Good morning, sweet Sunday. Oh, my, you came quickly. So much fun this weekend, but that's for another time. I also somehow hurt the back of my ankle area, and I have no idea how, but yikes it hurts. But that's also for another time.
Because now it is time for: a recipe for the yummiest cinnamon rolls I have ever eaten. I love these. They are our traditional Christmas morning meal. One of the many great things about these is you make them the night before, up to the point of the 2nd rise, then allow them to rise in the morning, bake them, and you have hot, fresh cinnamon rolls! Oh, so good. Never made homemade cinnamon rolls before? Oh, you must. It is so easy. I actually find making bread very relaxing and therapeutic. My favorite part? Punching it down. Love it. I have never used anything but my stand mixer for bread, but I suppose you could use a hand-held mixer, just might take a bit more work on your end. Give it a go!
I get requests for these a lot. Brad's office request them. Brad requests them. Shoot, even I request them of myself. These are yummy, yummy cinnamon rolls. What makes them worthy of the second yummy?
These are MOCHA cinnamon rolls. A little chocolate, a little coffee, alotta yum.
Overnight Mocha Cinnamon Rolls
1/4 oz. package yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scaled milk
1/4 cup sugar
(To "scald" milk, just heat it until the bubbles start to form around the edges, right up to where it might start to boil but not quite there.)
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar (plus more for pan)
1 TBSP cinnamon
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
about 1 cup of strong coffee (for top of rolls and icing, see instructions.)
4 oz. cream cheese
about 2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 TBSP coffee
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. (Just do this first and let it sit to soften while you get the rest going.) In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl), mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until well combined. Add yeast/water mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough has lost enough stickiness to handle easily. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. (I love this step too!) Place dough in a well-buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (The colder the area the slower it will rise. Do not turn your oven on warm, put the bowl in the oven and then forget to turn the oven off. The yeast just may cook and pretty much ruin your dough. Just sayin'.)
When doubled in size, punch dough down (LOVE this part!). On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 9x15 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over butter. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. You can also add pecans or walnuts at this point if you like nuts in your rolls. Beginning on the long side, roll dough evenly and pinch edge to seal together. Cut into 12 slices. (If you are observant, you will notice that I only cut mine into 9 slices last Christmas. I like 'em big, what can I say? Cut 'em how you like 'em.)
Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon rolls evenly in pan. They will probably be kinda snug in there, that's fine.
At this point, you can either proceed with the 2nd rise or get them into the refrigerator to bake the next day.
If you are baking them now, cover pan loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes or so. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, until nicely golden brown.
If you are saving them for the next morning, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.
Remove rolls from refrigerator, uncover and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full with boiling water. Set pan on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise for approximately 30 minutes, or until they are puffy and about doubled in size. (They may not get quite to "double", don't worry about it. They'll still be delicious.) When they are done rising, remove rolls and shallow pan of water from oven.
Preheat oven to 350. Place rolls in middle rack of oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
As soon as they come out of the oven, top each roll with about a tablespoon or 2 of coffee. Let it just soak into those rolls and make themselves all ready for the party in your mouth. Mmmm.
Let cool slightly (maybe 10 minutes or so) while you make the icing. Beat together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and coffee. Adjust sugar or coffee until it's the consistency you like, then evenly coat each warm roll with icing.
Need I say this? Eat them warm with a perfect cup of coffee. The strange members of my family prefer to eat these with a cup of egg nog. Whatever. Just eat 'em.
There's a piece of me that wants to end with Day One, because this is the pinnacle of all that is good and Christmas morning-worthy. But there are some other gems I'm looking forward to sharing. So stay tuned!