Prep time: 1 hour 45 min* | Cook time: 30 min | Total: 7 hours 15 min | Makes 12 rolls
* plus 5 hours rise time, or overnight
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooked,
plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup maple sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Salted Maple Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons milk (or to desired consistency)
Heat 1/2 cup water and the milk in a saucepan over low heat until a thermometer measures 100 - 110 degrees F. Remove from heat and add the yeast along with a pinch of sugar. Set aside, undisturbed, until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, remaining sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick and slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into a ball.
Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Gently remove the dough from the bowl and knead a few times to release some of the air. Re-form into a ball a return to the bowl. Lightly butter a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it over the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. The more the dough rises, the lighter the rolls will be.
Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Whisk the maple sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 10 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on one of the long sides. Sprinkle the cinnamon maple sugar over the butter. Brush the uncovered border with water and tightly roll the dough into an 18 inch log, rolling towards the clean border; pinch the dough to seal the seam. If any butter or cinnamon sugar remain, set aside.
With a very sharp knife, gently cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces, to make 12 rolls. Let the knife do the cutting to avoid flattening the rolls. Place the rolls in the buttered baking dish.
Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and melt any remaining butter from the filling. Mix any leftover maple sugar and cinnamon into the melted butter. Remove the wrap from the rolls, and pour the butter-sugar-spice mixture over the rolls. Bake until they spring back when pressed, 25 - 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan.
To make the glaze - 10 minutes before the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, and salt, then whisk in milk to desired thickness. Drizzle over hot cinnamon rolls after removing them from the oven.
Note: The baked cinnamon rolls can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. Let cool completely before freezing. When needed, thaw, warm up in the oven, and glaze before serving.
Recipes borrowed and adapted from Food Network Magazine and Natasha's Kitchen