Note: You will need a food thermometer to test temperature of rolls for doneness and 2 - 11"x8" rimmed baking sheets. Makes 16 cinnamon rolls.
1 1/2 cups packed, light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup warm water (water temp 105-110 degrees)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted before measuring
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup whole milk, room temp
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 egg yolks, room temp
4 ounces soft, unsalted butter
Buttered Rum Glaze
4 ounces soft, salted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons dark rum-to taste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Note: Using dental floss will ensure a cleaner cut on the rolls.
Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.
Add the warm water, yeast and sugar to a small bowl and let sit until foamy.
Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
Add the milk, vanilla and proofed yeast to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and whisk. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then whisk in the butter until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup of the flour still in the bowl and then add the remaining amount to the yeast and eggs mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon. Scrape the dough out onto your work surface and pour the 1/4 cup of reserved flour onto the edge. Start kneading the dough, gradually adding some of the reserved flour until it doesn't stick to the work surface or your hands. Discard any unused flour and knead for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a large, lightly buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size.
After dough has proofed, scrape out onto your work surface, shape into a loaf and divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece into a 10"x10" square sprinkle on desired amount of brown sugar, leaving a 1/4 inch border at the bottom end, then roll up tightly. If the roll stretches out too much, press back into a 10 inch length. Cut the roll into halves, until you have a total of 8. Repeat with second half of dough.
Arrange 8 of the cinnamon rolls into each pan lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until full in size. About 1 hour. Bake in the center of oven at 350F until rolls are golden on top and the center of dough reaches 190F. About 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. After cooling, spoon on glaze.
Buttered Rum Glaze
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over med-low temperature. Whisk in the milk, rum, vanilla and remove from heat. Whisk in the powdered sugar. Pour into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use. If glaze gets too thick before using, warm it up and whisk. Spoon over cooled rolls or apply with a squeeze bottle. Store in airtight containers.