I actually don't like cinnamon rolls, but my mother LOVES them. I've had this recipe for awhile and had been meaning to try it for her. I finally got my reason to for Christmas morning brunch and it was a hit! A bit of work, but actually not bad, just a lot of waiting time and a second time would be easier.
Modified from Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke
***Do not preheat yet - you have to rise the dough - this takes about 3-4 hours from start to finish, but a lot of "waiting" time.***
1/2 cup hot coffee (I used decaf as I was using this for my mom who doesn't do caffeine)
1/2 cup milk (they said whole milk...I think I actually used that, but I wouldn't never buy it special for it...I had it for something else I was making for Christmas morning)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 packet (1/4 oz) dry active yeast
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp oil
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar (that is in addition to what is above)
3 to 3 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup butter, softened (you are going to spread this, so make sure to soften)
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or nuts (so this said chocolate chips....I didn't use that because my mother doesn't eat chocolate...so I used nuts or butterscotch....both were enjoyed...I'd probably do half and half next time)
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a microwave safe container, combine hot coffee and milk. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in tablespoon of sugar and then pour a 1/2 cup of mixture into another container. Add yeast to microwave safe container and gently stir in. Let sit on counter to proof.
Melt butter in microwave separately in another container. Add oil and let sit on counter to cool a bit. In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg, salt, rest of sugar and coffee/milk mixture that does NOT contain the yeast (so that 1/2 cup you pulled out). Once the butter/oil mixture is cool enough not to cook the egg, stir it into the working medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups flour. Stir it in and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Now add the yeast mixture, which should be nice and puffy. Stir gently. Add 1 1/2 cups more of flour in half cup increments, stirring after each increment. If dough is still too sticky when all this is in, add the last half cup (remember the recipe said 3 to 3 1/2 cups). I used a little extra flour, not quite a full 1/2 cup more.
Now you need to knead your dough for 5 minutes, on a nice floured surface. Make sure to flip this up and down so you get the bottom and top. Once you have done 5 minutes, pat into a ball. [Now is a good time to take that butter out of the fridge for your filling, which will be later.] Spray the inside of a larger bowl with Pam and put the dough into it. Tear off some plastic wrap and Pam it as well. Then wrap it around your dough ball. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free, place and let it rise for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until it is doubled in size.
Spread bottom of a 9 by 13 pan with butter (I actually just Pamed it). Sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon.
Once the dough has risen, set up a nice floured place to work. Put the risen dough there. Now punch it down and roll it out into a 9 by 13 inch rectangle. Spread the surface of the dough with softened butter. Now mix 3/4 cup sugar with tablespoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over your buttered dough. Now sprinkle on the chips (or nuts or even nothing). Now, starting from a long side, roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Make sure the edge is pinched close. Take a sharp knife and cut the dough roll into 12 slices. I did this in pieces...I cut in half, then cut each in half and so on to get nice even slices. Arrange slices in the prepared pan in 3 rows across and 4 rows down. Spray another sheet of plastic wrap with Pam and put that over the rolls. Put back in a warm, draft-free, place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
When rolls have risen again, preheat oven to 350. Pull off plastic wrap once the oven is preheated and then bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool while you make the icing. You will want to ice while warm.
Put cup of powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Mix in melted butter, milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and creamy and has the consistency of icing. If too thick, add milk. If too think, add sugar. Smear all over rolls.
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls.