|Cinnamon rolls semi-homemade and made easy using frozen Rhodes bread dough.|
Easy Cheater Cinnamon RollsI am of the opinion that it is difficult to make a bad cinnamon roll, no matter what recipe you use. Honestly, a good cinnamon roll needs basically three things. Generous amounts of butter, plenty of cinnamon sugar and a boatload of icing. Maybe not for the faint of heart - but we don't eat them everyday now do we? The dough itself is really almost secondary to those things, so I say why not get a little help there?
Rhodes frozen dough is wonderful just for that. Though they do take some planning and time for thawing and rising, they are still a time saver from starting with scratch dough, so I try to have some kind on hand in the freezer. I had recently been working through the freezer trying to use up things and I happened to have a partial bag of Rhodes white dinner rolls that were leftover from making Butterscotch Pull Apart Bread recently. I figured eventually I would just have them as rolls with supper one day, but then I thought, I've made cheater cinnamon rolls before with the Rhodes loaf bread ... why couldn't I do it with the dinner rolls? I put them into the refrigerator to thaw and the next day, transformed them into these cinnamon rolls by rolling them out together.
This recipe makes one pan of one dozen rolls. Sprinkle a bit of flour onto the counter, and gently knead the thawed dough together to form one ball. Flatten and using a rolling pin, roll into a long rectangle, moving the dough around to make sure that it doesn't stick. Pour the melted butter over the surface of the dough and using your hand, smear it all over the dough, almost to the edges.
Sprinkle the dough generously with cinnamon sugar and roll up into a long roll as tightly as possible. Cut that into half and then cut each half evenly into 6 slices, for a total of 12 rolls.
Place the rolls in a well buttered cake pan, cover very loosely with a square of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and put in a draft free, warm spot to rise.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Don't let them get quite this dark - as usual, I got distracted and nearly forgot about them! Now y'all know why I don't bake much. Mix up the icing and pour all over the top of the hot rolls and let it soak in a bit before pulling one out. My favorite ones as the ones with all the soft sides, right in the middle section.
Yum. See that part in the center? Yep, I'm a center roll girl - my absolute favorite part. If I could figure out how to make a pan of just those centers, I'd be a millionaire I swear.
The beauty of this is if, like me, you only had say 8 or 10 Rhodes rolls leftover in the freezer, you can still fill the pan with a dozen rolls, but if you are buying rolls specifically to make these, use about 12 of the Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, or, of course, one loaf of the frozen bread dough. Rhodes rolls take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to thaw at room temperature; bread about 2 to 3 hours. You can also thaw dough in the refrigerator. Rolls will need about 8 to 12 hours; bread 10 to 12 hours. Thawing time is not included in the prep time for the recipe.
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Recipe: Easy Cheater Cinnamon Rolls©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: 12 rolls
For the Rolls:
For the Icing:
- 1 loaf frozen bread dough (like Rhodes), thawed at room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled, plus more softened for the baking pan
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons of half and half or milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
See note at bottom for thawing directions. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the counter, flatten and roll dough into a long rectangle, approximately 12 x 16 inches. Pour the 1/4 cup of melted butter over the surface of the dough and using your hand, smear it all over the dough, almost to the edges. Combine cinnamon and sugar and spread generously over the dough. Roll up jelly roll style, into a long roll, as tightly as possible. Cut into a total of 12 even pieces. Smear the softened butter all over the inside of a 9-inch cake pan. Lay the rolls in the cake pan just slightly apart - you should be able to fit 9 around the outside and 3 in the middle.
Cover rolls very loosely with a square of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place in a warm spot and let rise until doubled.
To bake, preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until done. Prepare the icing and pour evenly all over the top and down into all the cracks and crevices of the hot rolls, letting it absorb into the rolls slightly before serving.
Cook's Note: May substitute 12 frozen white dinner rolls. Frozen rolls will take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to thaw at room temperature; bread about 2 to 3 hours. You can also thaw dough in the refrigerator. Rolls will need about 8 to 12 hours; bread 10 to 12 hours. You may also prepare the rolls, place them into a cake pan and place the pan in the refrigerator overnight. Remove in the morning and let them come to room temperature and continue rising if needed, before baking.
Tip: To speed up the rise of the rolls try this tip. Preheat the oven to the lowest oven temperature, barely on, placing a pan of very hot water on the bottom oven rack to create a steam environment. Once you roll and cut the rolls, turn off the oven and place the covered pan on the top rack of the oven; let rise until doubled. Proceed with recipe to bake.
Like Cinnabon Rolls: For the filling, substitute 1 stick butter combined with 2 cups packed dark brown sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Mix well and spread on dough. Finish with cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Icing: Beat together 4 ounces cream cheese with 1/2 stick butter until well combined. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar, mixing on low to combine, then on high until creamy.
Pecan Roll Variation: For Pecan Rolls, substitute a mixture of 1/4 cup of brown sugar, with 1/4 cup of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of corn syrup for the melted butter; spread on dough. Mix together another 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup of pecans; sprinkle on top. Continue as above. Divide 1/2 cup of chocolate chips between the pecan and topping mixture to make them chocolate.
Harvest Rolls: Prepare filling as above for Like Cinnabon rolls, except use light brown sugar. Sprinkle dough with 1/2 teaspoon each lemon and orange zest. Spread filling on dough and sprinkle with 1 cup of finely chopped, peeled and cored apple, 1/4 cup golden raisins and 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts. Roll up and bake as above and finish with cream cheese icing.
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