These soft, fresh rolls filled with cinnamon and sugar, then drizzled with a maple syrup-infused frosting, are a treat for the taste buds and for the soul. There is something about homemade cinnamon rolls that conjures up feelings of peace, comfort, and well-being. Maybe it is the incredible aroma of cinnamon and dough baking in the oven, or maybe it is the warmth and sweetness of the first bite of the roll, but whatever the reason, homemade cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite comfort foods.
Topping cinnamon rolls with a maple-flavored frosting makes them even more of a treat. With maple syrup season going on here, I thought a maple frosting would be seasonal and delicious. In fact, I don’t know why I haven’t used this frosting before. Maple syrup is another comforting flavor for me, stemming way back to my childhood. I posted the recipe to these cinnamon rolls on this blog two years ago, but I thought I would post a slightly different version of it, this time with the maple frosting, because in my opinion, you can never have too many variations of cinnamon roll recipes. The cinnamon roll recipe is adapted from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and has been a favorite of mine for years. The frosting recipe is just a basic one with the addition of pure maple syrup for a fresh twist.
The first time I made cinnamon rolls from scratch, I was about 12 years old, and my friend Celeste and I made them together. I had never baked with yeast before, and I remember being a bit intimidated, and then so amazed and impressed that we made cinnamon rolls from scratch, and they turned out! I think my love of baking was born on that day. These maple frosted cinnamon rolls are really not hard to make, but they are a bit time-consuming. Though while the dough is rising, you can do other things around the house. You just need to pick a day or when you will be home for a few hours at a time. And I have written about this before, in previous posts involving yeast and dough, but kneading dough can be very therapeutic and soothing. I feel like I solve a lot of problems while kneading dough. It must have something to do with the motion of the hands and the shaping of the pliable dough. Maybe artists who work with clay feel the same way.
So, it is still March, and it is still very much winter here as I write this. We have been getting fresh snow every day for the past few days, though nothing like the snowstorms those in the Northeast have gotten recently. Two mornings ago, the trees were absolutely coated with snow for the second time in a week. And though I still long for warm weather, it is truly is beautiful outside. I read that just like in January of this year, we will have two full moons in this month of March. Two blue moons within two months of each other. Pretty rare and interesting to think about!
I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm! I know that is why I made these maple frosted cinnamon rolls this week–to warm the kitchen, the body, and the soul. I am sharing these lovely rolls over at the virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Abbey @ Three Cats and a Girl and Antonia @ Zoale.com.
Maple Frosted Cinnamon Rolls
For the rolls:
- 4 to 4 and 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/3 cup of butter, melted
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of milk
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and the package of yeast. Meanwhile, place the milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a small pan and heat and stir over low heat until the butter just melts. Make sure the mixture isn’t too hot or it will kill your yeast when you pour it into the flour-yeast mixture. Let it cool to luke warm (120 to 130 degrees F). When the butter mixture is luke warm, add it to the bowl with the flour and yeast. Then add the two eggs. Beat with an electric or hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Then using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining 2 to 2 and 1/3 cups of flour as you can, until the dough is soft, moderately stiff and springy. Place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide the dough into two equal balls. Let them rest in your bowl, covered, for ten minutes. While the dough is resting, melt the butter for the filling and combine the 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl.
Roll one of the halves of dough into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Brush half of your melted butter evenly over the rectangle. Sprinkle half of the sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over the melted butter. Roll up the dough from one of the long sides of the rectangle, rolling as tightly as you can. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal the seam and keep the roll in place. Carefully slice the log of dough into 12 equal pieces (I use a serrated knife to do this). Repeat the process with the second ball of dough. Place the rolls in two lightly greased 9 x 1 and 1/2 inch round baking pans. Cover them with the tea towel again and let them rise in a warm place for about a half hour, till about double in size.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the rolls in your 375 degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, and then carefully remove them from the pans to a serving platter.
While the rolls are cooling, whip up your frosting. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, and milk. Stir well to combine. Adjust with a bit more milk or a bit more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Drizzle the frosting over the cinnamon rolls. This frosting is sweet, so a little goes a long way, in my opinion. Everyone likes a different level of sweetness, so use as much or as little frosting as you wish. Enjoy!
The cinnamon roll recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Tenth Ringbound Edition.