Four more days until Christmas! Have you done all of your Christmas shopping already? I'm usually not so far behind but I'm still only about halfway through with all of my shopping. The past two months have just been crazy with endless projects so I haven't had much time to think about gifts or hardly get into the Christmas spirit!
This week I have been trying to slow down a little bit though and savor the moment. We went to the Riverwalk last night here in San Antonio to look at all the lights downtown. We also have been watching Hallmark movies in between starting season 2 of The Crown, and although the latter is not about Christmas per se, it is about royalty so it feels magical somehow! And then this weekend we are hosting a Christmas party at our house so I am hoping that by Christmas Eve I will feel like I have experienced enough of the usual holiday festivities. : D
Okay, moving on to these INCREDIBLE cinnamon rolls. All I can say is...these are pretty much perfection. I am definitely making them again for Christmas morning. While they do take a bit of prep work, the majority of it is all done the night before and in the morning, all you have to do is set them out to rise for another hour, and then bake them. Who doesn't want homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning? Just make sure you thoroughly read the recipe before starting, so you know how much time it will take. Most of the time is waiting time for the dough to rise, but it is still good to know so you don't start making this at 11pm on Christmas Eve (probably not a good idea).
If you want to surprise your family or friends on Christmas Day, bring these cinnamon rolls. They are sure to impress!
Merry Christmas y'all!!
Overnight Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
dough recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma
- 1 tbs (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 8 tbl butter, softened and cut into large pieces
For the filling
- 6 tbl butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 - 2 tbl cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped pecan pieces
For the maple cream cheese glaze
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tbl maple syrup
- 1 tbl milk
1/4 cup chopped pecan pieces, for garnish
The night before: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes or until foamy at the surface. Add in 1/2 cup of the flour, and whisk together slowly until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and add the rest of the flour, eggs, sugar, and the salt. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. Add in the softened butter and continue to knead for another 10-12 minutes or until smooth. You may have to hold the mixer head down when beating because it is a lot of dough to handle, depending on the size of your mixer. Once dough is completely smooth and the butter is fully incorporated throughout, cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and set out to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside. Dump out the dough onto a clean and lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter evenly along the surface. Sprinkle the sugars and cinnamon atop butter, and then the pecan pieces. Starting with the short side (12 inch side), roll the dough up into a cylinder. Some of the filling will fall out but that is okay.
Slice the dough in half down the center, then those halves in half, and then repeat until you have 12 even sized rolls. Place the pieces, cut side up, onto the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly* with plastic wrap or foil and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight, about 12 hours. *If the rolls aren't fully covered, air can escape and can dry out the dough*
The next morning: Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and allow to rise at room temperature, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown on top. Start checking for doneness around 30 minutes. Let cool on the counter for 5 minutes before drizzling with the glaze and the rest of the chopped pecans.
To make the glaze, beat the cream cheese (either by hand or with a mixer) until fluffy and smooth. Mix in the maple syrup and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the glaze reaches desired consistency.