Resolution buster: Massive Cinnamon Rolls are worth falling off your health wagon

For the dough:

6 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

6 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons instant yeast

2 cups warm milk

½ cup melted butter

zest of ½ lemon

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

¾ cup sugar

melted butter

1 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the glaze:

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup milk

1. Combine flour, salt and sugar; whisk yeast into warm milk and pour into dry ingredients along with melted butter and lemon zest. Mix until combined.

2. Knead in standing mixer with the dough hook on medium-low speed (or by hand) for 4 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead for 2 more minutes. The dough will be tacky, but not sticky (add flour or milk as necessary during kneading).

3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl more than twice the size of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove the dough 3 hours before you plan to bake. Divide the dough in half and let rest, covered, for 20 minutes. Roll each ball out into a 12 by 15 inch rectangle, about ? inch thick.

5. Whisk cinnamon and sugar together. Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar (and the optional raisins and walnuts).

6. Roll the dough into a tight log. Slice into 1-11/2 inch slices for smaller cinnamon rolls, or thicker for towering cinnamon rolls. Place approximately 1 and ½ inches apart in either round cake pans or on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spray with spray oil and loosely cover until the rolls rise into each other, approximately 2 hours.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan, then bake for approximately 10 more minutes.

8. Meanwhile, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and milk for the glaze. Drizzle over the rolls after they have cooled for 5 minutes. Give the glaze a little time to set before serving, or plan on lots of extra napkins.

(Photo from audrey_sel/

Sure, those Cinnabon cinnamon rolls seem decadent, icing dripping off as you bite through layers of gooey dough that just about melts into sugary fluff in your mouth. Problem is, those cinnamon rolls taste like sweet Wonder bread and the icing is reminiscent of sugary canola oil. Even worse, you have to go to a mall to find them.

So why not make better, more flavorful, less artificial versions in your own home? It’s easier than you think.

If you’re hesitant to tackle yeast-raised dough, this recipe is a good place to confront your unfounded fears. If you have a standing mixer, the buns are easier than pie to make. If you don’t, you’ll just have to get flour on your hands and put in a little muscle power to achieve picture-perfect dough — plus you’ll work off a few of the calories that come when it’s time to eat them. A very small few, but every little bit counts.

Although I call them Massive Cinnamon Rolls, you can make them as small as you’d like in order to help control the portion size. But if you’re making them for family, friends or co-workers, go big. These towering treats get more impressive with every inch in height.

Massive Cinnamon Rolls

(adapted from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day)

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