My friend, Michele, gave me this recipe and I had to pass it along. These cinnamon rolls are some of the best I've ever had! Best of all, after you bake them, you can freeze them so you have a yummy treat on hand whenever you want (just don't ice them if you plan to freeze them). Hope you like these as much as our family does!
About 15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 to 5 tsp milk
Combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and yeast in large mixing bowl. Heat the 1-1/4 cups milk, vanilla, sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon just until mixture is warm (120-130°F), stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
Using a spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can (dough will be soft). Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball; place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).
The dough is ready for shaping when you can lightly press two fingers 1/2-inch into dough and an indentation remains. Punch down dough and divide in half. Place each half on lightly floured surface and smooth into a ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough into a 12 × 8-inch rectangle. Spread with 3 tbsp of the butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half over rectangle. Roll up from short side. Seal edges (brushing with water makes rolls easier to seal). Repeat with remaining dough.
Slice one roll into 8 pieces and the other roll into 7 pieces. Arrange slices, evenly, cut-side up, in greased 13 × 9-inch baking dish. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled (about 30 minutes).
Bake for 25 to 40 minutes or until light brown. Invert at once onto wire rack, invert again. Cool slightly. Drizzle rolls with a glaze made by combining the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Serve rolls warm or store in an air-tight container.
Makes 15 servings.