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Surprise! Potato Cinnamon Rolls

The secret ingredient in these irresistible cinnamon rolls? Mashed potatoes! The potatoes add moisture and structure without contributing to the development of gluten -- see how!

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These gooey, soft cinnamon rolls have a secret. Hidden inside is a good helping of mashed potatoes. Why you asked? Because potatoes have magical powers baked goods making extra tender and moist without changing the flavor. This recipe for potato cinnamon rolls will help you unlock the secret to the most delicious cinnamon rolls you'll ever taste. Let's start by preparing the potato for this recipe. Prick a 10-ounce unpeeled potato all over with a fork. Russets a good choice because of their high-starch content. Place the potato in the microwave and cook it on high until it's tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Once it's cool enough to handle, cut the potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp into a small bowl. Potato starch provides excellent structure to the dough and holds more moisture than wheat flour, but lacks the gluten that can make baked good stuff. That's what makes these rolls so light, tall and tender. Discard the potato skin, and using a potato masher or electric mixer on low speed, mash the pulp into its smooth and lump free. You can also use a potato ricer here if you have one. Set the mash potato aside for now. Next, place 1-1/2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl and add 1 package of active dry yeast. Whisk the mixture together and set it aside. Pour 1 cup of milk into a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add 1 cup of the mashed cooked potato, a third of a cup of butter, a third of a cup of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture until it's just warm between 120 and 130 degrees and the butter almost melts. The temperature is key in order to activate the yeast. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and yeast. Add 2 eggs and beat the dough with an electric mixture on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly. Increase the speed to high and continue mixing for 3 more minutes. You'll need to add additional flour to the dough between 2 and 3 quarters to 3 in a quarter cups. Use a wooden spoon to stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible. Use some of the additional flour to lightly flour your work surface. Turn the dough out. Begin kneading it. Start with the minimum amount of flour and working the additional flour while kneading adding enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that's smooth and elastic. Use the heel of your hands to push the dough away, then pull the edges in. Rotate the dough and push it away again. Continue kneading like this for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic like this. Shake the dough into a bowl. Lightly grease a large bowl. Place the dough inside and turn it once to grease the entire surface. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size about 45 to 60 minutes. Next, punch the dough down. That part is always fun and turn it out on to a lightly floured work surface. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease that 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan and set it aside while you prepare the filling. Place a half cup of packed brown sugar into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Stir the filling and set it aside using a rolling pin. Roll the dough out to an 18 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread a quarter cup of softened butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top leaving 1 inch unfilled along one of the longest sides. Starting with filled long side, begin slowly rolling up the dough. Don't worry, the dough is pretty forgiving. Pinch the dough at the end to seal the seams. Now, using the sharp knife, slice the roll into 12 equal pieces about 1-1/2 inches thick. Arrange the sliced rolls in a prepared baking pan. Cover it with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it's minimally doubled in size about 30 minutes. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls until they're golden brown about 25 to 30 minutes. You'll be amazed how good they smell, but you can't have them yet. Let them cool in the pan. Set on the wire rack for 10 minutes while you prepare the icing. Place 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar into a small bowl and add half a teaspoon of vanilla. Whisking just enough milk to reach drizzling consistency about 4 to 6 teaspoons. Transfer the rolls from the pan to a serving tray and use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the top and they're ready to eat. Well worth the effort. Make sure you serve them warm, which shouldn't be a problem. They have a way of disappearing fast.