Frosted Cinnamon Rolls

We are BIG cinnamon roll lovers around my house! So any chance I get to make these I do. A lot of people say that cooking with yeast intimidates them. DON'T LET IT! Once you get the hang of it, you will be whipping these babies up in no time. These are perfect for make ahead breakfast for your kiddos during the week, a quiet Sunday morning, or taking them over for friends to enjoy! This recipe yields two 9x13 pans. This week I took one pan to a family member for her house to enjoy and of course kept one for my house. Your WHOLE family will thank you for making these!
For the dough:
1 1/2 cup milk (any milk will work, I had 2% on hand)
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
3 large eggs
2 tsp. salt
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For the filling:
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1/3 cup of Vietnamese cinnamon (this little bottle of gold is a game changer, we offer this at the shop if you want to stop by and grab some)
1 tsp. vanilla
For the frosting:
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. butter
1 package cream cheese
Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees! This will insure a warm place for your dough to rise. First, pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove the saucepan from your stove and stir in the butter and sugar, then let cool. While you are letting the milk mixture cool, combine warm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl, whisk together. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, or until it is foamy.
In your stand mixer bowl and a dough hook, add 3 cups of flour, salt, eggs, yeast mixture, and milk mixture. Add the remaining 3 ½ cups of flour slowly until a smooth ball forms. Flour a work surface and empty your dough. The consistency will be very sticky at first but add a little extra flour to the top and knead for 3-5 minutes.
Place your dough into a little greased bowl, cover with a damp dishtowel. Now turn off your oven just so it is warm inside for your dough to rise. Let rise for 50-60 minutes. It should double in size and then fill the bowl. You may turn your oven back on at about 25 minutes but just for 5 minutes or so, so it can warm back up! Resist the urge to open and close your oven to check on the dough, it lets the heat escape, taking the dough longer to rise.
Next, grease two 9x13 pans with nonstick spray or butter, THEN don’t miss this step… it is a game changer: Sprinkle a little brown sugar in the bottom of your pan.
Turn your oven back on 200 degrees
Turn the dough onto floured work surface and roll out. Depending on how many cinnamon rolls you are wanting to make and their size, some might find it easier to cut the dough in half and do two separate sheets but I decided to roll the dough out as big as I could get it and then go from there. In another bowl combine both sugars, vanilla, and butter. This should be a sticky delicious goodness that you will now spread all over your rolled out dough. Now take the long end of the dough and roll into a tight log from one end to the other. It sounds difficult but its not! Once you get to this step it will make total sense. Now cut the log into 1 ½ inch or if you want to make large cinnamon rolls 2 inch slices. Then transfer your slices into your greased pan.
Now turn off the oven once again and place your two pans covered with a damp dishtowel. Let rise for 40 minutes. After the rolls have doubled in size remove from oven and set it to 350 degrees.
Insert the pans into the oven uncovered and bake for 20 minutes. They might need a little longer but go by 2-minute increments. Check them every two minutes after your 20-minute timer. When done, remove from oven and let cool.
While the rolls are cooling make your frosting. In a stand mixer and your whisk attachment, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and butter until light and fluffy. Add the milk and only half of the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and then add the remaining powdered sugar.
Lather the frosting evenly over both pans… You guys will NOT regret splurging and making these! They are worth the time and effort.