For me, cinnamon rolls are full of memories. My dad loved cinnamon rolls and I've loved to bake them for as long as I can remember. Dad didn't like his cinnamon rolls "standard" size though, he liked BIG cinnamon rolls - like four of these classic cinnamon rolls big.
He also like them loaded and topped with caramel-y goodness. The kind of butter and brown sugar goodness that doesn't fit into a "nutritionists" recipe box.
But it's Christmas and Christmas is made for memories and the occasional food splurge. It was memories of family, memories of my dad, and anticipation of time spent with loved ones that led to these rolls.
Cinnamon rolls are a bit of a blank canvas so mix up the dough and get creative with the filling. Raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar might be classic but why not apples or cranberries and orange zest?
Like nuts? Sprinkle some walnuts or pecans into the filling or on the bottom of your pan.
Want that caramel-y goodness that my dad liked? Then set your measuring spoons aside and add liberal amounts of melted butter and brown sugar to the bottom of your pan.
When your rolls are done, invert them onto a baking sheet and let the caramel run into all of the rolls nooks and crannies. Remembering and making new memories is the only requirement with these rolls.
Classic Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup non-dairy milk
4 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 - 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 - 1 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup + 1 TB sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted (dairy or non-dairy)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon
optional: raisins, nuts
Heat the milk to 105-110 degrees. Stir in the yeast, and 1 TB sugar. Let the milk mixture stand for 5-10 minutes or until it's bubbly.
Pour the milk mixture into a large bowl and stir in the oil and remaining sugar. Slowly stir in 2 cups of flour (1 1/2 cups all-purpose & 1/2 cup whole wheat). Add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.
Place dough onto a floured board or counter and kneed for 1 minute.
Roll dough into a 10x13" rectangle (about 1/4" thick). Spread half of the melted butter onto rectangle and then sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins or nuts if using.
Roll dough up lengthwise and then cut into 9-10 pieces. The number of pieces will depend on how thick you like your rolls.
Place the remaining butter into the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and sugar (this part is optional). Place rolls into the pan, leaving a bit of space between each roll.
Cover rolls with a light kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and flip onto a large plate or cookie sheet to cool.