I make cinnamon rolls about twice a year. They're a little labor intensive, but mainly it just takes several hours for all the rising and baking. Totally worth it, though. I also enjoy these with cream cheese frosting (see below for recipe).
adapted from an Internet copycat recipe for Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 c. warm water (105-115°)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. warmed milk or almond milk
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. melted butter, divided
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. chopped walnuts, optional
1/3 c. raisins, optional
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. hot water
Cream Cheese Frosting (use instead of Glaze)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar
In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and 1/2 tsp. sugar and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix milk, 1/3 c. sugar, melted butter, salt and egg; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes.
Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubles in bulk, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20” rectangle.
Spread dough with 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix together 1/3 c. brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired. Roll up jellyroll fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 1-inch thick slices with a serrated knife.
Coat bottom of jelly roll pan with remaining butter. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pan. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.
For Glaze: In medium bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.
For Cream Cheese Frosting: Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.