In a cup combine:
2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
Scald (about 2 minutes in the microwave)
1 cup milk
Add to milk, melt and cool
1/2 cup shortening
In a large bowl, combine:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Add the yeast and milk mixtures to the bowl; mix until combined.
Stir together in another bowl:
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend flour into yeast and milk mixture until incorporated. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Filling (can be prepared night before):
1/2 box brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
Set out 2 sticks of butter (1 cup) to soften.
The next day (about 1 1/2 hours before you want to eat cinnamon rolls) knead dough on lightly floured surface 5-10 times until it forms a nice ball. Divide the dough in two, pull one ball into a rough rectangle shape and roll out into a long oblong about 1/8″ thick. Spread the dough with softened butter, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.
Begin rolling on the long side of the dough rectangle, starting in the center and moving towards the ends, until a long roll is formed. Cut the rolled dough into 1″ wide slices, again beginning in the center, and place into buttered pans about 1/2″ apart.
Repeat with second ball of dough.
Preheat oven to 350°
Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes, rolls with be golden and bubbly. Serve warm with frosting.
(from Baking Illustrated © 2004)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer at low speed until the sugar is moistened. Increase the speed to medium-high; beat, stopping twice to scrape down the bowl, until creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.