Yield 9 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rising Time: About 2 hours
Bake Time: 28 minutes
Dorothy Kern says: “If I could eat a cinnamon roll for breakfast every single day, I’d be a happy girl. I just love the flavors of cinnamon and butter and the yeasted dough, along with a really good frosting. In my quest to create new versions of cinnamon rolls, I came up with these pecan pie variations. The filling is made with the flavors of pecan pie: dark corn syrup and pecans. The frosting is also reminiscent of the pie and is made delicious with brown butter. Once you taste these cinnamon rolls, normal ones will never be the same again.”
You Will Need
Make the Dough
1. Place the milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave
on high for 45 to 60 seconds, until it’s about 120°F. (The time will need to be adjusted depending on your microwave. You can use a candy or a meat thermometer to test the temperature.) Add the yeast and stir. Let it sit for a few minutes so the yeast can bloom.
2. Place the sugar, butter, salt, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until the butter is distributed throughout the liquids, although it may be chunky. Pour in the milk-yeast mixture and stir for a few seconds.
3. Add 3 cups of flour and stir with the paddle attachment just until the mixture starts to stick to the paddle. Then replace the paddle with the dough hook. Continue mixing on low speed until the dough forms a ball in the center of the bowl. If the dough is still very sticky, you can add an additional 1⁄4 cup of flour.
4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball in it. Lightly spray the top of the dough ball with cooking spray and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 2 to 4 hours until it doubles in size. Note: If your house is warm, the dough should rise with no problem. If it’s cold in your house, it may take longer.
Tip: Cut them smaller to make 12 cinnamon rolls and bake them in a 9 x 13-inch pan to feed a bigger crowd.
Make the Filling
1. In a large bowl, stir together the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour until it forms a paste. Spray a 9-inch square or round pan or 91⁄2-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. Once the dough is risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, about 12 x 9 inches. Spread the filling as evenly as possible over the rectangle, making sure to reach to the sides so the outer rolls have enough filling. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the filling.
3. Roll up the dough tightly from the long end. Slice it into 9 equal rounds. Place the rolls in the prepared pan.
4. At this point, you can let them rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature until they are swelling up in the pan and bake as directed. Or you can do what I do: cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight until ready to bake.
5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. If the rolls have been in the refrigerator, remove them and let them warm up to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 23 to 28 minutes, until golden brown.
Make the Frosting
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the butter turns brown. This happens after only a few minutes. Be sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn. Transfer to a heat-safe medium bowl and cool for 15 minutes.
2. Once slightly cooled, stir the dark corn syrup into the butter. Whisk in the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and maple extract. Stir in the pecans. Pour over the warm cinnamon rolls.