24. Christmas Eve Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas Eve Cinnamon Rolls
Our family has a tradition of eating breakfast food for dinner on Christmas Eve.  These cinnamon rolls baking in the oven fill our home with a fragrance that is extremely comforting.

I've tried many recipes for cinnamon rolls that promise to be the best, but in addition to tasting good I also wanted something that is extremely easy to make.

I've made this recipe for many years and even after trying many other recipes for cinnamon rolls, I believe that this is still the BEST.  It is fast and easy to make, especially if you have a bread machine.

This is a wonderful, gooey, delicious recipe to end our Countdown to Christmas! (Of course, all of these recipes are delicious any time of the year!)

Happy Holidays!

May you enjoy this wonderful time with friends and family.

Christmas Eve Cinnamon Rolls

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup warm skim milk (or 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 cup warm milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour

Follow the directions of the bread machine and add all of the ingredients.  Set the machine to dough cycle.  Let the dough rise one time.

Remove the dough from the machine and gently shape it into a rectangle.  Don't overwork the dough.  I like to just stretch it out with my hands instead of rolling it.  It doesn't have to be a perfect rectangle, but the dough should be about 14 inches on the long side and 1/4 inch thick.  Let the dough rest for a few minutes while you are preparing the filling.

6 Tablespoons butter, softened
sugar (about 3/4 cup)
cinnamon (about 1 Tablespoon)

I usually just mix the cinnamon and sugar together without measuring it.  You can tell by the color and the taste if it is a good combination.  It should be medium brown and it should not taste too sweet.

Christmas Eve Cinnamon Rolls from Bake Chocolate Cake - Countdown to ChristmasSpread the softened butter onto the rectangle of dough.  The secret to delicious cinnamon rolls is using A LOT of butter.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter.

Start on a long side of the rectangle and roll it up.  Once you reach the other side, pinch the dough together to hold the shape of the roll.

Cut the roll into 16 pieces.

Place the rolls in a 12x12 inch baking pan (4 rows of 4)

Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake the rolls in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Prepare the icing while the rolls are baking.

2 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Stir all of the ingredients together with just a little bit of the milk.  Add additional milk if the mixture is too thick.  (Add additional powdered sugar if the mixture gets too thin.)

Spread the icing over the hot cinnamon rolls.

Now, the best part...choose a hot cinnamon roll to taste.  Watch how the icing melts down into the buttery center.  I think the center is the very best part - lots of butter and sugar.

The cinnamon rolls are best stored in a plastic bag after they have cooled (although it is not likely there will be any left once they are out of the oven!)  If there are rolls left for the next day they can be reheated in the microwave for a few seconds.

Enjoy!  These are perfect any time of the day or night.