Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Now that we have cruised into the Holiday season….have you started planning any of your important meals?  Now that I say that, I realize it sounds a little bit weird.  But I do love food, so I always plan my meals way in advance.  Last week I started working on Christmas morning breakfast…..cinnamon rolls.  Of course, these rolls would work for any number of celebrations, like New Year’s Day, Easter, a birthday breakfast, a Tuesday, etc.  Really anytime.  Everybody loves cinnamon rolls, right?  They are warm, gooey, buttery and perfect.

These cinnamon rolls have a great little shortcut that saves time, energy and sanity.  I say “sanity” because this recipe uses frozen bread dough instead of making your own yeast dough. How genius is that?  Confession time….I’m somewhat frightened of yeast.  I mean, you feed it….Isn’t that weird?  I don’t like to deal with it, and I avoid it whenever possible.  That is why this recipe is prefect for me.  It is fancier and more meaningful then popping open a can, but it is way easier than making a yeast dough.

Like I said, I use frozen bread dough.  I use the kind that comes frozen in loaves.  I don’t want to name names…but the brand I use starts with a “B”...and It's Bridgeford.  Whoops, I named names. 
I let two loaves defrost in the fridge overnight.


In the morning, while you drink your coffee, let the loaves sit on your counter and come to room temperature.  You do not want to try to work with cold bread dough.  It will not do what you want it too and you will end up fighting with it.  The dough will win.  But, if it is warmer, you can roll your dough out into big rectangles on a floured board.  I made my rectangles about 18 inches long and about 6 inches long.

As for the filling, it is super easy too.  I mix together 2 softened sticks of butter with vanilla extract, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Oh, did I mention that these are not low fat?  It’s the holidays, let loose.

FYI-I use pumpkin pie spice as well as cinnamon because pumpkin pie spice also has cloves, allspice and ginger in it.  All things that are fantastic in your holiday cinnamon rolls.  And the vanilla?  Come on….delicious!


I spread half of the mixture onto each rectangle of dough.  Cover that dough up.  Spread the goodness.

Then, roll the dough up, like a jelly roll.  You will want to roll it lengthwise.  Once you have your dough rolled up, seal those edges and start cutting little rolls.  I cut my rolls at about 1 ½ inch intervals.

The rolls get placed in a buttered baking dish.  You don’t want to crowd your rolls because they still need to rise and get poufy, and they will poof right out of the pan when you cook them if they are crowded.  I would use two 13x9 baking dishes.

Now, these little guys need to rise for about 2 hours.  Go open presents, visit with family, take a nap, whatever.  Just let ‘em rise in a warm-ish spot in your kitchen.

After the rolls almost double in size, they are ready to be baked.  These bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Are you ready for the best part?  Yep, the frosting.  I whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter and apple cider.  But this is the fun part….you can use any liquid you want instead of apple cider.  You could use egg nog, coffee, maple syrup, milk for the purist, or even orange juice.  I think apple cider is perfect for the holidays and it is perfect with cinnamon.


The frosting comes together in an instant, and then it gets drizzled over the warm rolls.  Your house will smell so good that there is a strong chance that neighbors will “stop by”.  Be ready.


Oh so good.  And easy!  I never had to feed yeast or anything!  I hope you try this recipe.  These are special enough for a holiday celebration, but easy enough for a normal weekend morning.


Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed in the refrigerator over night

2 sticks butter, softened

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


5 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup butter, melted

2/3 cup apple cider

Let bread loaves sit out at least 20 minutes to come to room temperature.  Roll loaves out, one at a time, on a floured surface.  Roll dough into large rectangles, at least 16-18 inches in length and 5 inches in width.

In a mixing bowl, stir together softened butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.  Mix until completely blended. 

Divide butter mixture evenly among both rectangles of dough.  Spread all over dough.  Roll dough lengthwise, jelly roll style.  Seal edges by pinching dough.  Cut dough into rolls, about 1 ½ inch wide.  Place rolls into 2 13x9 baking dishes, making sure not to crown rolls.

Bake rolls at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.


Whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter and apple cider until smooth.  Drizzle over warm rolls.

Serves 12

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