Growing up, our family’s Christmas morning tradition was to bake a big batch of cinnamon rolls. I have carried this delicious tradition right into my own family, and look forward to watching my daughter eat her first Christmas Cinnamon Roll. Over the years I have tweaked the old recipe, and this is the result. They are somehow both fluffy and incredibly gooey, enjoy!
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup water
1 Tbs active dry yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
8 oz cream cheese
1 oz butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs milk
Warm the milk in a small sauce pot, until the milk is bubbling. Turn the heat off, and whisk the butter until it is fully melted, then add the glass of water.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer, add the yeast, salt and sugar. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix these ingredients together.
Add the eggs, and mix well to combine. Then add 2 cups of flour, and mix well to combine. Then add the flour a little at a time (about 1/2 cup), and mix well to combine. When all of the flour is mixed in, switch out the paddle attachment for a dough hook. Beat the dough on medium speed for about 8-10 minutes. The dough will be smooth and elastic.
Split the dough in half, and turn each half out onto a well floured surface. Roll each piece into a rectangle, about 12×9”. In a bowl mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Also soften a stick of butter, (a ½ cup). Divide the butter evenly between the two rectangles, spreading the butter all over the rectangles. Sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture, making sure you get it to the very edges of the rectangle. Roll up dough the long way, until it is a long roll. Cut into 12 even slices with a sharp knife. Repeat with the second rectangle.
I like to cram all of the rolls onto a 13×17 cookie sheet with a 1/2” lip. But you could use 2 9×12 sheets. Cover with a dishtowel, and let rest at least an hour in a warm place, (the dough will really puff up).
Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for about 10 minutes, and check them, turning the pan. Then bake about another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the frosting. Put the butter and the cream cheese in a glass bowl, and microwave to partially melt. Beat with a fork until smooth, add the vanilla, powdered sugar and milk.
Let cool slightly, and then spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and serve.