Ever since I was a little girl, cinnamon rolls have been one of those special breakfasts that I have always loved. The funny thing about that is, that they always came straight from a can, and only took about 18-20 minutes to prepare, yet we only had them a few times a year. Thanks Obama.
But I guess having them so few times a year, is what made them special. We would have them on holidays like Christmas and Easter or at the occasional sleepover. Do you guys remember the “hockey puck” ones? You know, the ones with the cinnamon bits baked inside. We used to have those but then eventually upgraded to the cinn-a-bon version which is approximately 8,000 times better than the hockey puck ones.
I’ve been wanting to make my own cinnamon rolls for a while now. I think I first got the idea last Christmas, when I watched The Pioneer Woman deliver pan after pan to all of her friends and family (Why not me, Ree?) Fast forward to this Christmas season, me still wanting Cinnamon Rolls, and Ree still delivering pan after pan – it was time to make this happen. I stumbled upon this recipe for “Overnight Cinnamon Rolls” and it sealed the deal.
I loved the idea of overnight cinnamon rolls, especially for a holiday morning when you want the took-all-morning to make taste without wrecking your entire kitchen in the process. You can make these the day before, put them in the dish you want to serve them in, store them in the fridge over night and then bake them up in the AM.
This was my first time making a yeast dough. For some reason, when I came across recipes that called for yeast and rising, I pretty much immediately ruled them out. It looked hard and intimidated me! When really it wasn’t at all. If I can do it, you can TOTALLY do it. After you make the dough, you let the dough rise for a bit. Tuck the dough a way in a slightly warm place to take a nap for a bit, while you do other things. Like sit on the couch and drink coffee, rearrange all the Christmas ornaments on the tree, do laundry or relax. I guess you could relax if you’re into that sort of thing. Eh hem.
This is what she looks like when she’s done rising the first time. Isn’t she purdy?
When you roll the dough out, you need a large counter or table to do so. I used my dining room table and it worked out really well! The dough was slightly sticky, but not TOO sticky. You don’t want it sticking to your table.
Once it is rolled out, you bathe it in butter. Lots and LOTS of butter and when you think you’ve added enough butter, you are going to want to add even more. I’m talkin’ POOLS of butter. Then you top it off with your cinnamon and your sugar and you roll it up as tight as you can, so that it looks like this:
You need to use a serrated knife for the job of cutting them. I used my trusty bread knife and cut the roll in half, and then in half again and again and again until I had about twelve rolls.
Ready for the fridge. Here is where you put them away and forget about them for a day.
The icing. The glorious, glorious icing. This is the last step. You could make your own, or you could purchase a can of icing and cheat like I did. To each their own. I recommend a cream cheese frosting but vanilla would also be amazing. Ice those bad boys and then your done. Time to eat one, or 4. Don’t look at me like that.
- 2¼ teaspoons dry active yeast (1 packet)
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1½ cups flour (in addition to previous)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Pour the yeast into a large bowl. Pour warm water over the yeast and stir to dissolve.
- Pour the warm milk over the yeast. You want all your liquid ingredients to feel warm, but not hot.
- Stir in the sugar and beaten egg.
- Add 2 cups of flour and salt, and then mix well by hand.
- Pour melted (but not too hot) butter in, and mix.
- Add another 1½ cups of flour, and mix by hand until the dough is sticky, but pulls away from the sides of the bowl into one large ball.
- Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1½ hours.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface. I usually use another ¼ cup of flour on my work surface, adding some to the top and bottom of the dough as I roll it out to prevent it from sticking to the counter.
- Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick, into the shape of a rectangle.
- Smear your softened butter all over the dough. Then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. Don't forget the edges!
- Starting with a long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough up.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the rolled up dough in half. Cut each half in half again. Then cut each quarter into equal thirds so you have 12 pieces.
- Place each piece into a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish with the spiral side up.
- Cover the baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, remove the baking dish from the fridge and let it sit in a warm spot in your kitchen for one hour. I usually turn my oven on for 10 seconds, then I turn it off and let the rolls rise covered in the just warm oven. Or you may have a "bread proof" setting on your oven.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking dish on the center rack of your oven, and bake for 24-25 minutes. The tops will be golden brown.