Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Fresh baked cinnamon rolls are the quintessential breakfast bread. Because this recipe's make-ahead directions let you mix and shape the rolls the night before, even late-risers can enjoy them fresh from the oven.

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2- 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 4 teaspoons half-and-half or light cream
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Directions
1. 
Combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and yeast; set aside. In a saucepan heat milk, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, and salt until warm (120 F. to 130 degrees F) and butter is almost melted. Add to flour mixture along with egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
2. 
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (1 to 1-1/2 hours).
3. 
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. Roll dough into 18x10-inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle onto dough. Sprinkle with raisins and nuts. Tightly roll up into a spiral, starting from a long side. Pinch seams to seal.
4. 
Cut dough crosswise into 12 even slices. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in the prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 30 to 40 minutes).
5. 
Brush rolls with half-and-half or light cream. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Invert rolls onto a wire rack or serving platter. Cool slightly. Makes 12 rolls.

Make Ahead Tip

  • Up to 24 hours ahead, make and shape rolls. Cover with oiled waxed paper; then with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. Before baking, let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Uncover and puncture any surface bubbles with a greased wooden toothpick.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 319, Fat, total (g) 12, chol. (mg) 20, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 49, fiber (g) 2, pro. (g) 6, vit. A (RE) 103, vit. C (mg) 1, sodium (mg) 192, calcium (mg) 40, iron (mg) 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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