Ahhh…cinnamon rolls. One of my most favorite breakfasts. But, I don’t make them too often mostly because of the time they take to prepare. You know, all the waiting for the rising, makes cinnamon rolls more of a brunch fare. We usually have a light breakfast, while waiting for the cinnamon rolls. But, when I do make them, the time we wait is always worth it. These rolls are the big, Cinnabon-at-the-mall-style cinnamon rolls. I always have a hard time passing them up, but they are so expensive usually I leave with just the Mochalatta chill. I mean, one can only have so much willpower. Besides, I need the caffeine. So I tell myself anyways.
So, I started these rolls at 7:30am and we sat down to eat them at 10:30am. This explains why the photo is of a half pan of rolls. NO ONE was going to wait any longer for photos. My husband, Justin, and I loved them. But, my kids wouldn’t eat them. They only eat the ones in the blue can, but with my homemade frosting only. Even they have standards. I’ll admit, I like those too. I’m no food snob. They are great in a pinch and something I know everyone will eat when I don’t feel like fighting the please-eat-something fight. Ugh, oh well, more for me. I ate one for breakfast everyday that week and they were delicious, just 1 minute in the microwave. These cinnamon rolls bake up tall, with a crisp exterior and tender interior. The cream cheese frosting is just plain amazing. It is really thick and cheesecake-like. In fact, my daughter Sammie, after not eating her cinnamon roll, took the frosting bowl and was about to eat it like oatmeal before I grabbed it from her. This is the same kid who only eats the frosting off her doughnut. Who does that?
Yield: 12 large rolls
1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Warm the milk in a small saucepan until ~105 degrees F. I used the microwave
Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Stir into the milk. Let stand until foamy, ~5 minutes.
Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Knead with the dough hook on medium for ~4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover with a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place ~1 hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well with a spoon, spatula or even your hands.
Lightly flour your work surface (I used a pastry mat) and rolling-pin. Roll the dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle, ~1/4 inch thick.
Brush the dough with 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter.
Roll the dough up starting with the longer side. Cut into 12 rolls. I cut the log in half, then each half in half. Then you have 4 even pieces to cut into 3. This way you get even sized rolls.
Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with Pam. Arrange the 12 rolls in the dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
While the rolls rise, pre-heat the oven to 350F. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
While the rolls bake, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, soft butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the frosting on the rolls while they are still warm.