Great tasting cinnamon rolls are best with fresh ingredients and good cinnamon. Invest in another jar of fresh spice if you think your cinnamon has been sitting around in the cupboard for years.
After using this recipe, I made some changes it in it. I cut the sugar added to the dough to one quarter cup. I also cut down the amount of brown sugar in the filling from 2 cups to 1-1/2. I thought even that was a little too much, so next time I will probably cut the packed light brown sugar to a cup. (The recipe below reflects these changes.)
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
5 1/2 cups flour
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons grated orange rind (try to not get any of the white, just zest)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Non-stick cooking spray
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries OR currants OR raisins
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Boil peeled, diced sweet potatoes until tender. Drain and mash.
For Rolls: Pulse yeast, water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a food processor 4 times or just until combined, using the metal blade. Remove metal blade, scraping yeast mixture into food processor bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. (If making by hand, stir together these ingredients in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes.)
Stir cooled potatoes and 1/2 cup flour into the yeast mixture and blend well, then add the rest of the flour.
Insert short plastic dough blade into food processor; add 1/2 cup flour to processor bowl and process 2 minutes. Add mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, buttermilk, the rest of the sugar, butter, orange rind, salt and and soda, along with 4 cups flour; process 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup flour, and process 2 minutes or until a dough forms, coming together to hold a shape. (If making by hand, mix in ingredients and stir in same order as above, then knead the dough on a flat, lightly floured surface, for at least 5 minutes.)
Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
If you're making by hand, turn dough out on a floured surface to mix and knead a few times before placing it into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered, to rise in a warm place.
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 10- by- 18-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with Filling. Roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Cut into 12 (1 1/2-inch) slices, and arrange in a lightly greased 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes. (For me, this dough made closer to 18 cinnamon rolls. These fit just fine into a buttered 9-by-9-inch baking pan.)
Roll out dough in a large rectangle and spread on brown sugar and cinnamon filling. Start rolling the dough in from one of the long sides, as you would for a jelly roll. Then, start cutting rounds from one end.
Bake rolls at 400° for 10 minutes. Remove rolls from oven; drizzle Glaze slowly over rolls, starting at 1 edge of pan and drizzling in a circular pattern.
Bake rolls 7 to 10 more minutes or until lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove rolls from oven, and invert onto a baking sheet. Invert again, glaze side up, onto a serving platter. Let cool 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.
When rolls are done, let them cool awhile before you put on the glaze or icing (while the rolls are still warm).
For Filling: Stir together butter, sugar, pecans, raisins or dried cranberries, until blended.
For Glaze: Stir together sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a light boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in cream and vanilla.
Makes 12-15 rolls.
Adapted from Domino Sugar