Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Are you aware of the existence of mall walkers?

You know--people who wake up early and go the mall to exercise before it opens? It's a real thing. And while I've never actually witnessed this phenomenon, I have to assume that these people wear nylon jumpsuits, neon sweatbands and New Balance tennis shoes. I'm also pretty sure that they have Pat Benatar and Def Leppard on their workout playlists.

Although I don't see myself ever partaking in this particular form of exercise, I actually have quite a bit of respect for mall walkers. I mean, just think how many times they must walk past Cinnabon. If I were a mall walker, I would walk past Cinnabon exactly zero times. Who cares if I came to the mall to exercise? Suddenly I can think of 53 reasons why I deserve to eat a cinnamon roll instead.

Since I'm not a mall walker, I skip the exercise altogether and move straight to the cinnamon rolls. I've made cinnamon rolls once before, but the recipe I followed this time promised a Cinnabon-esque result. And it did not disappoint. The intensity of the filling pairs perfectly with the sweet, creamy frosting, and the pastry almost seems to melt in your mouth.

The most difficult part of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise, but I promise you the end result is worth the wait. Just know that you might end up eating two cinnamon rolls in one sitting, and if this happens multiple times, you might actually consider becoming a mall-walker to shed the extra pounds that will inevitably adhere themselves to your hips and thighs.

It's a vicious cycle.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

8 ounces lukewarm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (2-5/8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
4-1/2 cups (19-1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer, and mix on low with the paddle attachment until a cohesive dough forms. Switch to the dough hook, and knead the dough for 4-7 minutes at medium speed. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes, until it's nearly doubled in size. (My dough didn't rise much at this point, but the rolls still puffed up when they baked).

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and roll it into a 16 by 21-inch rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Combine the cinnamon and brown sugar, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the dough. Lightly press the mixture into the dough with your fingertips.

3. Starting with one of the short ends of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log as tightly as possible. Cut the log into 12 slices with a sharp knife. Arrange the slices in a lightly greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 30 minutes. (Again, my rolls didn't rise much during this step).

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and bake the rolls for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing. Cream the butter and cream cheese for about 1 minute in an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat 30 seconds more. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat 1-2 minutes.

5. Spread the icing on the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm, and serve immediately.


  1. you know they are my husband's fav and I have tried to make them at home.. i am bookmarking this to give a try :)

  2. This recipe didnt work for me at all, the dough was an utter mess.