Valentine's Day Cinnamon Rolls

Yummy gooey butter sugar caramel and pecans cover these yummy doughy cinnamon rolls. They are perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat with your sweetie and the whole family!
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 15
Author Michelle

INGREDIENTS

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg ~1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Caramel Topping:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 chopped pecans

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

Dough:

  1. In a small bowl mix 1 tsp. of sugar with the yeast and dissolve in warm water. Let the mixture sit until it becomes frothy, this should take about 10 minutes.
  2. As you are waiting, heat the rest of the sugar, milk, butter and salt over medium-low heat until the butter has just melted. Take it off the burner and let cool until use.
  3. In a bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, stir the eggs, milk and yeast mixtures together. Be sure that the milk mixture is lukewarm to avoid cooking the eggs.
  4. Beat 1 1/2 cups of flour until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the rest of the flour with a wooden spoon until it is well incorporated and the dough has a smooth, slightly sticky consistency.
  6. In the electric stand mixer with the kneading attachment (or by hand on a lightly floured surface) knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  7. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area of your kitchen until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or overnight in the fridge).
  8. Once risen, punch the dough down and roll it on a lightly floured surface into an 18- by 14-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and move onto making the caramel topping and filling.

Caramel topping:

  1. Grease a 13- by 19-inch baking dish.
  2. Over medium heat in a saucepan, melt and whisk the butter and sugar together until nice and smooth.
  3. Pour into the greased baking dish and sprinkle the chopped pecans over top.

Filling:

  1. In a bowl mix together sugar, pecans and cinnamon.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and use it to brush the dough while putting it together.

Putting it all together:

  1. Remove the plastic wrap from the rolled out dough and brush the surface with about 2 tbsp. of the melted butter leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered.
  2. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over top.
  3. Roll into a log on the long side of the rectangle – while doing so, make sure to roll tightly and brush the roll with more butter as you go to seal the sides together.
  4. Once the log is formed, cut into 15 equal pieces and place evenly spaced out in the baking dish containing the topping.
  5. Cover with a towel and let rise (proof) until they have doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F and bake until the cinnamon rolls are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Then invert the baking dish onto a serving platter and drizzle with remaining topping in the baking dish.
  8. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

If you are allergic to nuts, you can easily omit the pecans in the recipe.

Don't be scared of the 3-hour prep-time! 2 hours and 30 minutes of it you can be doing something else as the yeast works hard rising the dough!

Making these cinnamon rolls can be divided over two days; let the dough rise in the greased bowl overnight and then processed to roll out the dough to make the cinnamon rolls the next day.