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Orange-Flavored Cinnamon Rolls with Toasted Pecans

Does anything smell better than the aroma of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls?

We don't think so.

And the touch of orange flavor in these rolls amps up both the flavor and the wonderful smells that will emanate from your oven.

The ingredients list is a little long, but, believe us, when you bake these up, your stomach and your nose will thank you. 

Orange-Flavored Cinnamon Rolls with Toasted Pecans

Makes 12 rolls.

1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 cup warm whole milk, divided

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon orange extract

3½ to 4 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Cinnamon Filling (see recipe)

Glaze (see recipe)

1. In a small bowl, mix yeast with ½ cup warmed milk. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, salt, egg, orange extract and remaining ½ cup milk.

3. Stir in flour, ½ cup at a time, until 2 cups of flour have been added. Stir in yeast mixture. Continue adding flour, ¼ cup at a time, until dough is no longer sticky and comes away cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl.

4. Place mixture into bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, or turn out onto a lightly floured, hard surface. Knead dough about 8 minutes (a few minutes less in a mixer, and a few minutes longer if doing by hand).

5. Roll dough into a ball and rub outside with vegetable oil. Return to mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1-2 hours.

6. Make Cinnamon Filling while dough is rising.

7. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, punch down flat and roll into a 14-inch-by-14-inch square. Spread filling mixture evenly over dough square. Sprinkle toasted pecans over sugar mixture.

8. Roll filled dough jelly-roll style into a cylindrical log and pinch seam together to seal. Slice dough roll in 12 equal pieces.

9. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and rub inside of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan. Place cinnamon rolls in pan and allow to rise 45 minutes.

10. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake rolls until deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes on a rack and top with glaze.

Cinnamon Filling:

1 stick melted unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for coating pan

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss pecans in 2 tablespoons melted butter and place on a baking pan which has been coated with 1 tablespoon butter. Toast pecans in oven until they give off a nutty aroma, about 7-9 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Pour in remaining butter and stir to form a paste.

Glaze:

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

2. Because it will soften over the hot rolls, icing should be slightly thick. If too thick, add hot tap water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.