Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls? Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls! What if I told you that you can have homemade, warm cinnamon rolls covered in a sweet vanilla bean frosting on Christmas morning without no more effort than it takes to turn on your oven? Well….. You can!
Every Christmas morning, my mom would have this huge breakfast for our family. When I was little, Dad would be standing over the counter, knife in hand, removing the rind from a gigantic slab of bacon that he received every year from a family friend. He would then cut it into super thick slices that mom would then fry up and serve with eggs, a couple different types of quick bread and whatever else she had thought of that morning.
She never did cinnamon rolls though. At least, not homemade ones. That took to long. Letting the dough rise, rolling it out, filling it with tons of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Letting it rise again. It would have taken forever! My Christmas morning cinnamon rolls are started the day before so all you need do to Christmas morning is turn on your oven and make the icing.
The dough for these cinnamon rolls is actually the same dough I use for my Kolachy, you know, the Slovak Poppy Seeds Rolls I posted the other day? It’s probably my favorite dough to work because of how easy and versatile it is. All the ingredients are placed in a stand mixer and the mixer does all the work. When the dough is soft and still slightly tacky, it’s placed into a lightly greased bowl and left to rise until doubled in size. Now is the time to get those last-minute gifts wrapped and put under the tree!
When the dough has risen, it gets punched down and separated into two pieces to make it easier to work with. Each half is rolled out and a generous amount of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar is spread over the dough. These are then rolled up and each half is cut into 6 cinnamon rolls, for a total of 12 beautiful babies that get to chill out in the fridge.
I used two cake pans to nestle these cinnamon rolls into, but you can use a large rimmed baking sheet. Just remember that the cinnamon rolls are headed to the fridge until tomorrow morning and you want to have enough room in there to keep the pan flat. In the morning, remove from the fridge, discard the plastic wrap and place them in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 and once it’s reached temperature, bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
While they are baking, make the icing by whisking all the ingredients together. When the cinnamon rolls are down, remove them from the oven and dollop a bit of icing onto each rolls. Serve warm.
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Ooey, Gooey, Christmas morning cinnamon rolls are started the day before, and proofed overnight in the refrigerator making them the perfect choice to bake on Christmas morning!
For the Dough
1 pkg yeast (about 3 tsp)
1 cup milk (warm)
1/4 c sugar
1 stick room temp butter (cut into 8 pieces)
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks softened butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoon butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
- To make the dough, place the ingredients in the following order, into the bowl of a stand mixer. Warm milk, sugar, yeast, egg, butter pieces, flour, salt.
- Using the dough hook, turn the mixer onto low and begin to combine the ingredients. Once the flour is moistened, turn the speed up by one notch and a shaggy dough will form.
- Continue letting the mixer do the work, turning it up to medium until the dough becomes smooth and slightly tacky. Use extra flour only if needed.
- When properly kneaded, the dough should be soft and tacky. It will stick to your fingers, but pull away clean.
- Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
- After the dough has risen, punch down and turn out onto a floured board.
- Cut in half to make it easier to work with.
- Roll each half into a 12×6 rectangle. Don’t worry about being precise just make sure that it’s twice as long as it is wide.
- To make the filling, mix together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon with a hand mixer so that it’s smooth and creamy.
- Spread half the butter mixture onto the first half of your dough, leaving roughly one inch all the way around.
- Roll up the long side and cut into 6 equal pieces.
- Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, or into a greased cake pan.
- Repeat with the second half of dough and butter filling.
- Once all the cinnamon rolls are made, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight.
- When you’re ready to bake your cinnamon rolls, remove from the fridge and discard the plastic wrap.
- Place into a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350F, this allows the cinnamon rolls to go through a quick ‘rise.’
- Once your oven has signaled that it’s preheated, cook the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- While your waiting for the cinnamon rolls to cook, making the icing.
- Slice the vanilla bean in half long ways and scrape out the seeds.
- Place the vanilla seeds into a bowl with the confectioner’s sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Use a hand mixer or whisk to thoroughly incorporate the icing ingredients together, using up-to 2 more tablespoons of milk if the icing is too thick.
- When the cinnamon rolls are cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the icing on top of the hot rolls so that it melts down and covers the rolls completely.