Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Preparations? Think Cinnamon Rolls!

The Christmas preparations are in high gear at our house today. There are pies to be made shortly, and then I'll make the cranberry salad and prep the stock to make the stuffing ahead as well.

My goal is to make Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as easy as possible for me by prepping food ahead of time and only having to either heat or re-heat.

One of the ways that I do this? Cinnamon rolls that I make every year for Christmas morning.

They are easy as can be, delicious, and they bake up while we are exploring whatever bounty Santa has brought us.  I prep everything on Christmas Eve and they rise and are ready to bake by morning, so all I have to do is pour a cuppa coffee and enjoy the day.

Easy, right?

I got the original recipe for these Christmas morning cinnamon rolls from the flylady website, and have tweaked it through the years to make it exactly what we like.  You still have time to find the ingredients, so do yourself a favor and think about making your Christmas morning an easy and delicious one.  Here is the recipe:

Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

12 to 24 unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls

(IMPORTANT NOTE:  These have to be the regular frozen cinnamon rolls made with yeast dough, NOT the quick bake ones from the refrigerator section and NOT frozen cinnamon rolls labeled "quick rise" -- those will not work, sad to say.  I use the Rhodes brand because they are the ones that I can find at our local store.   They are usually located near the frozen bread dough in the freezer section at our store.  If you can't find frozen cinnamon rolls at your store, use the original Flylady recipe and use frozen roll dough to make some "monkey bread" instead.)

1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 large box instant french vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 c. pecans, chopped small
1/2 c. butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans

Lightly grease a large (at least 9x13 for 12 rolls, but it depends on how many rolls you are using as to how big the pan needs to be) baking pan with cooking spray. Place frozen rolls into the pan. Mix together brown sugar, pudding mix, cinnamon and chopped pecans. Sprinkle sugar mixture over all of the rolls evenly, tucking down in the sides of the pan, too, where there are spaces. Pour melted butter over the top. Then sprinkle with the remaining coarsely chopped pecans.

Cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed on the side touching the rolls with some cooking spray (they tend to stick otherwise), and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  I preheat the oven, make my coffee, and then wait for the oven to beep and pop in the rolls in between The Peanut opening presents -- easiest Christmas breakfast ever in the morning.

The frozen cinnamon rolls that we buy come with a couple of packets of cream cheese frosting. I let that thaw in the refrigerator overnight, too.  We like to squeeze that on top of the rolls after they bake as we are eating them. Seriously yummy stuff.

Thanks to some excellent antibiotics, The Peanut's bout with strep is easing back.  Hooray!  Just in time for Santa's arrival, so I'm very, very grateful.  We are a much happier bunch at our house now, especially girlies who will be decorating a gingerbread house and watching some Phineas and Ferb shortly.

A very merry Christmas to everyone!

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