Dissolve yeast in warm water (100° to 110°F) in a large mixing bowl. Heat milk and butter until warm (100° to 110°F). Butter does not need to melt completely. Add to yeast mixture. Beat in sugar, salt, eggs and 3 cups flour. Mix well, additing additional flour until mixture forms a soft dough.
Knead on lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. OR knead with electric mixer using dough hook. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Filling: Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Grease two 13 x 9-inch pans (or four 8 x 8-inch pans). For giftgiving, disposable baking pans will work great!
Punch dough down, divide in half. Roll each half into 15 x 10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Spread with half the butter and top with half the cinnamon-sugar filling, pressing gently into dough. Roll up tightly, sealing edges. Cut into 12 equal slices. Put into greased pans. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover rolls and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, bringing internal temperature to 170°F. (If using disposable pans, place pans on a baking sheet to make it easier to get in and out of the oven. It will also provide more insulation so the rols don't over bake.) Rolls will not bake completely, but will brown slightly and hold their shape.
For the perfect gift: Let cinnamon rolls cool completely. Various gift boxes are available for food items. Place cinnamon rolls into gift box. If disposable pans are used, use colored plastic wrap to cover rolls and keep fresh. Add some coordinating ribbon and include some easy directions (following) on how to prepare the rolls the next day.
(Include this information with your gift! Or keep handy for your own use!)
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls made just for you! Store rolls at room temperature for up to 2 days. Just before serving, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls in disposable pan or place on baking sheet for 7 to 10 minutes.
Let cool slightly and drizzle with your favorite frosting, or here's a simple frosting recipe!
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together and drizzle on rolls!