Monday, November 30, 2015

Secret Mashed Potato Cinnamon Rolls

I don't know what it is about a fresh cinnamon roll that just gets me! That smell has got to be one of the best smells ever. I have to restrain myself every time I walk into IKEA because the smell hits you the second you walk in...and I don't even like their cinnamon rolls!

So after the feast that is Thanksgiving, I had NO intentions of making more food, let alone anything sweet.  But we had a bunch of mashed potatoes leftover and we just don't eat that much of them. So I decided to make cinnamon rolls!  Wait what...mashed potatoes = cinnamon rolls?

Yes!!  Mashed potatoes is the secret ingredient that makes these super light and fluffy. Add lots of butter and eggs and you've got a deliciously rich brioche-type dough that will melt in your mouth. This recipe comes from a family cookbook, so you know if grandma made it, it's gotta be good.

Secret Mashed Potato Cinnamon Rolls
for the dough:
2 cups scalded milk (whole), cooled to lukewarm
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
5 eggs
7-8 cups flour

for the filling:
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2-4 Tbsp. cinnamon

for the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbsp. milk
Pour lukewarm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter, mashed potatoes, sugar, salt, yeast and eggs. Whisk well until incorporated. Switch to a paddle attachment or dough hook. Add about 4 cups of the flour and mix until incorporated then add 3 more (making 7) and mix again. If dough is extremely sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time until it looks right. Dough should be sticky but not so much that you can't handle it. Mix with dough hook for about 5 minutes. Remove dough and place in oiled bowl and let double in size.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll one half at a time into a long rectangle. Use your fingers to "SHMEAR" on half of the softened butter all over the top. Sprinkle on half of the brown sugar and gently pat down with your hand, then half of the cinnamon.  (I tend to be heavy handed with the cinnamon so go light at first if you'd like.)  Roll it away from you, stopping with about an inch left on top. Pull that part towards you, pinching it down. Use unflavored dental floss and pinch off rolls, about 1-1/2 inches thick. Place in greased cookie sheet or round cake or pie pans. Repeat with other half of ingredients. Let rise again until rolls fill out the pan. 

Once rolls have risen, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool until just barely warm to the touch.  Glaze and cool completely.

For the glaze: Mix together softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add milk a tablespoon at a time until you've reached desired consistency. Whisk glaze until smooth. Spoon about a tablespoon on each roll and spread around covering any exposed surface.

**NOTES: This makes about 2 cookie sheets worth of rolls, a lot! I love to make these in those disposable foil tins, they are kind of like pie tins but they have straight sides instead of slanted. You can find them pretty much anywhere, they're super cheap. I also like to make them in the tins because I can just give a whole pan away and not worry about getting it back. Great for neighbor gifts. You can also freeze them after the first rise, when you cut them into rolls and put them in the pans. It'll just take longer to thaw and rise all the way.

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