First: I can't tell you how great it is to hear from you!! Really. It's AWESOME!! Thanks for your posts!! I love you all!!!
To help kick off your New Year...you know...goals, fitness, healthy living, blah-blah-blah...I'm just going to help END the goals early and post this amazing recipe!!! If loving these are wrong, I don't wanna be right. Or skinny. Okay, maybe I want to lose some weight...and these won't help...but don't deprive yourself, people. Just end the guilt trip now and enjoy these morsels straight from heaven. You can work it off later. They're worth it.
(don't hate me....and.....YOU'RE WELCOME!!)
Doesn't the title just make you feel giddy inside? "Lemon Cheesecake Morning Rolls"...bright, lemony, cheesecakey, morning goodness? Does life get any better when lemons and mornings are involved?! No. No, it doesn't. Especially in winter - for me, anyway. It all just sounds happy, which means that it can't help but kick off a brand new day with a great vibe, right?! Nevermind the "roll" part... you don't need negativity in your life. And because these are so evil & sinful, you don't have to feel self-conscious about being happy in the morning. It's really a win-win.
LEMON CHEESECAKE MORNING ROLLS OR ANYTIME ROLLS. WHATEVER.
MAKES 12 ROLLS
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (or 1/4 oz. pkg)
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. scalded milk
1/4 c. + 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 - 4 c. all purpose flour
16 oz. cream cheese, softened (2 of the 8oz. pkgs)
zest of 1 lemon, reserve a little for topping (or zest some more lemon if you like more flavor)
2 T. + 1 T. lemon juice
1 stick salted butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
about 1/4 c. canned milk
In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water, let it dissolve, set aside. In a large electric mixing bowl, combine milk, 1/4 c. sugar, melted butter, salt, and egg. Add 2 c. flour amd mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Allow electric mixer to knead, or hand-knead on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
(make this just before the dough is done rising)
Cream softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy before adding lemon zest, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 T. lemon juice, and egg. Mix together until well combined.
When dough is doubled in size, punch down and roll out onto a flat surface into a 15 x 9" rectangle. (doesn't have to be perfect.) Brush melted butter all over surface. Dollop the filling all over, spread evenly. Gently roll the dough into a spiral, using a scraper if you need. Slice into 2" rounds and place close together in greased baking dish. Brush 2 T. melted butter on top.
**at this point, you could wrap and freeze for later**
Cover and let dough rise for about 20-30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes before adding the glaze.
Whisk together 1 stick melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, remaining 1 T. lemon juice, and canned milk. Add the milk gradually to prevent making the glaze too runny. Drizzle evenly over warm rolls. Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest.
These taste the best when they've sat & cooled for a little bit, but they're incredibly delicious warm, as well. You just can't go wrong here!!! Enjoy!!