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Gooey Cinnamon Buns with Thick Cream Cheese Icing

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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Ingredients

Dough:

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface 

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for buttering the bowl and baking dish 

2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 large egg, lightly beaten 

Filling:

2 cups pecans, roughly chopped

1 cup packed dark brown sugar 

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 

Thick Cream Cheese Icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups confectioners' sugar 

1/4 cup milk 

Directions

  1. For the dough: Place the yeast and 1 cup lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and add the flour, butter, granulated sugar, salt and egg. Knead on medium-low speed until the dough forms a ball and releases easily from the sides of the bowl, about 4 minutes.
  2. Butter a large bowl; transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  4. For the filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. Set aside.
  5. Punch down the dough, then roll or press it into a 16-by-12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread with the filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
  6. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough into a cylinder and then slice into 12 rolls. Arrange the rolls, cut-side up, in four rows in the prepared baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm, draft-free spot until nearly doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden on top, about 20 minutes.
  7. For the thick cream cheese icing: Blend the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the milk and mix until smooth. Top the warm cinnamon buns with icing and serve.