If you’re finding good dates hard to come by, Nuts.com will deliver them in bulk and I’ve always found them to be delicious when I’ve ordered from there. (If you want to try something other than Medjool, I love their Khadrawi and Honey dates!) And just in case you have a hankering for a full-on traditional cinnamon roll instead, see the Notes below for a standard brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon filling.
For a traditional cinnamon filling, use 4 tbsp (1/4 cup, 2 oz or 1/2 stick) softened butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Spread the butter over the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and the cinnamon evenly over top.
If your milk is having trouble foaming and your yeast is fresh, it might be because the milk needs scalding first. Heat the milk until it just bubbles at the edges but does not boil, then cool until just warm to the touch. Add the yeast and see if it foams this time, then proceed as normal.
For Christmas: If you’d like to bake these first thing in the morning on Christmas Day, here’s what I’d do!
10 AM, Christmas Eve: Make the dough on Christmas Eve morning around 10 AM. Let rise in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours, or until doubled.
8 PM, Christmas Eve: On Christmas Eve … eve, make the filling, roll out the cold dough, shape, cut, and place into the baking pan or skillet. Let rise in the refrigerator again, covered well, this time overnight.
Christmas Day: On Christmas morning, let the rolls sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes while the oven preheats, then bake as directed, make the frosting while they bake, and enjoy warm, with a side of presents. 🙂