It’s Christmas tradition! I bake a batch of cinnamon rolls once a year on Christmas morning. (I have to impose this limit on myself; I can eat a whole pan by myself. They are my very favorite thing). I make the dough the night before, then pop them into the oven in the morning. There is nothing like a cup of coffee, a warm cinnamon bun, and opening your presents on a snowy Christmas morning.
These make an excellent addition to a Christmas (on non-holiday) brunch. If, by some miracle, you have leftovers that go stale, make them into decadent french toast or phenomenal bread pudding. If you are like me, however, you will turn into a cinnamon-roll-itarian for a few days and they will disappear before you can think of using them in something else. So if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for fourths.
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter , melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place the ingredients in the bowl of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start. Or, use your standing mixer. Pour the yeast into the warm milk and allow it to activate. Meanwhile, mix together the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Once the yeast is activated, pour the milk and yeast mixture into the stand mixer. Add the bread flour a little at a time, and knead until the dough is soft and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place until it doubles in size.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll the dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread the dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll up the dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your 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.