I don't know about you, but I tend to go through phases when I don't bake anything for weeks and weeks, and then one day, out of the blue, I'll get a craving for some particular type of dessert and will drop everything to make it. Today was one of those days. And so, for no particular reason, except that they're delicious: chocolate chip cinnamon rolls.
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 oz cream cheese, softened
7 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine the milk & butter and warm until the butter is melted and the milk bubbles. Let cool. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add the water, egg, and milk/butter mixture. Mix until the dough pulls together, then turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, until smooth. Place dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. While the dough rests, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and softened butter. Mix well, then add in the chocolate chips and stir.
Roll the dough out into a 12x9" rectangle. (The dough naturally rolls into an oval, so I rolled mine slightly bigger than 12x9", then carefully pushed in the edges into as neat of a rectangle as I could manage.) Spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving 1/2" empty on one of the longer edges. Start rolling from the opposite edge until it's fully rolled up. Pinch to seal. Carefully slice the log into 12 rolls. (I cut the whole log in half, then halved those pieces, then cut those pieces into thirds.) Place cut side up in a 13x9" baking pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 375°F. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
While the rolls cool a little, make the icing: beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy, then mix in the vanilla extract, milk, and salt. Gradually add in the confectioner's sugar and mix until fluffy. Drizzle (or slather) over the cinnamon rolls, and enjoy.