easy cinnamon rolls

I sort of made these cinnamon rolls on accident.  Well, I didn't accidentally make them, I just hadn't intended on making them when I set out making the dough.  I was making another recipe, which called for a sweet dough recipe, but only half of the amount that the recipe made.  Not wanting to waste the remaining dough, I looked through my recipe book for another recipe that only called for half the dough amount, and lo and behold: Cinnamon Rolls!  I had never made cinnamon rolls before, so I was actually excited to try them out.  Of course, now I know how to make cinnamon rolls, which seems like dangerous knowledge.  

The fun thing about these rolls is that they seem super easy to customize.  I imagine tossing some raisins or craisins in before rolling them could make for a tasty variation.  Or if you're into nuts, maybe making a maple pecan version?  Eh?  I love these basic recipes because they make for a good foundation for playing around with different variations.  

(recipe via Betty Crocker)

for the dough (makes enough for two batches.  Use half of this to make the cinnamon rolls):
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 - 115º F)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3.5-4 cups all purpose flour

for the filling:
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the dough:
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.  Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg, and 2 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up.
3. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1.5 hours.  Dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched.  If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can keep it in a greased bowl, covered, and refrigerate it after kneading.  It can keep for up to 4 days.

To make filling + form rolls:
1. Use 1/2 the dough you just made and roll it into a 15 x 9 in rectangle on a lightly floured surface.  Spread with softened butter.  Mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the rectangle.
2. Roll up the dough, tightly rolling from the long side.  Pinch edge of dough into the roll to seal well.  Stretch the roll to make it even.  Cut into 1 1/2 in slices and place them slightly apart in a greased 9 in. square pan.  Let rise until double, about 40 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 375º F.  Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.  Spread the rolls with the glaze while warm.

To make the glaze:
Mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is smooth and of desired consistency.