough & press it gently into the butter.
6. Pull up the edge closest to you & roll the dough into a tight log, pinching the edge to seal it.
7. Slide a thin piece of string or dental floss (you know your dentist gave you some 6 months ago!) under the log & wrap it around the roll so that you slice your first roll, around 3/4-1 inch thick. Cut 12-15 rolls.
8. Place the rolls in a greased (think lots of your bff, butter, here) 9×13 pan, cut side facing up. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel & place in a warm spot for 30 minutes while it doubles in size.
9. Place the rolls in the fridge overnight, if you have the time. If not, skip this step.
10. Let the rolls sit out of the fridge for about 30 minutes to get to room temperature before going in the oven. (Again, if you have the time.)
11. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
12. The finale– make your frosting! In a small saucepan, melt your butter & simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready when the butter gets a little foamy & brown & smells like toasty heaven. Remove from heat & let it cool. (Put it in a different dish & stir often if you want to speed this up.)
13. In a medium bowl, beat cooled browned butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, & vanilla. If too thick, add 1 T of milk.
14. Spread glorious frosting over hot cinnamon rolls, sprinkle with salt, & enjoy your best life. Pairing with coffee or hot tea will only accelerate this experience. Scout’s honor.
Also, I’m so glad I have on of these leftover because writing this post would be so mean to my own heart if I didn’t have one of these available. It’s basically an extended Christmas miracle.