My friend Carol came by this recipe via Laura Jeffries on Food Network. The thing that makes these stand apart for me is the dough itself. It may be the milk or the amount of yeast used - I'm not sure. All I know is these are TO DIE FOR! That's all. The end. The van der Veen's will be having these again Christmas morning - already I can't wait!
2 packages yeast, (1/2-ounce or 2 scant tablespoons)
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup milk (warmed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granular sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 pound powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
2 drops butter flavor extract
Dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 1/2 cup of hot water (test on wrist to make sure water is not too hot) and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let sit.
Melt the 1/2 cup of butter and combine with 3/4 cups of warm milk (can be warmed on stove or in microwave, test on wrist to make sure milk is not too hot). Using an electric mixer with a dough hook or a food processor with dough blade, mix dissolved yeast and butter/milk mixture on low. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar, then 1 egg. Add salt and 2 cups of flour on low, blend until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup at a time, the other 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Put dough onto floured counter top. Knead dough until it doesn't stick to your hands (don't over kneed or add too much flour).
Place in a greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it doubles in size. (Tip, let it rise in oven where the air and temperature is consistent).
Remove from bowl and place on a floured counter. Roll out in a 12 by 24-inch (approximately) rectangle, not too thin. Spread 1/2 cup butter over dough, sprinkle with 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar (evenly), sprinkle with 1/4 cup of granular sugar (evenly), and sprinkle 2 tablespoons (or as much as you desire) of cinnamon (evenly).
Roll dough into a log. Cut into thumb-width slices or 1 1/2-inch widths.
Place in round cake pan or foil pan. Put back in oven to rise to desired height. Remove from oven after they have risen.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Only bake on one rack, center of oven (4 pans fit nicely). Set timer for 15 minutes, then watch for desired brown-ness. Remove from oven - let cool.
FROSTING: Combine 1 pound of powdered sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (this may vary, add or subtract to your desired consistency), and 2 drops of butter flavor extract. Stir with spoon until very smooth and drizzles easily.
Drizzle onto completely cooled cinnamon rolls. Let frosting harden. Serve.
SERVES 30 ROLLS