If you’re anything like me, mornings aren’t your thing. Not only do I not particularly enjoy being forced out of my warm, comfortable bed, but then there’s this business about needing to eat. Seriously, I’m useless without a good breakfast in me. For me, the simplest way around this problem is coming up with something I can make the night before and heat up in the morning when I’m hungry. A recent favorite has been these miniature cinnamon rolls. They’re relatively simple, can be refrigerated for several days, and makes enough for multiple mornings of breakfast.
Miniature Cinnamon Rolls
Yields about 16
For the dough:
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tbsp.
4 tbsp. (57 grams) butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. (57 grams)butter or margarine, melted
Begin by activating your yeast in the warm with your +1 tbsp. of granulate sugar. This should sit for about 5 minutes until it gets nice and frothy on top. If your yeast doesn’t form a froth, it’s probably past its prime and should be discarded. While your yeast is activating you can melt your butter (if you haven’t already), and add it to the milk and vanilla extract. Once your yeast is ready, you can add it to the milk mixture, along with 2 cups of flour and the granulated sugar. If you have a stand mixture, this would be the perfect time to use. However, if you’re like me and don’t currently have one, a spatula or wooden cooking spoon suffices quite nicely. Mix until everything is well combined. At this point you can add your eggs and mix once again, making sure you go until you have worked the eggs completely into the dough and your arm is sufficiently tired. Add your final 3/4 cup of flour, mix, and prepare the dough for rising (as in put it in a well greased bowl, or if your lazy like me and have to hand wash all your dishes, feel free to gently lift the dough and grease the bowl you mixed it in).
You’ll want to set your dough in a sufficiently warm place to rise for about an hour, or until it’s double in size. Living in cooler climates, this always proved a little problematic for me, since I never seemed to find a place sufficiently warm enough to get my doughs to rise at a normal rate. This is the primary reason I invested in a bread machine. However, I’ve also found that setting your oven on the lowest warming setting works beautifully for providing the perfect temperature for rising doughs. If you go with this method, you’ll want to be careful not to cook your dough, but you can easily keep that from happening by leaving the oven door slightly ajar (I’ll admit I’m still a little paranoid about this and always leave the door open).
Once your dough has risen to double it’s size, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and roll it to about 1/4 inch thick. Pour your melted butter over the dough and distribute evenly with a brush or the back side of a spoon. Mix your cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the melted butter. It may seem like a lot, but be sure to use it all! It’s what creates the ooey-gooey center, and I promise you’ll thank yourself for it later. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut your dough into 16 pieces (one cut down the middle and 8 cuts up the side). You can do less cuts if you’d like, but I found it made my cinnamon rolls to tall for their muffin tins. Roll up your cinnamon rolls, set in their (greased) muffin tins, and let rise for another hour (until they fill out tin).
Once your rolls have filled out the muffin tins, your ready to either bake, or refrigerate for later. You can also freeze them if you don’t plan on using them within the next few days (this is seriously not a problem in my house…), just freeze them in their muffin tins and remove to baggies once they’re frozen. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and set your miniature cinnamon rolls in for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. If you plan on baking some of your frozen cinnamon rolls, its a good idea to thaw them the night before and bake once they’re no longer frozen.
Dough and filling slightly adapted from Omnivorous