One of my most beloved dishes that I served at my Easter brunch this past weekend are these old fashioned cinnamon rolls– brunch would just not be complete with out them! Gooey, sweet and bursting with cinnamon flavor, these pastries are everything you could want, all rolled up into that perfect pinwheel shape. Topped with a light icing, they are so delectable… I bet you can’t just have one!
My Grandma Hayes might just be the best baker I know – the woman can seriously make anything, and whatever that thing is, it’s always flawless. I consider myself lucky to have inherited her those ‘genes’. Although I still can’t make a pie as flakey as hers, or roll my sugar cookie dough as thick, my technique steadily improves, but similar to these cinnamon rolls, it’s still not quite as good as Grandmas. I need to go up to the farm soon and have her give me a tutorial, but until then, these will have to do.
What I love about this recipe is that it can be made in advance, so make a bunch one weekend and freeze. Whether you serve these for breakfast or as a dessert, take out as needed and your guests will be so impressed that you had time to make fresh cinnamon rolls. Defrost, heat and serve – It will be our little secret.
*Since this is a secret family recipe I will not be posting the original. I found a very similar one from Paula Deen, which can be found here. Enjoy!
1/4 -ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
- Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.