Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon rolls.

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Today we’re talking about an easy step to cinnamon roll making that makes ’em next level. Because if you’re going to trouble yourself to make homemade cinnamon rolls, let’s make them the best ones ever. It’s chocolate chips, in case you hadn’t guessed. 

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I used mini chips, because I really wanted them to blend in with the classic cinnamon filling. It’s not overloaded with chips, but just enough to add that sweet note of chocolate. 

Cinnamon rolls aren’t the easiest thing to make, especially at an altitude. If you’re up high someplace like me, the rising times and baking information should be perfect. If you are at sea-level, you’ll need more time for rising, and you should bake your rolls at a slightly higher temperature. 

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What I’ve found with bread recipes and rising dough is that you want to pay more attention to the dough itself than your given rising times. Sometimes if it’s humid in my house, the dough takes like, half the time to rise. So, here’s your reference for this recipe- on the first rise, you want the dough to double in size. On the second rise, you want the dough to rise around 1/3. And finally, your last rise should be fairly short, only about 1/4 size increase. 

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Working with yeast breads doesn’t have to be hard, and the results always make me feel like a champ. Make sure you’ve got fresh yeast, and be sure to use a thermometer- don’t just guess on the temperature to bloom your yeast. After that, it’s easy!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (to 5 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbs. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. milk

Instructions

  • Mix together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the whole milk, 1 cup of water, canola oil, and salt until about 120 degrees.
  • Pour the milk mixture into a stand mixture, or a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of flour to start, and beat together until combined.
  • Add in the yeast mixture, and beat together for several minutes. You will have a lumpy, very wet mixture at this point.
  • Add in another 1/2 cup of flour, and beat together. Continue slowly adding flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, and is no longer sticky.
  • Then, pull the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead in a little more flour until it's smooth.
  • Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 50-55 minutes for the first round.
  • After the first rise, punch down the dough, and knead on a floured surface once or twice. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let it rise again for about 40-45 minutes this time.
  • Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together for the filling.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and spread the filling butter evenly across the entire thing. Then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top, and pat down into the dough. Sprinkle your mini chips across the dough.
  • Roll up the dough tightly, and slice into 15-18 rolls.
  • Place your rolls in a greased sheet pan, and let rise for another 15 minutes or so.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.
  • For the frosting, mix everything together until smooth. Smear over each roll after cooling for about 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
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