Adapted from the lovely design book (with recipes!) Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandanavian Style by Lotta Jansdotter. If you have a stand mixer, it will save you the time and energy of kneading the dough. If you don't, you can knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes.
cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
teaspoons active dry yeast
large egg, beaten
cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
tablespoon ground cardamom*
cups (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
teaspoon neutral-tasting oil
cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
cup brown sugar
tablespoons ground cinnamon
cup confectioners\' sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer (don't attach bowl to mixer just yet) and sprinkle with yeast. Add a pinch of the sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let stand in a warm spot until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, egg, melted butter, salt, and cardamom. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add flour 1 cup at a time, stirring between additions, to form a smooth dough. Connect bowl to mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to speed 2 (no higher!) and knead for about 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Pour the teaspoon of oil onto dough and turn to coat lightly but completely. Place a kitchen towel over the bowl and set it in a warm spot to rise until doubled, an hour or more.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each into a rectangle with your hands. Roll out the first piece into a 12-inch by 12-inch by 1/2-inch-thick square. Spread half the butter evenly over surface. Sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over butter. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log shape. Slice log crosswise into 12 slices. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or in a muffin pan with paper liners, with one of the cut sides facing up. Repeat with the second square of dough and remaining butter and cinnamon sugar. Cover rolls with kitchen towels and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled, an hour or more. (Note: At this stage, some or all rolls may be frozen for later use. Freeze on baking sheet until solid, then transfer to an airtight container. Thaw before continuing.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 12 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle a small amount of glaze over each roll. (You may have leftover glaze.) Serve rolls warm. Extras can be reheated one at a time in the microwave for 10 seconds.
* I use ground cardamom from a spice jar and find it's the perfect amount. A commenter mentioned she ground her own cardamom and found this amount almost inedibly overpowering, so maybe use 1/2 or 1/3 of this amount if you're grinding from pods.
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