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cinnamon rolls–a holiday tradition

January 3, 2010

I love asking people what they eat for Christmas.  Unlike Thanksgiving where everyone comes together to eat turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, Christmas means something different for every family.  Last year, my husband and I spent our first Christmas together as a married couple.  He grew up eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning and I liked the idea of adopting that for our own Christmas traditions.

This year, I saw this recipe on Ree Drummond’s site and I knew this was going to be this year’s Christmas morning cinnamon roll.  After test driving it for a charity bake sale (I’m proud to say it was one of the most popular items), I had a better idea of what I was getting into and was ready to take these on over Christmas.   After two batches, I can honestly say that these make Cinnabon look like amateurs.

Klutzy note:  The recipe I intended to use was supposed to be halved, but apparently in addition to being klutzy, I’m also mathematically challenged.  I halved everything except the yeast.  After 30 seconds of shouting expletives, I carried on and realized that the only real effect was that the dough just rose much quicker than I would have expected.  Heck, I may even keep the double yeast measurement for the future, because it’s fun to punch the dough down.

Holiday cinnamon rolls
adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients for dough

  • 2 C whole milk
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast (although I used 2, oopsies)
  • 4 C flour
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 scant tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 C melted butter
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C cinnamon (I didn’t actually measure this, but rather just shook and shook until the dough was evenly covered)

Ingredients for frosting
note: this is a double batch of frosting and you will have leftovers, but better too much frosting than too little, right?  C’mon, it’s the holidays)

  • 1 bag powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • pinch of salt

Night before…

  1. Mix whole milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald to 150 degrees.
  2. Let cool until lukewarm.
  3. Sprinkle in yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Then add 4 C flour, stir mixture together.
  5. Cover and let sit for one hour.
  6. Add 1/2 C flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Stir mixture together.
  8. Cover again and allow to sit overnight. (check in occasionally to see if the dough needs to be punched down)

The next morning…

  1. Seperate the dough into two pieces.
  2. Sprinkle counter surface generously with flour.
  3. Taking ones piece, mold into a rectangle by hand.
  4. Using a floured rolling ping, roll the dough thin, maintaining a long rectangular shape.
  5. Pour melted butter over dough (I used a silicone brush to ensure even coating).
  6. Sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Finish by sprinkling with cinnamon, be generous they are cinnamon rolls after all.
  8. Starting from the end furthest from you, roll the dough toward you. (note: I kept a dough scraped on hand, which is handy for encouraging along any difficult bits).
  9. Once done, pinch the seam to seal it.
  10. Using the dough scraper or knife, cut rolls 3/4 to 1 inch thick and lay in greased foil pans.
  11. Cover the rolls and let sit for 30 minutes.
  12. Bake on one rack at 400 for 15 to 18 minutes. Set your time for 13 minutes just to make sure they aren’t baking too fast.  You don’t want burned rolls!

While the rolls are baking…

  1. Combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Generously drizzle frosting over warm rolls after they come out of the oven.

And enjoy them while you can…I can promise they won’t last long.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jaime permalink
    January 4, 2010 3:43 am

    The cinnamon rolls taste better than they look. Is it humanly possible considering the amazing photos? I still dream about the cinnamon rolls. Seriously, I really do dream about the cinnamon rolls. 🙂

    • January 4, 2010 2:08 pm

      Haha. Well, only 354 days until you get the next batch, Jaim. Start counting down. 🙂

  2. xtina92 permalink
    July 14, 2010 7:23 pm

    great recipe I can’t wait to try it!

    • July 14, 2010 10:35 pm

      Thanks! I’ve convinced myself to put these in the “make only at Christmas otherwise you’ll never fit into your jeans again” category, but I’m sure they’re incredibly tasty all year round.

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