When I was in school, I learned very quickly (the hard way) that redheads always got caught. I was not necessarily guilty, but if it appeared that I was involved in any way in wrongdoing, I'd get picked off like a deer in headlights. Plus, I have a blushing problem, and if I was trying to lie, I would turn three shades of purple. So I never, ever, ever cheated. Ever...because I was pretty much a perfect child (just ask my sister...wink...wink!). That being said, I must confess (without blushing) that sometimes I do cheat in the kitchen. I've been known to use a Trader Joe's pie crust or pizza dough when really pressed for time, but my absolute favorite cheat in the kitchen is frozen bread dough. I love the stuff because it makes the best (well maybe not the best, but pretty darn good) and easiest ever cinnamon rolls. Truth be told, I do on occasion, make the entire rolls from scratch, but I'll bet that you'd be hard pressed to find any member of your family who can tell the difference, or who really cares for that matter.
All you have to do is let the dough thaw at room temperature for a few hours, then roll it out as far as you can, sprinkle it heavily with cinnamon, brown sugar and a quarter cup of melted butter, roll it up, slice it and set it to rise overnight. On cold nights I let it rise out of the fridge, but if you keep your home warm, it is best to let it rise in the refrigerator then sit at room temp for about 30 minutes before you bake it. You will be amazed at how much they rise overnight! I have this great oven that I can pre-program a start time for baking, so sometimes, I just put them in there to rise and wake up to the most amazing aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Make these for Christmas morning (or any morning) and amaze your family with a homemade breakfast surprise!
1 1 pound loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions
1 T cinnamon
1/2 C brown sugar (about)
1/2 stick (1/4 C) butter, melted
1/4 C milk or cream
Roll out bread dough on a floured board into a rectangle until about a quarter of an inch thick. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon and brown sugar leaving a one inch border all around. Pour melted butter down the middle, and spread with a spatula. Roll in jelly roll fashion starting on the wide side. Some good juicy sugar might squish out the sides, so be as careful as possible. Cut in half, then cut each half in half again. Then cut each quarter into thirds (the easiest way to cut equal pieces). Place, evenly spaced, in a greased 9x13 pan and scoop up any sugar/butter mixture that oozed out onto the board and spoon it over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush the tops of the rolls with milk or cream and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Frosting: I mix a couple of tablespoons of room temperature butter (you could also use a mixture of cream cheese and butter) with about 1 C of powdered sugar. It will be lumpy. Drizzle in some milk by the tablespoon while whisking until it the frosting is the consistency you desire and nice and smooth. I also sometimes add about 1/2 t vanilla. Spread over the top of the warm rolls.