I have a confession to make. I have always made cinnamon rolls (OH GOD, I hate to admit it) from a can. So a few months back when I wrote that girl wanted cinnamon rolls for breakfast, lunch and dinner on her birthday, and then my friend L ask for the recipe, I didn't have the heart to tell her to go to the store, buy a can of Grands Cinnamon Rolls, pop open the can, follow the directions and voila, there you go! Notice how I spelled voila correctly? Anyway even before L unintentionally guilted me into searching for that perfect cinnamon roll recipe it was already a thought in my head. The only thing that was holding me back was the amount of time they took. I mean you have to wait and wait and wait. I love to cook, but the one thing I do not like about cooking is when you have to wait for a recipe to do something. For example, I used to buy sugar cookie dough from the store becaue I did not like the fact that you have to put it in the fridge for 1 hour before you roll them out. For chocolate mouse, you have to put the chocolate mixture in the fridge before you can fold in the whipped cream - oh that used to irrateate me. Not to forget about good ol' crème brulèe, you cook it, thput it in the fridge for hours before you can torch the top, now I do it all the time. I figured if I could come to terms with all these items, I could wait a few hours for dough to rise - right? Well I am glad I did. I found the perfect recipe for cinnamon rolls, well it is actually 3 recipes put together and then I still changed a few more things about it. So, here you go, my perfect Christmas Eve Cinnamon Rolls! But, you will have to wait... just kidding... here you go..
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2/3 cup sugar, PLUS 1 tsp
1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees F)
2/3 cup butter –melted PLUS extra to coat bowl
2 eggs slightly beaten
7 cups flour plus extra for rolling on
***I do not add salt because I use salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add about 1 tsp salt
1 ½ cup butter divided, ¾ cup melted, ¾ cup room temp
1 ¾ cup brown sugar plus 4 tbl
3 tbl cinnamon (the best you can find)
1 ½ cups chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting***
4 oz cream cheese
¼ cup butter
½ tsp vanilla
½ tbl milk
1 ½ cup powdered sugar (sifted to ensure no lumps)
In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp sugar and set aside. In a large mixing bowl (Preferably the one that connects to your Kitchen Aide mixer – you can do this by hand, but I would not recommend it, this recipe take too long already!) mix milk, 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs, stir well then add your yeast mixture. Add ½ the flour and beat until smooth, add the rest of the flour ½ cups at a time until well incorporated. Dough will be sticky. Change the paddle on your Kitchen Aide to the dough hook (if you don’t have a dough hook, you can kneed on floured surface for 5-10 min), and let your KA do the kneading for you, for about 7 minutes. The dough will creep up on your hook, so stay close by to help it down. Place in a well buttered glass bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size for about 1 ½ hours (ughh!!) When doubled, punch down dough with your fist, this part is fun, but then you have to let it rest for another 5 minutes!
After you wait the 5 minutes, roll dough out on a floured surface, I don't know dimentions very well, just roll until it is big and about 1/4 or maybe 1/8 of an inch in thickness. I don't know, just roll. This was not big enough....
but this was....
I forgot to mention, roll it into a rectangle.
Now for the filling directions....
Spread dough with ¾ cup melted butter. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough (like in the picture above). Sprinkle with pecans and raisins if desired. I did ½ with nuts and raisins and ½ without.
Roll up jelly style, like in the picture above. Cut into 20-24 slices. Coat the bottom of two, 9x13 pans with remaining butter. Sprinkle 2 TBL (for each pan - 4 TBL total) brown sugar on top of butter. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans.
Then put them in a warm spot and WAIT another 45 minutes or so for them to double in size - again. Ughh!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until rolls are nicely browned, cool rolls slightly before you frost.
Here they are just coming out of the oven.
Frosting - cream together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and milk until incorporated. Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time.
Frost slightly cooled rolls.
So, was all that waiting worth it (all 2 hours and 45 minutes of it)? YOU BET!! These were AWESOME! They are VERY sweet and gooey. If you don't like them as sweet and gooey cut back on the brown sugar mix and cut back on the butter, however, I would not suggest it. The only thing I am going to do differently next time will be to do everything through letting the cinnamon rolls rise in the 9x13 pans, then I will stick them in fridge overnight, so I can just pop them in the oven the morning of. When I try this I will let you know how it works. I think it should be fine though.