Love buns? I know - it's a silly name. But seriously, you will fall in love with these cinnamon rolls - and anyone who eats them will fall in love with you! They are fluffy, sweet, gooey and oh-so-wonderful. The best part is you can make them the night before and bake them right up in the morning - no waiting around for breakfast for 2 or 3 hours. You can also freeze them before or after you bake them, so they can be made well ahead of time if needed. I started making these a couple of Christmases ago and they have become a staple for breakfast guests anytime of the year.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
(Makes 8 large rolls)
For the dough:
2/3 c. milk
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/3 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 - 3 1/2 c. flour
For the filling:
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
For the icing:
1 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. confectioner's sugar
1-2 Tbsp. cream (or milk)
Combine milk and melted butter. Let the mixture sit (if needed) until lukewarm. Add yeast and sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes until mixture starts to get frothy. (This way you know your yeast is good. If it doesn't get frothy - your yeast might be dead and you'll want to start over.)
Add eggs and salt and mix well. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix well. Continue adding flour a little bit at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Dump dough out onto a flour surface and begin kneading. If dough is still too sticky, add a little more flour as you knead. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Continue kneading for 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45 min - 1 hour.
Place risen dough back on your floured surface and spread out into a large rectangle (say 16" long x 10" wide).
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and spread out evenly over the dough.
Roll the dough up lengthwise.
With a sharp knife, cut into 8 equal pieces (about 2") each.
Place in a baking dish so rolls are not touching. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
(Or, place in a freezer safe container and freeze. To bake from freezing, let sit on the counter overnight, rather than in the refrigerator.)
To make the icing, combine cream cheese and confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. Beat with a hand mixer, slowly adding cream until it reaches the desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate.
In the morning, take the rolls out of the refrigerator. You will see they have already nearly doubled in size:
Let the rolls sit on the counter while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes until golden brown:
Spread the icing on while the rolls are warm to create your gooey masterpiece! (Any leftover frosting will also freeze just fine.)