Two Hour Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are just delicious, and truly simple to make. If you have a stand mixer, use it! If not, be prepared to put some work in--this dough is sticky, dense, and needs to be kneaded for 11 minutes if you're doing it by hand. Follow the steps in order:

  1. Pour 1 can of evaporated milk into a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the total liquid to 2 cups. Add 4 ounces of butter. Microwave for 2 minutes until hot, but not boiling. Meanwhile:
  2. Into the bowl of a stand mixer, measure 1/2 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 3 cups of all purpose flour. Mix to combine. Add 2 eggs and the hot liquid. Mix until well combined. Add flour one half cup at a time to form a dense, smooth but sticky dough. You will need between 5 1/2 and 7 cups of flour, depending on the humidity. Knead by machine for 8 minutes, or by hand for 11 minutes.
  3. Melt 4 ounces of butter in the microwave. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle 12" high and 24" wide. You can use a rolling pin to get things started. Brush the dough generously with the melted butter. Leave one 24" edge unbuttered. With the butter that remains, brush the interior of a 13" x 24" roasting pan, or use 2 9" x 13" pans.
  5. Mix 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup of cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough. Don't sprinkle the sugar on the unbuttered inch margin of dough.
  6. Carefully roll the dough into a long log. Roll slowly and evenly and tightly. Pinch the last inch into the body of the roll to seal.
  7. Cut the log into 24 1-inch slices with a very sharp knife. Place 12 slices in each 9" x 13" pan, or all 24 slices into the roaster, cut side down.
  8. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for about 24 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are golden brown. Allow rolls to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a platter.
  10. While rolls are baking beat 4 ounces of butter, 8 ounces of cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until light and creamy. Beat in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat in confectioner's sugar one cup at a time until icing is of spreading consistency. Spread on the top of the cinnamon rolls after they've been removed from the pan.
  11. Eat.
Joan Radell