In a mixer add yeast, warm milk, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and gently stir. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to “proof” and the mixture to get foamy on the top (if this does not happen, try again with fresh active yeast).
Add salt, sugar, egg, butter, and 2 cups of flour. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.
Then add another 1 cup of flour and mix/knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until the dough pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl and should be smooth and elastic but may be slightly sticky when touched.
Remove dough to a large greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured or greased work surface. Roll dough into a 20''x18'' rectangle.
Smooth butter over the top of the dough, Mix cinnamon and brown sugar together and sprinkle evenly over the top, leaving about 1/2inch border.
Roll the dough into a tight “log” and use a sharp serrated knife or some tooth floss to cut the dough into slices about 1.5 inches thick. Place rolls onto a buttered 9x13'' or rimmed bakers half sheet (18x13'').
Cover pan with a lid or tightly with plastic wrap and tinfoil and refrigerate overnight, 8-12 hours.
Remove rolls from the refrigerator and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.*
Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-25 minutes, until golden and cooked through in the center. Spread frosting over warm from the oven rolls.
For the frosting:
Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat with electric mixers until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat well until smooth.
Add additional milk or powdered sugar to make the frosting thicker, or thinner, as desired. Smooth frosting over cinnamon rolls.
Instant Yeast: to substitute instant yeast skip the first step of proofing the yeast and mix the yeast with 2 cups flour, sugar and salt before adding that to the stand mixer with water, milk, egg, and butter.Storing Instructions: store cooled leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Rewarm individually in microwave for about 15 seconds or until soft.Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm in the microwave for a few seconds. To freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls, bake the assembled rolls for only about 12 minutes at 375°F. Allow to cool completely, then cover well and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then return to oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.