Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Overnight Gingerbread Spice Cinnamon Buns

I'm already mentally getting ready for January, so it's no shocker that Christmas Day's breakfast is already planned too.  Can I share my exciting news with you?  We are going...on a cruise!!  I know! I know!  We are gonna relax, and read, and relax, and eat, and relax, and take naps, and explore tropical islands, and relax, and shop, and relax some more!! 
It's so super exciting it almost makes me want to skip Christmas, so we could get to vacation time faster. Almost.  

I usually make some kinda cinnamon rolls, whenever my folks come to town.  They are my dad's favourite, and I love experiment on him with new and different kinds, flavours, and techniques each time.  My dad is already preparing his sweet tooth for the Christmas visit.  And it seems rather ho-hum to make something so vanilla as regular ol' cinnamon buns on such a special occasion.  So this year I'm gonna take it up a notch with these festive gingerbread spiced cinnamon buns!

I don't know about you, but I like to enjoy watching the kids open their gifts, and stockings, and quality family time on Christmas morning.  The idea of making a big production of breakfast, then cleaning it up, and starting in on the preparation of the big feast, holds little appeal.  The beauty of this recipe in particular, is you can get it all ready a day or so in advance, and then just pop them into the oven Christmas Morning!  Stay in your jammies for as long as possible, and tuck into this super decadent and delicious Christmas morning treat!

Overnight Gingerbread Spice Cinnamon Buns


2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
3/4 cup milk, warmed (I used 2% and nuked it for about 30 seconds)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Gingerbread Spice Filling

6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon molasses
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons flour

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract

Place milk in a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat for 30-45 seconds in the microwave, add yeast and stir, allow the yeast to activate by setting aside for a few minutes.
Cream together the sugar, butter, and egg, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour in the milk/yeast mixture and give it a few pulses.  Replace the paddle with the dough hook attachment and add the flour, and salt, mixing on low speed until the dough forms a ball in the center of the bowl.
Using a large stainless steel bowl,  grease with cooking spray or butter, and place the dough ball in it. Cover the bowl kitchen towel or plastic wrap, find a warm spot, and let the dough sit for 2-4 hours, or until it doubles in size.
My house is super cold in the winter, but my oven has a warming spot, I usually turn that on low, or keep it on the oven while I'm doing other baking!
Make your filling by mixing together butter, brown sugar, flour, and spices until it forms a paste, and set aside.  Grease a 9” pan, pie plate or baking dish with butter or spray oil, and set aside.
Once the dough is risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, about 12” by 9”. Spread the filling as evenly as possible over the rectangle all the way to the edges.
Roll the dough up tightly from the long end, and slice it into 9 equal rounds. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish.
At this point, you can let them rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour until they are swelling up in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Or!  You can cover with plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator overnight until ready to bake for a wintery morning treat or Christmas Day!  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If the rolls have been in the refrigerator, remove them and let them warm up while the oven is preheating.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
While they bake, make your Maple Cream Cheese frosting!
Using a hand held or standup mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup.  Add in the cinnamon, vanilla and maple extracts, and finally, the icing sugar.  Mix until smooth with a thick, but spreadable, consistency. 
Remove the rolls from the oven, and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before frosting, and devouring serving!

Happy Holidays!

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