2¾ c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
2 tbsp. butter
1 package instant (quick rise) yeast (or 2¼ tsp.)
½ c. water
¼ c. whole milk
1 tsp. salt
⅔ c. brown sugar
¼ c. (½ stick) butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
1½ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. (½ stick) butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. milk
1 – In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast and salt.
2 – In a small microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup), combine the sugar, butter, water and milk. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is hot and the butter is almost melted (it took about 1 minute 30 seconds on HIGH in my microwave). Gradually add the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.
3 – Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
4 – If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 4 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest on the counter for 5 minutes.
5 – Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it measures a 16×9 inch rectangle. Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl except for the butter. Spread the butter over the top of the rolled dough, then cover with the filling. Tightly roll the dough and cut into 12 portions. I like to use dental floss for this… I also cut it in half, then fourths etc. That way my pieces are all uniform in size (you may have a few smaller pieces from the ends, just arrange them around the larger rolls).
6 – Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish and gently press a piece of aluminum foil over top. Turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise for 25 minutes.
7 – Remove the rolls from the oven and turn ON your oven to 375 degrees. Once heated, remove the foil and bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color.
8 – Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before frosting. While rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beating by hand or with a hand mixer until smooth. Spread over the tops of the rolls.
I always add a “hint” of almond extract to the filling… it’s just how my mom always made her filling. Feel free to use only vanilla extract, or only almond extract.
If you live in a dry place or have trouble with baked goods drying out quickly, you may want to fill a separate 9×13 inch baking dish with boiling water and put in on the lowest rack in your oven right before you proof the rolls (place them in the warm oven to rise). This will ensure that the rolls stay moist and elastic. You will keep the water in the oven until they are baked.