I have a soft (sweet, sticky?) spot for homemade cinnamon rolls and over the years I’ve shared a couple of recipes, but I’ve always wanted to find one specifically designed to sit in the fridge overnight. I’ve tried this with other versions with limited success but knew I had to find a good one…because really, what’s better than doing all the hard work on a lazy afternoon, then waking up to fresh baked cinnamon rolls in the morning?
Folks…I think we’ve found our recipe. Since Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year, what better time for a gooey, cozy breakfast treat. Wake your sweetie with the smell of warm, cinnamony goodness and you’re sure to have a special day. To make mine even more “heartwarming,” I shaped the rolls into hearts and baked them in roll-sized heart shaped ramekins. Aren’t they cute? (Okay, I was also trying to justify the purchase of said heart shaped ramekins with JiT, who is not amused that our cabinets are already overflowing with kitchen paraphernalia; but thats another matter altogether).
Like all yeast breads, this recipe does take some time to assemble, but its well worth the effort. The rolls bake up tender and pleasantly sweet, with a sticky-gooey cinnamon center. And the cream cheese icing is insanely decadent. What a perfect way to kick off a day of chocolate eating and wine drinking, no?
Happy Valentines Day to you and yours!
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 1 dozen large rolls
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Heat the milk to scalding in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the 1/3 cup butter. Set aside until melted and allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and milk mixture. Add the sugar, 3 cups of flour, salt and eggs and stir well using the mixer’s paddle attachment. Gradually add the remaining flour in 1/2 cup batches unti all additions are incorporated. Once the mixture seems to be pulling together, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for about 8 minutes (or dump dough onto the counter to knead by hand). Dough will be a smooth supple ball when it is ready.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and spray the insides of the mixing bowl lightly with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and set the bowl in a warm, dry place to rise for one hour. Meanwhile combine the brown sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- After an hour’s rise time dough will be about double in size. Punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 10 x 14 inch rectangle. Spread softened 4 Tbs. of butter evenly over the surface of the dough, then spread on an even layer of the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving about 1/2 inch of untouched dough around all the edges. Roll the dough into a log with the cinnamon mixture on the inside and pinch the seam to seal. Slice the dough into 12 equal-sized rolls. If desired, fold each roll in half again, forming each into a heart shape.
- Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan (or individual heart-shaped ramekins). Place the rolls in the pan or ramekins and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight to rise.
- When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and puffed.
- Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing.
When baked, remove from the oven and spread icing evenly over the hot rolls. Serve immediately. Leftovers should be refrigerated.
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