Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls, version I

Cinnamon rolls couldn’t get any easier than this!  Give this recipe a try and taste for yourself…..

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ROLL:
2 1/4 cup WARM water
2 pkg. INSTANT Active dry yeast
1 Tsp. granulated Sugar
1 ( pkg.) dry yellow Cake mix, any brand
5 cups All-purpose flour OR 5 cups Bread flour, either works great!
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Salt

FILLING:
1 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter, softened
2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisins, optional

FROSTING:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4 oz. Cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Powdered sugar
Heavy cream, for drizzling consistency

Begin by combining the yeast with the sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the warm water and stir to combine to dissolve the yeast.  Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free area to “bloom” the yeast.

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Here is the brand of cake mix that I used in this recipe.

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Once the yeast has bloomed, add in the package of “dry” cake mix, flour, Vanilla extract and salt.

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Stir to combine somewhat and then using the dough hook of your mixer, process the flour/yeast mixture until thoroughly combined.  Combine this until a soft smooth dough has formed.  This usually takes anywhere from 8 – 10 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on your mixer and the speed.

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Once your soft dough has formed, spray or grease a large glass bowl and place the ball of dough into it.  Roll the dough around in the bowl so that it too is lightly greased all over.  Place a plastic wrap over the top to cover.  Place into a warm area of the kitchen to rise and double in size for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

NOTE:  Before starting to prepare my dough, I usually turn my oven on to about 170 degrees for a few minutes, and then I turn it off.  The heat left in the oven is great to help proof the dough.

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While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.  Combine the softened butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon.  It should form a type of paste.  Set this aside.

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Once the dough has risen, lightly flour your board or counter surface.  Pour the dough out onto the floured surface and using your fingers, press the dough down.  Flip the dough to coat the other side with flour.  DO NOT KNEAD IN ANYMORE FLOUR!!  The purpose for the flour is to prevent it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin.

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Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly about 10 x 18-inches.

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Now add the filling, dotting it throughout the top of the dough.  Using a butter knife or spatula, spread the filling, covering the top completely.  If you are opting to use the raisins, go ahead and pour them over the top of the filling.

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Now, starting at the LONGER end of the dough, start rolling tightly and evenly, smoothing the dough as you continue to roll.  I usually tuck my ends in to close it off.  Now roll the whole log to seal somewhat.

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Now, using a serrated knife, cut the log into half.  Cut those halves into half again.  Now, you can cut the rolls into either 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces.  I cut mine into 1/2-inch pieces, to achieve more pieces.  Place them onto a silicone lined baking pan OR a generously greased or buttered baking pan.  I prefer to bake my rolls closer together, almost touching each other.

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Cover once again with plastic wrap.  Place the pan in a warm area to rise until doubled.

NOTE:  I usually spray the plastic wrap so that when the dough rises, it doesn’t stick to the plastic wrap.

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While the rolls are baking, start making the glaze by all of the glaze ingredient, except the heavy cream.  If you’d like a more drizzling-like consistency, add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time and continue to mix, stirring to combine until the desired consistency is achieved.

NOTE:  I didn’t use the heavy cream in this recipe, because I wanted a more “frosting-like” consistency.

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Preheat the oven to 350°.  Carefully remove the plastic wrap and place the baking pan into the oven.

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Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

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Spread the glaze over top of the rolls.  SERVE!

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