Slow-Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, divided
- 1 packet (2-1⁄4 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a bowl, warm 3/4 cup milk in the microwave until lukewarm (about 95 degrees Fahrenheit), or heat it in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Whisk in the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Cover the bowl with a clean linen towel, and let the mixture sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the same bowl used to heat the milk, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Set it aside to cool slightly.
- With the mixer on low, beat in 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, melted butter, and 2 cups flour. Beat in the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spray a large piece of parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray, and place it in a 5-quart slow cooker. (The parchment paper should be large enough to cover the bottom of the slow cooker, with enough excess to come up the sides so you can use it to lift the rolls out when they’re done.)
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar with the cinnamon, and mix to blend. Set aside.
- When the dough has rested for 10 minutes, roll it out to a 14-by-8-inch rectangle.
- Spread the remaining butter, which should be very soft, over the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Roll the dough up tightly. Slice off the ends to make the log uniform. Cut the log into 12 equal slices, and place them in the lined slow cooker.
- Place a paper towel on top of the slow cooker, and put on the lid. (The paper towel should be right underneath the lid, not touching the rolls. This helps keep condensation from dripping onto the rolls.)
- Cook on high for about 2 hours, or until the rolls are cooked through. As soon as they’re done, transfer them to a serving platter by lifting them out with the parchment paper.
- While the rolls cook, whisk the powdered sugar, remaining milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Add more milk if the icing is too thick. (If you like lots of icing on your cinnamon rolls, make a double batch.)
- Drizzle the icing over the warm rolls, and serve.
Photo by Getty Images/iko636