The Hippo


May 24, 2020








 Giant Cinnamon Roll

Recipe courtesy of Tasty
½ cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups whole milk, warm to the touch
½ cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk, melted butter and granulated sugar. The mixture should be just warm. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the warm mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Add 4 cups of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour. 
When the dough has nearly doubled in size, add an additional ¾ cup flour, the baking powder and the salt. Stir well before turning out onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough lightly, adding flour as needed until the dough loses its stickiness. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately ½ inch thick. Combine all filling ingredients. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough. Make 3 horizontal cuts to divide the dough into 4 long, evenly sized strips. Starting from the bottom, roll the first strip from left to right, place that roll on the next strip, and roll from right to left. Repeat with the remaining strips until you’ve made a giant cinnamon roll. Place the giant cinnamon roll into a generously greased 10.5-inch cast iron skillet or cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Let rise for 30 minutes. The cinnamon roll should rise to the edges of the pan. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Uncover the cinnamon roll and bake for 45 minutes before covering with foil and baking for an additional 35 minutes. 
Remove the cinnamon roll from the oven and begin making the frosting. Combine all frosting ingredients until smooth. Drizzle or spread the frosting over the cinnamon roll and serve. 

Giant Cinnamon Roll


 If you’re into pastries the size of your head, this recipe is for you. It’s a bit more labor-intensive than my usual fare, but each sweet, gooey, frosting-filled bite was worth every second in the kitchen. 

Last weekend, my husband and I had friends from college in town to celebrate a couple of birthdays. These celebratory weekends usually consist of way-too-competitive board games and copious amounts of food. This particular weekend was no different. We started off Saturday night with baked brie, roasted chicken, ratatouille and cheesecake; and I knew that Sunday’s brunch had to stand up to Saturday’s meal. 
Now, brunch in my house when we have guests typically consists of fresh fruit, mimosas and monkey bread — a sweet and sticky pull-apart bread. But in flipping through a cookbook recently given to me by my sister, looking for something a little different, I quickly zeroed in on this giant cinnamon roll topped with more icing than I could ever dream of.  
The recipe was pantry-friendly, especially if you have a spare packet of active yeast in your cupboard. Other than the yeast, all the ingredients are your basic pantry items. 
The active time it takes to make the cinnamon roll isn’t outrageous, but waiting for this monster to cook was a near-death experience. Plus, being patient enough for the dough to rise, and then for the cinnamon roll to proof, was painful — I couldn’t wait to dig in. 
The finished cinnamon roll was just about the most beautiful breakfast I’ve ever seen, not to mention the most delicious start to a day. I was worried the middle wouldn’t be cooked or the outer edges would be dry because of how large it was and the long cook time, but I couldn’t have been more pleased with the final product. Each bite was quintessential cinnamon roll: chewy, gooey and packed with flavor. Plus, the cream cheese frosting granted slightly more depth of flavor than a cloyingly sweet all-sugar frosting. 
I will absolutely be making this recipe again, but with one change: I plan on making the roll the night before, and letting it proof slowly in the refrigerator before baking it the next morning. This should prevent the overall process from seeming too time-consuming — and it will cut the overall time from when I wake up to when I get to dig in. 
— Lauren Mifsud 

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