We love these cinnamon rolls! I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it has become our Christmas morning breakfast tradition, along with an egg casserole. The dough is incredibly easy to work with and the final texture is soft, slightly sweet, and just fabulous. The cream cheese frosting really takes them over the top. A bit indulgent, perhaps, but it's fun to have something special for Christmas. This year I increased the recipe by 1/2 because we had Grant's parents and brother here and I wanted to be sure there would be enough for seconds for everyone....so we had 18 rolls. Although we certainly didn't eat all of them Christmas morning, none went to waste, I assure you. They're delicious reheated!
I make the rolls on Christmas Eve, refrigerate the unbaked rolls (eliminating the second rise time) overnight, and set them out on the counter to rise/come to room temperature on Christmas morning for an hour or so while we open gifts and the egg casserole is baking. When it's finished, I stick them in the oven. They bake in just 15 minutes or so. Makes Christmas brunch a breeze!
Recipe: (yields 12 large rolls)
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 packet yeast (or 2-1/2 t. bulk yeast)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour (can use some whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar (can use a little less)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast in milk. Add eggs, butter, salt, sugar, and gradually add flour until well blended. Knead for 5-6 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. I use unflavored dental floss to cut the dough - smooth and easy! Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
Alternative: After cutting the rolls and putting in the pan, cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking (an hour is even better!). Bake as directed above.
This recipe is linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen - Countdown to 2011: Breakfast, where you can find lots of bloggers' favorite breakfast recipes from the year. Check it out!