I have listed all of the things you will need in each step. To make things easier for yourself please make sure you read through these and have everything you need before starting. Have fun and enjoy this delicious dessert!
Step 1: Making the Dough!
First you will want to gather all of your ingredients to mix up the dough. You will need three (3) eggs, three-fourths (3/4) C sugar, two (2) packages or two (2) T yeast which ever one you want to buy, two (2) cups warm milk, one (1) C warm water, half of a cup (1/2) crisco, three (3) tsp salt, six (6) to seven (7) C Flour, along with measuring cups, a big bowl to mix the ingredients together, a whisk, and three (3) to four (4) bowls to separate measured ingredients. First you want to measure your flour. I usually start with six (6) C and if I need to add the other cup I will. Then you want to measure out your sugar and place it in a separate bowl on the side.
Step 2: Activating the Yeast
Next you want to add your yeast to your main bowl, along with one (1) T of the sugar you already measured. You don't have to add the T of sugar but it helps to activate the yeast better. Then you want to get your one (1) C of warm water. This step is very tricky because if you get it to hot then it will kill the yeast but if it is to cold it will take the yeast longer to activate. An ideal temperature for this would be between 110- 115 degrees. You can use a thermometer to get the exact temperature or just a guess by testing it on your skin, if it is luke warm then you will usually be okay. You want add your water in with the yeast and whisk it together. Your yeast should foam this is normal so don't be alarmed. After that you want to measure your crisco and milk and place them in a bowl together then put it in the microwave until the crisco is melted. If you get this to hot, which most likely you will because I do every time then you can allow it to cool at room temperature. Another thing I have done was melted the crisco then added the milk. Some of the crisco will set up then just stick it in the microwave for a minute or so until it is melted again. This way has helped me to keep from getting it extremely hot. You want this temperature between 110-115 degrees as well because you are adding this to your yeast mixture.
Step 3: Finishing the Dough
The next thing is going to be to add all of the rest of your ingredients. You want to add the rest of your sugar and salt. Then beat your eggs and add them. Finally you want to add your flour. By using your hands you want to fold/mix the flour in well and add the seventh cup if needed. Your dough should be sticky, you DO NOT want it stiff because your bread will come out dry.
Step 4: Letting It Rise
The dough rises best when it is in a warm environment. I usually heat my oven to the temperature you would bake them at which is 350 degrees and place them on top of the stove with the oven door open slightly and a towel over them dampened with hot water. You will want them to double in size before you punch them down. This will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Step 5: Making the Cream Cheese Filling
For this step you will need two (2) blocks (16 ounces) of cream cheese, one (1) C of sugar, three (3) T of sour cream, one-half (1/2) T vanilla extract, one-half (1/2) T lemon juice (optional) and two (2) eggs , a mixer, a spatula, and a bowl. You want to mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice together with a mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Mix the ingredients together really well for a creamy mixture about four (4) to five (5) minutes.
Step 6: Rolling the Dough Out and Adding the Inside Filling!
This step can be very messy. First you will want to gather all of your supplies for this step. You will need a rolling pin, cutting board, sharp knife, one extra spatula, flour, pans to place the rolls in and either a pie filling or whatever kind of jelly you want to use. I am using a cherry pie filling for these particular ones. You want to get your pans ready and pull the new papers out of them if you just bought them. Next you will want to sprinkle some flour on your flat rolling surface. After punching them down you want to take a piece of the dough and using your hands form a circle with it as this will make it easier to roll. Go ahead and flip it over to get flour on both sides so the rolling pin doesn't stick to it. After you have it rolled out to about one-half to three-fourths of an inch thick you want to add your cream cheese and spread it over the entire area. You don't want a thick layer but you don't want a real thin layer either. Then follow this with the pie filling or jelly of your choice by spreading it over the entire area with a spatula. You will then roll them up to form a long rolled piece of dough. Continue this step for the remaining dough.
Step 7: Cutting Your Rolls
This step you will be using a knife so safety is a must to make sure you do not cut yourself. After rolling your dough out and adding all the insides and then rolling it into a long piece of dough you will want to cut your dough into rolls. This step is extremely messy because the insides to ooze out when you are cutting them. You can cut them how ever big you want to but this single recipe usually makes about 2 1/2 dozen. After you have them all cut and placed in the pan you will want to let them raise again. This step takes about another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I let them raise the same way as the first time. You do not have to wet the towel again just place it over them, on top of the oven.
Step 8: Making the Graham Cracker Streusel Topping
To make this you need graham crackers, salted butter, and granulated sugar, a rolling pin and a gallon zip lock bag. You are going to place three (3) sleeves of graham crackers in the zip lock bag an use to rolling pin to crush them up into fine pieces. Then you are going to want to measure out five (5) C of these. Three (3) sleeves is close to 5 C so I didn't crush anymore up. You will need 1 1/4 C butter (melted) and 2/3 a cup of sugar. Mix these ingredients together with a spoon until all of the graham crackers are moist. Then you want to spread this out over a pan in a thin layer. Bake this at 325 degrees for 18 minutes while your rolls are raising. You want to take it out then, if it is still damp and not all the way dry don't worry because it will finish drying with the air. You want to occasionally go out and break it up using your hands so it doesn't stay clumped together though.
Step 9: Making the Cream Cheese Drizzle/glaze
Now you will be preparing the cream cheese drizzle. For this you will need 2 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 T butter, 3 T milk, 2-3 T powdered sugar depending on how sweet you want it and 1/2 tsp vanilla, a mixer, a bowl, a zip lock bag and a pair of scissors. Beat the cream cheese, butter and milk together. Then gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat in the vanilla. When you get ready to drizzle your rolls you will place this into a zip lock bag and cut the very tip of one corner of to make a fine stream of drizzle on your rolls.
Step 10: Baking Your Rolls!
If you have made it this far your doing good because now you are almost done! Your rolls should have raised a second time to at least double in size and now it is time to bake them. You want to place them in the oven and bake them at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Keep in mind that you must check the center ones when the timer goes off because they can still be doughy. If they appear to be done after the stated time frame take them out, sprinkle with your streusel topping and drizzle with your cream cheese glaze. Make these fun as you can make your own designs on them.