Ever thought cinnamon rolls were the most labor intensive baked good ever? Yeah me too, until this recipe came along.
You know what else? These rolls are perfect for Christmas, which I intend to celebrate joyfully this year – twinkly lights, homemade ornaments and ooey gooey cinnamon rolls all in tow.
I wanted to share a Christmas morning recipe that took the stress off Christmas Day and shifted it to the night before – you know, when Santa and his elves are churning. Seems like an appropriate time to be cranking out Christmas goodies, eh?
These rolls are simpler than most because they’re prepped the night before and require one mixing bowl for the entire process. All that’s left to do in the morning is a quick rise, preheat, bake, glaze and voila: breakfast is served. Now all that’s left to do is open presents and lounge. Sheesh, life is rough.
I included two glazes because I believe options are not only a privilege but a right, says the girl who mixes three cereals and two milks in every bowl. I preferred the vanilla but I guess I’m somewhat of a cinnamon roll purist if there ever was such a thing. However, the bourbon caramel glaze is just as temping and you probably already have some on hand if you whipped up a batch when I shared the recipe two weeks back. If you didn’t, well, you should. It requires just 4 ingredients, 15 minutes and will probably change your life.
These babies were absolute perfection and more healthy than the average roll thanks to whole wheat pastry flour and limited butter. They are sturdy but moist, just sweet enough with the brown sugar-cinnamon filling, and perfectly frosted for that optimum bite with each fork full. Gee, I could’ve devoured three…or maybe I did.
In any case, I hope your holiday celebrations are grand! Merry (early) Christmas from our little nook to yours. Now let’s all get cozy with some honey wheat cinnamon rolls, shall we? I was hoping you’d say yes.
- 1 packet rapid-rise dry yeast (~1 Tbsp)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- ~ 4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- scant 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp low-fat milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkle the yeast over warm water and allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth, adding in 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 15 minutes.
- Add the eggs, honey, and salt and stir, then add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour to the mixture. Mix until well incorporated and then transfer to a lightly floured surfaced.
- As you knead add the 1/4 cup softened butter to the dough and continue kneading, adding flour to reduce stickiness when needed until the dough is smooth - 7 to 10 minutes.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled - about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a large rectangle and brush with 1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the butter and then starting at the long side covered with sugar, roll up the rectangle as tightly as you can and pinch the seam together as the dough allows.
- With the seam facing down, cut into 15-18 equal pieces (~2 inches), depending on how tall you want them. Place the rolls in the dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse your bowl for making the glaze in the morning.
- In the morning remove rolls from the refrigerator and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and bake until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze: Melt butter in your mixing bowl and then whisk in the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk until a smooth paste forms adding more sugar as needed. Spread the glaze over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for several days.
Heavily adapted from Williams Sonoma and Food Network