I always love the food on Christmas morning. We weren't ever a huge breakfast family, but I think almost if not ever year, Mom made her sausage and eggs and sometimes Dad would pop a tube of cinnamon rolls in the oven. We'd all sit around the castoff Christmas paper and new presents in our pajamas and eat. Last year I made homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time, and we had those along with my Mom's eggs. They're super, but deathly sweet, and for sure a special occasion breakfast. I made them a day or so after Thanksgiving when we still had lots of house guests and I already plan to make them for Christmas morning. The recipe for the dough comes from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but their filling and frosting were pretty sad, so those are from me. If you want to know why these are for special occasions, count the sticks of butter. (If you're concerned about health, maybe DON'T count them...)
Special Occasion Cinnamon Rolls
4 to 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and the yest. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the milk, the sugar, the butter, and the salt til just warm and butter almost melts. Add the milk mixture to the dry mixture and then add the eggs. Beat on low to medium speed with a mixer for 20 seconds, scraping the bowl. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour so that the dough is elastic and smooth and moderately soft. Shape dough into a blal. Place in a lightly greased bowl and turn once to grease it all. Cover and let rise in a warm place til double in size, roughly an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Punch down dough and place on lightly floured surface. Break into two balls. Cover and rest 10 minutes. After it has rested roll each out into a rectangle. Brush each with the filling mixture (see below), then roll and press the edge to seal. Cut into even rolls (cutting with the seal side down on the surface helps assure it will hold shape) and then place into a greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool slightly and frost (see below). Serve warm!
1 stick butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
Melt the butter and mix with brown sugar and cinnamon. Should be spreadable--if it's too thick, add a bit more butter. Use to spread over the rectangle of dough before you roll it up.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
a few tablespoons of milk, to desired consistency
Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter; add the vanilla and a bit of the confectioner's sugar at a time. Add milk by the tablespoon until it's the consistency you desire. You may want it a little thicker--it will start to melt and slide when it's placed over the warm cinnamon rolls.