Every year since I can remember my grandma would make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas. These aren’t your average cinnamon rolls, they are combination of sticky buns and cinnamon goodness. In short, they are amazing! So amazing that each year she would hide a few pans so they wouldn’t get eaten in one fail swoop. No kidding, my family can demolish some rolls! I could almost eat a whole pan in one sitting they are so delicous.
Well, as my gramdmother got older she enlisted help each year to make them, they are a day long process afterall (that is if you are making enough for the entire family). My sister and I helped out for a few years and then last year my grandmother decided she couldn’t do it anymore. My grandparents live in Florida for part of the year and with traveling and everything she wasn’t going to have the time or energy. I got the bright idea that I would take over the tradition. And last year that is what I did. With the help of my dear friend Luella, I made cinnamon rolls (five times actually) and gave them out to each family member and neighbor. They were a hit! This year, I was working solo so I only made three batches. (We opted for cranberry bars for the neighbors!) It officially feels like Christmas now that the smell of cinnamon rolls fills my house! There is nothing like the taste of one fresh from the oven! Now I just have to figure out how we are going to squeeze our luggage and gear for a week, a baby, a dog, two adults and nine pans of cinnamon rolls in the Saturn. Any suggestions?
Here is a play by play of how they are made. Enjoy!
Step One: Prepare the dough.
To do this mix 2 cups of lukewarm water wit 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tsp salt. Add two cakes compressed yeast (I used packaged) and stir until yeast is dissolved. This is one of the most crucial steps in the process. Next add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of soft margarine and continue mix. Gradually add in flour until dough can be formed into a large ball. You will end up adding around 7-7 1/2 cups of flour. Place the ball of dough in a well greased bowl and grease top of dough ball. Cover and set aside in a warm place until dough has risen double in size.
Step Two: Punch down dough (when it has doubled in size), this is my favorite step.
After you punch the dough, divide into small pieces. Work dough on a well floured board (I used my kitchen table). Roll out dough until about 1/2 inch in thickness
Step Three: Prepare the pans (in my family this is the most important part of the roll)
Melt margarine to lightly cover bottom of pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans (be generous, this is the yummiest part). My grandma would sometimes add raisins, but seeing as how I don’t like this part I omitted them. My family likes sticky buns, so to make them sticky drizzle white karo syrup over the pans after they have been prepared but before placing in the rolls. Again, don’t be stingy, this makes them yummy! Your pans are now ready for the rolls, please proceed to step four.
Step Four: Prepare the rolls
Once dough is rolled out, cover with melted margarine and sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Side note – Last Christmas my grandmother passed down to me her antique cinnamon/sugar shaker. This made the cinnamon/sugar process a breeze! Ok, back to the rolls. Once dough is covered in butter, cinnamon and sugar, roll up dough pinwheel style. Slice about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick and place in prepared pans. Make sure to leave space between all rolls to allow them to rise. Cover, place in a warm place and all to rise until double in thickness.
Step Five: Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Step Six: Grab a fork and dive in! They are best straight from the oven, but also very good warmed up. To reheat, add some butter to the tops of the rolls and place in microwave until heated through. Grab a large glass of milk and enjoy!
I ended up making a triple batch this year and between making the rolls and juggling a baby it took around seven hours. Now, that might seem like a long time but it is so worth it in the end. If you enlist the help of a friend you can cut your time significantly! Happy baking!