I’m still struggling a little bit with the site changes….my photos are small, some of my links are still busted but I’m working through it all.  Slowly but surely.  Thanks for sticking around.

In the meantime, I’ve been stuffing things with stuff.  Like these cinnamon rolls.  I have never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before.  It seemed too time consuming and tedious.  I always used Pillsbury biscuits and doctored them up….or just bought the Grands! Cinnamon Rolls.  I mean, they’re awesome, so why waste all that time waiting for dough to rise and filling them with stuff and then the rolling and baking…geez.

This is why.  These are the BEST cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had.  Really.  I’m not just patting myself on the back but I don’t know anyone that has filled their cinnamon rolls with a bananas foster butter mixture….and then spread on the cinnamon/sugar mixture. (I even Googled it.)  These are the rolls that you serve at your next brunch.

And yeah, they take a good, long time waiting for the dough to rise but the hands on time isn’t that time consuming.  PLUS, you can freeze these in advance and whip them out whenever you need them.  How’s that for planning ahead?  And just in time for the holidays.

I think I’ll pat myself on the back now. 🙂

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe adapted from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe (America’s Test Kitchen)

Makes 12 rolls

For the dough:

2 tablespoons yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk, warmed to about 110 degrees

6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Bananas Foster Butter and Cinnamon Sugar:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 whole ripe banana, mashed with a fork

1 teaspoon bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the icing:

1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons whole milk

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and water to bloom.  Set aside.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, butter and eggs.  Set aside.

Mix the flour, remaining sugar, yeast mixture and salt in the bowl of an electric mixter fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low spead, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together. About 1 minute.

Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and stretchy, approximately 10 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead by hand.  Form a smooth, round ball and place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towl and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.  Approximately 2-2 1/2 hours.

Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish and set aside.

Mix the butter, bananas, bourbon, vanilla and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate small bowl and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle. Spread the butter mixture over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the butter leaving a 3/4 inch border along the top edge. Press down on the sugar mixture to adhere it to the butter.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder being sure to push the butter mixture into the dough so it doesn’t get squeezed out, and press the seam closed. Roll the cylinder onto a lightly floured baking sheet, seam side down. Gently stretch the cylinder until it is 18 inches in length, with an even diameter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and pat the ends to even them. Slice the dough into 12 evenly sized rolls using a serrated knife.  Arrange the rolls, cut side down in the prepared baking dish.

Without pressing on the rolls, wrap the baking dish tightly with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 16 hours. (You can skip this step if making them the same day.)

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap.  Let them sit at room temperature until puffy and almost doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the rolls out onto a wire rack and let cool for 5-10 minutes before icing.

In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese and milk together until thick and smooth.  Sift the sugar over the mixture and continue whisking until smooth.

Flip the rolls upright and drizzle the glaze over the rolls evenly.

Serve immediately.

To freeze: After arranging the rolls in the baking dish, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. Wrap the dish tightly without pressing on the rolls and freeze up to 1 month. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Unwrap the rolls and wrap tightly with foil. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes and then remove the foil and continue baking until golden, an additional 30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, cool and ice as directed above.

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls