Taking the “sin” out cinnamon buns

Sweetly scented cinnamon bunsOur contributor Terry Milk has been tempting her friends and family with tasty aromatic cinnamon buns for years. She insists it isn’t really all that hard to make a yeast dough. These buns are sinfully delicious, but being homemade — and a decent serving size — they are not as waist-line damaging as commercial varieties. So try your hand at Terry’s tasty breakfast treat on a cool fall morning. Your family and friends will think you are heaven-sent!

Terry MilkDough:
2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Butter
5 cup Flour
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
½ cup Sugar
½ cup Butter (softened)
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water, adding one tsp flour and one tsp sugar. Let this mixture rise until doubled, about five minutes. Heat butter in saucepan until almost melted. Stir in milk, sugar and salt. Put half of the flour in a large bowl. Add eggs, yeast mixture and milk/butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until very smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, just until the dough is firm enough to knead on a counter. Knead for ten minutes until it feels silky and elastic. It will still be a little sticky.
Form into a ball. Rub a little oil over the surface. In a large bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm draft-free place until it doubles in volume, about two hours. I usually leave it in an unheated oven.
Divide dough in half. Knead each dough ball for 3-4 minutes. Roll each dough ball into a rectangle, approximately ½ inch thick. Spread the surface with half of the softened butter. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle over the dough. Starting on the long edge, roll up the dough. Using a sharp knife, or scissors, cut the roll into one-inch slices. Place them on a heavy gauge cookie sheet, which has been generously buttered. Leaving about ½ inch of space between the cinnamon rolls. If a heavy baking sheet is not available, use two sheets.
Let them rise for at least a half-hour. Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until they just begin to turn golden brown. Take care not to let the bottoms burn. After they cool for 15 minutes, frost them with your favorite icing. I use cream cheese frosting with real maple syrup:
2 (8 ounce) Packages Cream Cheese
½ c Butter
2 ½ c Powdered Sugar
1 tspVanilla extract
½ c Real Maple Syrup
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and maple syrup. Gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.