LEMON SUGAR ROLLS with Cream Cheese Icing

Soft, buttery dough, swirled and twirled with ambrosial lemon sugar, baked to glorious, golden perfection, then topped with smears and plops of decadent cream cheese icing, while still warm.  Eat me!  Eat me now!



10.  They look, and taste, like the weekend.  We all love weekends.

 9.  Friends and family will appreciate you just a teensy, weensy bit more.

 8.  These are not some silly, foofy, buns, these are cheeky, decadent, look-at-me, buns!

 7.  Birds may suddenly appear, whenever you are near.

 6.  You can make them the 'night before', then pop them in the oven, in the morning.

 5.  Your kitchen will smell like sunshine when they are baking.

 4.  Sugar and lemons are secretly best friends.

 3.  They're good for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and at bedtime.

 2.  They're good with coffee, or tea.  Or wine.  Or milk.  Or scotch.

 1.  They're so delicious, like the best cinnamon rolls, only happier.

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Delightfully inspired from one of my fave food blogs, Half Baked Harvest
for The Last Wonton. Thanks, as always, Tieghan!

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LEMON SUGAR ROLLS with Cream Cheese Icing ~ Makes 12 rolls

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm whole milk
2 tablespoons runny honey
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
6 generous tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons soft butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

To make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast, and honey. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly on top. Add 3 ½ cups flour, the cinnamon, salt, eggs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add the remaining ½ cup of flour. (So far, I have only needed 3 1/2 cups flour, to get a nice consistency to the dough)

Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

To make the filling. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon zest. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment, or grease well with butter.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out the dough, punch it down, and roll it into a rectangle about 10 x 16 inches. Spread 6 tablespoons softened butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the butter and lightly push into the butter.

Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Pinch, pinch, again, to seal. Using a sharp knife (serrated paring knife works great!), cut the log into 12 rolls. Place the rolls in the prepared baking dish. Cover and let rise 30 minutes, or transfer to the fridge to rise overnight (**see note).

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, and vanilla until light and creamy.

Spread the icing over the warm rolls. Ta da!  Serve warm and enjoy!

Overnight Rising: Cover the rolls and transfer to the fridge to rise overnight. In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and let come to room temp while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.