Cinnamon Rolls

These are one of my weaknesses. I don’t know why I don’t make them more often since they really aren’t  hard. Most times I just throw my bread dough ingredients in the bread maker and push a button. Then, an hour and a half later (you know, when the bread machine beeps telling me the dough is done), I roll the dough out and voila! I’m on my way to gaining 100 pounds. 🙂 Just kidding. Moderation in all things, right? That’s why I have to give them away. Makes you look like an AWESOME neighbor. Except when I’m greedy and keep them all to myself. Then I make my family happy because they get some, too. It’s win/win, really.

Ingredients*:
Your favorite bread dough–from scratch or a thawed, frozen loaf of dough works too.
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Butter
Several Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
Chopped Walnuts, Pecans, and/or Raisins (optional)
18″ piece of thread

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a Large Rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Using a rubber spatula, paint the butter over the dough. Leave 1/2 inch unbuttered on one of the long sides of the rectangle.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon all over the butter. Keep it fairly light and remember to leave that unbuttered portion “clean”.
5. Sprinkle Brown Sugar all over the cinnamon. I don’t know if 1/2 Cup will do it. I just grab handfuls out of the bag and have learned how much I like. Experiment until you find how you like it. Just remember all your neighbors will love you for it.
6. If you want, now is the time to add the nuts and raisins. We do it both ways at our house.
7. Beginning on one long side, begin to roll the dough toward the unbuttered 1/2 inch seam. Once you reach the seam, fold it up and pinch along the roll so you close all the cinnamon-sugar in.
8. Take the thread and slide it under one end of the roll–about 2-3 inches. Cross the string over the top of the roll (like the very first step to tying your shoe) and pull the ends until the string cuts through the roll completely. Repeat till you have the whole roll cut into cinnamon rolls. I don’t know why, but this is my very favorite step. Don’t judge.
9. Lay the Cinnamon Rolls in a 9×13″ pan about 1 – 2 ” apart. (I actually use an 11×15 glass pan, but you don’t have to). Cover and let raise for 1/2 hour.
10. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Glaze*:

2 Tbsp Butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 – 1/3 Cup Milk

1. In a small bowl, cut together the butter and the powdered sugar until the sugar takes on a slightly yellow hue.
2. Add the vanilla.
3. Gradually add milk and stir with a fork until you get a runny consistency. If the glaze is “gritty” add more powdered sugar and mix till smooth.
4. Drop spoonfuls of the glaze on each cinnamon roll right after they come out of the oven.

*You should know that I really just eyeball most of this stuff. Once you’ve made the recipe a few times, you’ll know how each step should look according to your taste. And don’t be afraid to play around a little. One friend told me she uses white sugar and orange peel zest instead of brown sugar and cinnamon. I’ve never tried it, but it sounds great!

Source: Adapted from a good family friend

~Kara

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