This was originally posted at The Women’s Colony—I’ve had a couple of email requests for this, so here it is again. This is what SB and I will be doing Friday night.
I learned many years ago that it is much easier to make a lot of one thing as a holiday treat rather than to make several things. If you only make one thing though, you want it to be on the spectacular side.
borrowed stole this Christmas specialty from a woman I used to babysit for as a teenager. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, is it not?
Every year my youngest daughter and I make and freeze about 16 batches of cinnamon rolls. We have it down to such a system that it is really not that much work—especially in light of how happy it makes people. Some people eat the rolls on Christmas morning and some people save them for Rose Bowl viewing on New Year’s day—but everybody eats them!
If you decide to take this on I do have to caution you—be careful who you put on the list. It is not a list anyone wants to be dropped from—I know that because several recipients have told me so in no uncertain terms! In fact, when my kids were elementary school, the word passed from teacher to teacher that if you got one of my kids you got the cinnamon rolls.
Keys to making this successful are: a drop cloth of some sort, an assembly line system, lots of butter, foil tins from a store like Smart & Final and some Christmas music.
And, no, this is not low-calorie. Sometimes you have to live a little.
The recipes I use are from the book '>'>Bread Machine Magic. The time consuming part is making the 7 or 8 batches of dough necessary to make 14 or 16 tins of rolls. It’s not labor-intensive, but you do have to spend the day at home to keep feeding the bread machine. I do the dough one day—while I’m decorating, cleaning, whatever—and then assemble the rolls in a couple of hours the next day.
Basic Sweet Dough (makes 2 pans of rolls)
3/8 cup milk
3/8 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1+1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Use the dough setting (my machine takes 1+1/2 hours) then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge overnight.
Jim’s Cinnamon Rolls
Sweet Dough (above)
Glaze (per pan)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Filling (per pan)
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Pour the melted butter for the glaze into a 9 inch round pan and sprinkle with brown sugar.
For the filling, brush the melted butter on the dough. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins; sprinkle over dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. With a sharp knife slice the roll in half, then in half again, and one more time to make eight rolls.
Cover and let rise in warm oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
This is the point where I cover and freeze the rolls and then wrap them with directions to take out of the freezer on Christmas Eve, let sit overnight and then bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and finally, invert onto a serving dish and serve immediately.