Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

Red Velvet Cinnamon Roll

Soooo...I've had this recipe sitting around in my computer for a while. Originally, I was saving it to enter in the Iowa State Fair Tones Cinnamon Roll Competition. It was at the tail end of the "red velvet" frenzy, at the intersection of Red Velvet Everything and S'Mores Everything. I figured I had a one-year window in which I could enter this. Instead of entering these, though, I took a chance on a more timeless German Chocolate Cake Cinnamon Roll. Sigh. Click on that link if you want to read a passionate post about my disillusionment with the Iowa State Fair food competition.
As with most cinnamon rolls anymore, I cannot enjoy these. Other people tell me they're delicious. They taste a little chocolatey, a little cinnamony, and very cream cheese frostingy.  They look impressive because they're so huge. Huge is what the judges like. They're an interesting slight twist on the cinnamon roll. If you like red velvet and you like cinnamon rolls, this might be for you.
At any rate, here it is. I sound so excited about it, don't I?

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 egg plus one egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon (approx.) red gel food color
  • ¾ cup warm milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 ¼ cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour

  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, sprinkle yeast over warm water.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until soft and bubbly.  With the paddle attachment, stir in sugar, butter, cocoa, egg & yolk, vanilla, and food color.  Mix until smooth.  Switch to the dough hook attachment, and add milk and 3 cups flour.  Mix & kneed on medium low speed for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding additional ¼ cup of flour 1 tablespoon at a time if it seems too sticky.
2. Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.  Meanwhile, mix brown sugar, cinnamons, and salt and set aside.  Butter a 9 x 13-inch metal pan and set aside.
3.  Punch dough down and turn out onto a floured surface to form rolls.  Roll dough out to a 16 x 20-inch rectangle.  Evenly spread butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch area of the dough free on one of the short ends.  Spread sugar/cinnamon mixture over the butter lightly using your hand.  Press in gently with a flat hand.  Starting at the short end that has the filling, roll dough, brushing away extra flour with a dry pastry brush.  Wet the end and seal by pinching gently.
4.  Brush off excess flour.  Using a 2-ft. length of dental floss, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces.  Place in buttered pan, cover, and let rise until puffy and almost doubled, about 1 hour. 
5.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Bake rolls at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the center of a roll registers 188-190°F on a probe thermometer.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before frosting.
6. While rolls cool, prepare frosting.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until creamy and combined.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
7.  Frost rolls and serve.  Keep leftovers in an airtight container.
Makes 6 rolls

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