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Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

Dough 1 cup half & half
6 ounces unsalted butter, very soft
3 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt nonstick vegetable oil spray

Filling 1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature pinch of salt

Glaze 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

For dough: Microwave half-and-half on high until mixture is just warmed to 120° to 130°, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and cinnamon. Beat on low speed three minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour and salt. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. Add the soft butter and allow to mix for two minutes. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Allow dough to knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about eight minutes in the mixer. Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.

Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15-by-11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Starting at the longer side, roll the dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight; if they are uneven, cut remaining dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife (preferably serrated) into 12 equal slices.

Spray one 9-inch square glass or 8-inch square metal baking dish with nonstick spray (for easy clean up line bottom of baking dish with parchment paper). Arranging rolls cut-side up, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and kitchen towel and let rolls rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Top the rolls with more of the cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

For glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: These buns are best the day they are baked. The second day, they are on the tough side. If you anticipate wanting them over a few days, glaze them to order, heating the buns beforehand to soften them up.

To make ahead of time, make cinnamon rolls and instead of the second rise place in fridge overnight. Pull from the fridge when you are ready to bake them and allow to come to room temperature and rise for at least 1.5 hours before baking.