Did you know that cinnamon is really just tree bark? Yup, the bark is stripped off of young branches and then laid in the sun to dry. That’s how it turns into the cinnamon stick that we all know and love.
I only learned this fun fact a couple of years ago when a friend went on vacation to the Caribbean and got to see cinnamon being made (err, dried). How cool is that? I did a little investigating, and it looks like most cinnamon trees grow in warm climates. Darn!
I was seriously contemplating ordering a cinnamon tree and planting it in my backyard. However, we live in the frozen tundra that is upstate New York, and I’m guessing cinnamon trees wouldn’t play well with the snow.
But if I had a cinnamon tree in my backyard, chances are you could find me out there gnawing on the branches! (I have no shame about gnawing on branches when cinnamon is involved.)
Ever since childhood, cinnamon has been one of my favorite spices. I’ll seriously sneak a pinch of cinnamon into all sorts of recipes.
Oatmeal cookies with a dash of cinnamon sugar on top are definitely one of my all-time favorite cookies.
A pinch of cinnamon in a chocolate cake is another trick that I keep up my sleeve. As long as it’s used sparingly, the cinnamon really enhances the flavor of the cake.
Oh, and how could I forget these spicy maple cinnamon roasted almonds? They’re embarrassingly easy to make, and they make for one heck of an addicting snack. However, of all the cinnamon recipes out there in the world, my favorite has to be the classic cinnamon roll.
Breakfast has long been my favorite meal, and I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that cinnamon rolls often appear at breakfast. (If I had it my way, cinnamon rolls would also appear at lunch and dinner.) But homemade cinnamon rolls can be a pain to make.
They aren’t all that difficult, but that pesky dough has to rise.
I set out to fix that problem with this batch of overnight skillet cinnamon rolls. Mix these bad boys up the afternoon or evening before, and then breakfast is a cinch the next morning.
You do still need to let the dough rise the next morning, but there is literally no work involved.
You can stumble out of bed, put the skillet in a warm spot and let the dough do its thing. After you’ve showered and had a cup of coffee, these overnight skillet cinnamon rolls will be ready for the oven.
I dare you to eat just one!
Skillet Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- 0.5 Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cinnamon
- 0.5 Pecans Chopped
- 8 Unsalted Butter Softened and divided
- 3 Granulated Sugar Plus 1 teaspoon
- 0.75 Salt
- 1 Egg
- 0.5 Milk
- 3.5 Instant Yeast This is slightly less than 2 1/4 ounce packages
- 2.25 All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Powdered Sugar
- 2 Milk
- 0.5 Pure Vanilla Extract
- In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the cinnamon pecan filling. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a countertop mixer, add 4 tablespoon of the softened butter, sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes). (Note: The remaining butter will be used after the dough has risen.)
- Add the egg and mix until just absorbed.
- Add the milk, yeast and flour and mix for 1-2 minutes on low speed, or until a smooth dough forms.
- Increase speed to medium and mix for 4 more minutes.
- Cover dough and place in a warm location (85°F). Let rise for 11/2 hours.
- Once risen, transfer dough onto a well-floured countertop. Roll into a 9”x12” rectangle.
- Spread the remaining 4 tablespoon of softened butter evenly across the dough. Sprinkle with the Cinnamon Pecan Filling.
- Beginning with a long edge of the dough, roll into a tight cylinder. Pinch seam closed. (Tip: Take care to keep ends of the cylinder even.)
- Using a sharp knife, slice the cylinder into 12 pieces. (Each piece should be ~1” wide.)
- Grease the bottom of an 8” cast iron skillet with butter. Place the rolls cut-side down into the skillet.
- Cover skillet and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, place skillet in a warm location until dough has filled bottom of the pan and increased in size (~75 minutes). (Note: Depending on how warm the spot is, this step may take a bit more or a bit less time.)
- Bake at 325°F for 32-24 minutes, or until tops of rolls are golden brown.
- Let buns cool in pan for 15 minutes.
- While buns are cooling, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Once buns have cooled slightly, drizzle with glaze.