As I spent the day in the kitchen baking this past Saturday, I decided that I really wanted to make a batch of cinnamon rolls to add to the freezer. The thought of being able to warm up a cinnamon roll to have with a cup of coffee after an early morning nursing session sounded heavenly to me. But when I started gathering up the ingredients, I realized I was out of eggs. I needed eggs to make my favorite cinnamon rolls! (I learned my lesson in proper preparation and avoiding spur of the moments decisions…at least for one day.)
So I started dreaming up other variations to see what I could come up with. I first thought of my friend Toni’s recipe for No Rise Cinnamon Rolls. They are delicious and we love them for a quick breakfast, but my post-nursing daydream definitely revolved around a cinnamon roll with a more pastry feel to it. Then I thought of our family’s beloved Chocolate Chip Breakfast Biscuits. Great stuff, but again, I faced the same issue as with the No Rise Cinnamon Rolls.
Then it hit me – cream cheese was the key. Doesn’t cream cheese give almost any baked good a pastry-like taste or texture? So, I quickly devised a scheme that combined those two great recipes and held them together with a little cream cheese.
And the verdict? Well, let me just tell you what happened when my husband tried one. First, he insisted that he had to try two, just to make sure. Then, he said that cream cheese gave the dough the texture of a regular cinnamon roll, so it was like cheating, but in a good way. I am ALL about cheating in a good way!
Cream Cheese & Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 c. flour
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 2 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1 t. vanilla
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 1/2 – 1 c. chocolate chips
1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the milk and vanilla until combined. Knead by hand for about 30 seconds, just to work all the dough together. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour. Divide the dough in half.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined.
3. On a floured surface, roll out one half of the dough into a rectangle until it is about 1/4″ thick. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture onto the dough. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips on top of the cream cheese.
5. Roll the dough up tightly jelly-roll style. Cut log into about 10 evenly sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top.
6. Repeat process with second half of the dough and fillings.
We all thought these turned out sweet enough and tasty enough to not need any frosting or glaze, but feel free to add some if you’d like.