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Our family tradition of making cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve to enjoy fresh and hot on Christmas morning is one of my most favorite family holiday traditions, something my husband and I began after we had our first child. I look forward to it ALLLLL YEAR. This year I thought I would share the yummy recipe for the most delicious cinnamon rolls you will ever eat. I highly recommend making a double batch so you can freeze some for later! If you don't, you'll wish you did. Trust me.



Healthy? definitely not. But Christmas calls for something special, and these sweet sticky cinnamon-y rolls do just the trick. They are truly something special.

The trick to soft & fluffy cinnamon rolls is bread flour! This is important, so don't skip this step. You can of course use regular flour, and I'm sure they will still be so yummy, but I highly recommend bread flour if you have it.


DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ cup warm milk (whole milk or 2%) - you want it warm, not hot!
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise or active yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted 
  • 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar - light or dark is okay!
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter, softened

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


STEP 1:
  
Warm your milk on the stove top or in the microwave, but be sure not to overheat too much. It should be lukewarm. Pour your warm milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and add your yeast; sprinkle on top of your warm milk. Next add your sugar, egg & yolk, and melted butter. Mix until everything is well combined, then add your flour and salt. Be careful not to overmix once you add the flour!


STEP 2:  Knead your dough for 5-10 mins (either by hand or with a dough hook on your electric mixer). If kneading by hand be sure to use a well floured surface. The dough will still be sticky but should start to form a ball shape. 

STEP 3:  Oil a bowl and transfer your dough into that bowl. Cover and let it rest in a warm area to let it rise until it doubles in size. This should take about an hour and a half to two hours.

STEP 4:  Once your dough has risen, transfer to a well floured surface and roll out into a rectangle, about 14 x 9". Spread your softened butter evenly all over the surface, leaving a little space at the edges that is not buttered, maybe 1/2" or so. 

STEP 5:  Mix together your brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle all over the dough on top of the butter. Pat the cinnamon and sugar into the butter a bit.

STEP 6:  Tightly roll up your dough like a jelly roll. Cut your jelly roll into slices a little over an inch wide. This should give you about 8 pieces. Please these pieces into a buttered 9 x 9" buttered baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour in a warm area.



STEP 7:  Preheat your oven to 350 F. Bake rolls for about 25 mins, or until lightly golden brown. Careful not to overcook! Let them rest for about 10 mins before frosting.

TO MAKE FROSTING:  Mix all frosting ingredients together with an electric mixer until well combined. That's it!

I hope you enjoy these yummy cinnamon rolls, from my family to yours! Happy Holidays.


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