Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls

Become the office hero while you sleep

Welcome to the Overnight Chef, a series where—for once—time is on our side when it comes to making use of the kitchen.

I've been in the workforce for nearly a decade in a variety of atmospheres. Sometimes, I'd dread walking into a soulless void of cubicles and computer screens, and other times, I would almost kind of miss going into the office if I was sick and had to stay home. For those of you lucky enough to find yourself closer to the latter end of the work-affection spectrum, consider yourselves #blessed and milk it for what it's worth.

Since I fall into that category of being not annoyed by the mere breathing of my office mates, I like to share with them the spoils of my kitchen toil. They've been the guinea pigs of failed apple bar-turned-cake experiments, have benefited from my stress-baking brown-butter banana bread and, when necessary, have been the recipients of food bribery. (Don't judge me.)

Office bribery can come in many forms: Perhaps it's a round of drinks at the local watering hole after work; maybe it's putting on another pot of coffee after emptying it. Or it could be going the extra mile to bring in pastries for the morning meeting "just because." Enter these cinnamon rolls (see the recipe).

My main problem in life (or one of them at least) is that I am not a morning person. Sleep is bae. So the thought of waking up early to do something nice for my coworkers is out of the question. Thankfully, all of the actual work for making these cinnamon rolls is done before hitting the hay.

Make the dough, fill and slice the rolls, place in a baking dish, and refrigerate overnight. Take them out first thing in the morning so that they can rise for an hour while you go to the gym to preemptively burn off the day's calories, pop them in the oven during a quick shower, and then prepare yourself for endless praise from Pam in accounting.

Post a Slack message announcing the fresh cinnamon rolls, then make all of those annoying requests you've been too afraid to ask for. Just lead them off with "I hope you enjoyed the cinnamon rolls," and you'll be a hard person to say no to. (You can thank me later.)