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Orange Spice Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough:
1/2 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided use
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/4 salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
zest of 1 large orange

For the frosting:
1 ounce of cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice from the zested orange

1. First, make the cinnamon roll dough: first, heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to 110º F.
2. Pour the milk into the bowl of a small stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and add 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and all of the yeast. Stir to dissolve, and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check to make sure the yeast is alive and foaming. If not, the yeast is dead or not properly activated and you’ll have to start over.
3. Next, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small dish, and add it to the mixer bowl. Add the egg and mix to combine everything.
4. Finally, add the flour and salt and mix until a soft dough forms. It should take about 4-5 minutes in the stand mixer. The dough will be soft, but it shouldn’t be overly sticky when you pinch off a piece.
5. Flour a work surface, and dump the dough out onto it. Knead the dough with your hands for about 2 minutes until the dough comes together and feels supple and easy to work with.
6. Gather the dough into a ball, cover it lightly with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles (about 2 hours). I place mine in the oven on the ‘proof’ setting; if your oven doesn’t have a proof setting, place the bowl in a warm place (on top of a radiator, near the stove, or in a barely warm oven). The dough is done rising when you gently press it and it springs back. Alternatively, you can do this rise in the fridge overnight. You’ll need to let it come back to room temperature before proceeding to the next step, though.
7. Now it’s time to roll out the dough. Punch the dough down and place it back on your floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 10×10″ square, using extra flour as you go to prevent sticking.
8. Take the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and soften it in the microwave so that you can easily spread it over the rectangle of dough.
9. Mix the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the dough.
10. Grate the zest of the orange over the surface of the dough.
11. Begin rolling the dough up starting with the longest side. Roll away from you for best results. Roll the dough tightly but do not squeeze.
12. Once the dough is rolled up, trim off the ends to expose the swirl.
13. Slice the dough into 7 or 8 equal pieces. You can use unflavored dental floss to make the cuts without smushing the dough, or just use a knife.
14. Line a 9″ pie pan with parchment paper, and arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover it very tightly with plastic wrap–ensure the dough is not exposed to the fridge air or it will dry out and prevent rising. Place the pan in the fridge for 8-12 hours. Alternatively, you can rise them quickly using the ‘proof’ setting in the oven for 1-2 hours.
15. The next morning, remove the pan from the fridge and let the roll rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Once the rolls have puffed up and are just barely touching each other, preheat the oven to 350º F.
16. While the oven preheats, make the cream cheese frosting: beat together all of the frosting ingredients, adding more orange juice to make it a smooth, spreadable consistency.
17. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, until the edges of the rolls start to turn golden brown.
18. Frost the rolls while they’re still warm and serve.

Source: Kerrygold USA

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