Vanilla Cinnamon Rolls
Sixteen year old Sandra thought X-Files was creepy and dorky. Thirty-two year old Sandra kind of loves it. At least I like it enough that Steve and I watch it every night. It’s become our evening ritual.
When Clarissa and Veronica finally succumb to sleep, we climb in bed and watch an episode of X-Files on the computer. Because we like to live on the edge, we splurge and watch two episodes on Friday and Saturday nights.
Most nights we have a little snack during the show. Since my cinnamon roll baking-binge started, our evening treats have been swirly, cinnamon-y rolls. I think these vanilla cinnamon rolls are my favorite, so far.
Do you watch old shows on Netflix or Hulu? Is there a show from your youth that you’re loving right now? What is your go-to snack when you’re watching tv in the evening?
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups white flour
- 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp white flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp vegan cream cheese*
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes, or just until the mixture is starting to look creamy/foamy.
- 2. Whisk the remaining sugar, milk, yogurt, and vanilla into the yeast mixture.
- 3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the liquid ingredients. Continue to stir, until you have a ball of dough (it might be a bit shaggy).
- 4. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead for 3-4 minutes, or until you have an even, smooth ball of dough. You may work as much as a cup of flour into the dough, when kneading, but the dough may still be sticky.
- 5. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean towel, and place a non-drafty location.
- 6. Allow to rise for 25 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, while the dough is rising. Grease two pie tins, two 8x8 inch cake pans, or a 9x13 inch cake pan.
- 7. While the dough rises, whisk the dry filling ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- 8. Stir the melted butter and vanilla into the dry ingredients, so that everything is moistened.
- 9. After 25 minutes, turn the dough out onto your floured surface again. The dough may not look like it rose much. Knead the dough for another minute.
- 10. Use a rolling pin, to roll the dough out until it is about 24x14 inches and roughly 1/4 inch thick. The size may vary, depending on how much additional flour you kneaded in. Flip the dough over and add more flour to the surface, as necessary, to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface.
- 11. Gently spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough. Be careful not to tear the dough. Keep the filling about 1/2 inch from the edges.
- 12. Roll the dough, from the long side, to create a log (like a jelly roll).
- 13. Cut the dough into 16-18 even slices. Place the rolls in your greased pan(s). It's okay if they fit snuggly and are touching in some places. This will result in soft cinnamon rolls.
- 14. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are golden brown and a bit crisp.
- 15. While the rolls are baking, make the icing. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the sugar into the cream cheese. It will be very stiff at first, but will quickly become gooey and the sugar will incorporate.
- 16. When the cream cheese and sugar are completely mixed, whisk in the milk and vanilla.
- 17. Cool the baked rolls, in the pan, for 2-3 minutes. Then drizzle or spoon the icing over the still hot cinnamon rolls. Serve warm
- 18. Refrigerate leftovers.
- *I used Tofutti Non-Hydrogenated Better than Cream Cheese, which worked beautifully.