When life gives you fresh sticks of cinnamon, make Cinnamon Rolls! I made Mexican Cold Brew Coffee this past week which left me with a craving for some Cinnamon Rolls. It also left me with some Mexican Cold Brew Coffee to make a sugar glaze. And since I had some Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk I used that for the rolls instead of milk. There’s still a stick of butter but, milk free!
Most people who know me I’m not a big sweets lover. What few people know is that the one confection I can’t stand is Cinnamon Rolls. I used to work in a mall about 20 years ago. It was a little kiosk selling cigars. That kiosk was directly next to a Cinnabon. I know. Everyone loooves Cinnabon. Well everyone hasn’t had to work next to one for 9 months. Geez, I can’t imagine having to actually work there. Gross. Yeah… so let’s make some Cinnamon Rolls!
When I was a kid we used to get these pecan cinnamon rolls in a plastic wrapped tin. Those little mini cinnamon rolls didn’t have any sugary glaze on top and they weren’t too sweet. I’m pretty sure there was at least one occasion were I ate a whole tin in one sitting. As I was making these Cinnamon Rolls, I kept those childhood favorites in mind. I have to admit that working in your own kitchen full of cinnamon aroma is pretty fulfilling. Oh! that brings me to a key part of this recipe.
Using fresh cinnamon sticks for this recipe is almost mandatory. The one exception is if you just bought some high quality powdered stuff. If you don’t already have one, now’s a great time to get yourself a dedicated spice mill. I use mine all the time for cinnamon, cumin seeds, dried chilis, and more.
For this recipe I used 2/3 cup dark brown sugar for the filling. If you already have light brown you can go ahead and use that. Two thirds of a cup of sugar was a bit too sweet for me. I’m going to put 1/2 cup in the recipe below but I wanted to mention this in case you think it’s not sweet enough.
I was happy to find that I could easily sub out whole milk with almond milk. I had some Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk I used in my Mexican Cold Brew Coffee. I like using ingredients that compliment each other – and ones that I don’t have to go out and buy for one recipe. You can use any milk you have on hand. I don’t think the flavors of the almond milk made a big difference. It’s hard to say with all the brown sugar and cinnamon dripping from my drooling face and fingers. Oh, did I not mention how incredibly delicious this stuff is? Yeah, Cinnabon can go twirl.
Here’s my favorite part of these recipe. And it’s probably the least significant that you’ll never bother to incorporate. The Mexican Cold Brew Coffee Sugar Glaze. I want this stuff on ice cream and donuts and waffles and a big spoon. Usually you’d make a glaze with powdered sugar and some milk. It’s simple – 1/2 cup powdered sugar to 1 TBS milk or cold coffee. Twirly McCinnabon uses the cream cheese style glaze which is for people who want sugar with their cinnamon rolls. I’m already borderline diabetic. Let’s keep this civilized. Instead of just adding more sugar on top of this we have an opportunity to tie a bunch of flavors together. I could honestly do without any glaze at all but this stuff is too good to pass up.
Fresh cinnamon, vanilla almond milk, Mexican cold brew coffee glaze. These are going to make your Cinnamon Rolls stand out in a crowd. I might use regular cinnamon, milk, and a sugar glaze instead just for the sheer enjoyment of making these rolls. The dough is so soft and subtle that it’s a joy to work with. You can do this by hand but a stand mixer makes quick efficient work of it. Once your dough comes together, let it rise for about an hour. Roll the dough out to a rectangle on a clean surface. Smear button on the dough then dust it with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough in to a log. Bring a piece of thread beneath the dough and use it to cut the roll in to individual pieces – using a knife risks smushing the edges together. Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased pan and allow them to rise for 20-30 minutes or until they’re as big and fluffy as you want them. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
If you’re read this far then I guess you’re pretty interested in making these Cinnamon Rolls. I have to warn you – they are additive. Make sure you have people around to help you eat them. Unless you’re a protective eater like a wolf and would attack your guests. Then please eat all these rolls yourself and allow your belt to suffer the consequences. Enjoy! 🙂
Cinnamon Rolls with Mexican Cold Brew Coffee Glaze
- 1 Cup Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 tsp Yeast
- 3 Cups AP Flour
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 Cup Butter softened
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 Cup Butter softened
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar dark or light
- 2 Tbs freshly ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1-2 Tbs Mexican Cold Brew Coffee
- Divide one stick of butter in half and bring to room temp.
- Heat 1 cup almond milk to 110°F. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer with 1/4 cup sugar and whisk to dissolve. Add 2 tsp or 1 package of active yeast. Allow to proof for 10 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup softened butter to the bowl and begin mixing with paddle attachment on low then high speed for 2 minutes. Add 1 more cup of flour and mix on low then medium speed until flour is incorporated. Exchange paddle for dough hook. Add egg and salt and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed. Dough should be soft and supple.
- Roll dough out of bowl on to a lightly floured surface. Knead for one minute to form in to a taught ball.
- Lightly grease a medium bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl and cover with a damp towel. Transfer to a cool oven to rise for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.
- Prep your baking pan by spraying with a bit of cooking spray then lining with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper as well.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the middle position.
- Once the dough has doubled in size remove it from the bowl and stretch out to a rectangle shape on a clean surface. Use a rolling pin to make it even and use your hands to stretch dough to make right angled corners. Dough should be roughly 15x9 inches.
- Evenly spread room temp butter over the surface of the dough leaving one inch of the long side nearest you dry. Dust the butter with brown sugar and cinnamon and pat it down. Coat the dry one inch area with milk, almond milk or water.
- Roll the dough towards you in to a log. Start from one corner and roll a bit towards you as you move across to the other side. Reverse direction rolling a bit towards you at a time as you move across the width of the dough. Once you get near the seem side roll the log so you can see the bottom. Press gently on the seem to assure it's sealed.
- If using a square pan, divide the log in to 9 pieces using a piece of thread or other thin string. Place each roll in the baking pan then transfer to the oven to bake.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick removes cleanly.
- Combine 1-2 tbs Mexican cold brew coffee with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Allow the rolls to cool for at least five minutes before using a spoon to drizzle the glaze over top.