These maple pecan cinnamon rolls are made with real maple syrup and topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting. You won't be able to eat just one!
To begin making the dough, add the instant dry yeast to your KitchenAid mixer bowl and pour the warmed milk over it. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and let the yeast and milk combine for just a few seconds.
Next, add in the sugar, salt, butter, and egg and mix on medium speed. Begin adding in the bread flour one cup at a time. Once all the flour has been added, let the dough hook work its magic for about five minutes or until the dough comes together and none of it sticks to the sides of the bowl anymore.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it into a ball with your hands. Place it in a large lightly-greased mixing bowl and cover with a cloth napkin. Let rise in a warm place for one hour or until the dough has about doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and place on a clean countertop. Do not flour the countertop. Use a rolling pin to begin rolling out the dough into a 18×12” rectangle.
Soften the stick of butter in the microwave and then scrape it onto the rolled out dough. Use a pastry brush to spread the butter onto all parts of the dough.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Then, add the nutmeg. Combine with the brown sugar and cinnamon, and then use a spoon to sprinkle the mixture on top of the butter, covering all parts of the dough.
Next, place the pecan halves into a Ziplock bag and lay it flat on your counter. Cover the bag with a cloth napkin and use a mallet to smash the pecans. Then, empty the pecans into your food processor and blend until the pecans are ground into fine pieces. Use a spoon to sprinkle them on top of the brown sugar and cinnamon filling.
Finally, pour the real maple syrup on top. I like to swirl my measuring cup around as I pour to equally distribute the syrup.
Pick up the edge of the long side of the dough closest to you and begin to tightly roll it up. Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces (about 1 ½ inches each.) Place the rolls into a lightly-greased baking pan and cover with a cloth napkin. Let rise again for one hour in a warm place.
Bake the rolls in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden on top. Then let cool for 5-10 minutes.
In your KitchenAid bowl, add the softened cream cheese and butter. Use the whip attachment to combine.
Next, add the powdered sugar in two batches, letting the first batch fully incorporate before adding the next. Be sure to mix on low speed to begin, or else the sugar will fly everywhere.
Last, add the whole milk and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are combined.
Frost these maple pecan cinnamon rolls with this delicious cream cheese icing and enjoy!