Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls
I really need you guys to be able to reach through the screen and take a bite of these. Because I simply do not have the words to do these justice.
And it’s not just the chocolate chips that make these so amazing. I mean… they’re chocolate chips, so obviously they’re good. But I actually switched gears and changed up my rusty-trusty cinnamon roll recipe in two ways that make THESE cinnamon rolls absolutely melt-in-your-mouth spectacular! And it has nothing to do with adding chocolate chips…
First off, I totally changed the dough recipe. I ate Thanksgiving with my Aunt Carol this year and was reminded how much I love her flaky, buttery, heavenly soft crescent rolls. And this was the first year that it actually crossed my mind to ask her for the recipe– which is now the base of this cinnamon roll recipe.
If you do much bread making, I think you’ll notice how different the recipe is compared to most dough/bread recipes. There’s a LOT more sugar than you would normally use, THREE eggs (and I hardly ever use eggs in dough making!), a lot of butter, and scalded milk. Overall, it’s a drastically different recipe than I’ve ever used to make any kind of bread dough before.
And just a side note here– I did a little research on whether or not it’s really important to scald the milk or not. As it turns out, in bread-making it is important to scald the milk. It creates a chemical reaction that makes softer, flakier bread. So don’t skip that part! It’s so worth it.
The second change I made was a deviation from my go-to cream cheese frosting. I’ve been dying to attempt an icing that tastes like the kind of you get in a can of store-bought cinnamon rolls (is it just me, or could you drink that stuff with a straw?), and I think I got it just right with this recipe.
And as an added bonus: it’s super easy. If you can work a whisk, you can make this icing.
If you’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls, this is where you want to start!!! This recipe is absolutely perfect and will be the staple cinnamon roll recipe in our house forever more (with and without chocolate chips!!).
For the dough:
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, cold
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4-6 cups flour
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup melted butter, divided
- 1 cup brown sugar, divided
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
For the icing:
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp milk
Dissolve the yeast into 1/4 cup warm (about 125ºF or the same temp as a warm bath) water with 1 tbsp sugar.
Scald the milk over medium-high heat (milk should be about 180ºF). Stir continually so the milk does not burn.
Remove from heat and add cold butter (this will help in bringing the temperature down faster). Stir as the butter melts. Milk needs to cool to 125ºF (think warm bath water).
While the milk is cooling, beat the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeasty water, the cooled milk, and the salt and 4 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Use the bread hook to mix and knead.
Once a sticky wet dough has formed, add more flour (by 1/4 cup at a time) until the dough is pulling away from the edge of the bowl (but still slightly sticky). Lightly grease the bowl and dough. Cover and let rise until double in size (about 30 minutes in a warm place).
Meanwhile, mix together the 1 cup brown sugar with the 2 tsp cinnamon. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and divide into two portions. Keep one portion covered while working with the other. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 8x14 inches. Brush 1/4 cup melted butter over the rectangle. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture over top. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over top. Repeat with the other portion of the dough.
Roll the dough, starting at the long side. Slice into 9-12 pieces. Place them cut side down into a well greased 9x13 baking dish, jelly roll sheet, or into multiple pie pans (which is what I like to do).
Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Use a knife to check that the center-most roll is completely baked and not doughy.
Make the icing: vigorously whisk together the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until a smooth icing forms. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls before serving warm.
Store covered at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Dough freezes well, but let thaw completely and rise before baking.