Family Secret Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, seriously, these are the best.  They’re our family go-to holiday sticky bun cinnamon rolls and they are universal favorites.  We make them to eat, to give away as gifts, to bring to holiday work potlucks (everyone goes bonkers for them), and for most major holidays.  They use some old-fashioned, non-snobby ingredients (read: frozen dough), but that really just adds to the fun.

Here we go!

You’ll need four things.  The fifth is optional.

1. Bridgeford Frozen Bread Dough(I have literally no idea what might substitute for this… some other white frozen dough, I guess)

2. Butter

3. Brown Sugar

4. Cinnamon

5. Cream (optional)

First you must thaw your bread dough.  It doesn’t take all that long, but if you can remember to get it out 45-60 minutes before you want to use it, that’s best.  Then you stretch and knead the dough into a 12×5″ rectangle that’s about 1/4″ thick, like so:

No need for a rolling pin and/or a ruler.  Just approximate.

Now spread a thin layer of butter over the top.  Please don’t ask me for measurements here… just a thin layer of softened butter.  On top of that sprinkle a good amount of brown sugar.  I’m guessing about half a cup, but mostly just sprinkle on, smooth out, and look.  Is it about 1/4″ thick?  That’s right, then.

Smooth it out with your hand.  Getting messy is good.  It’s very natural.

Doesn’t that just make you want to take off your shoes and lie down with a good book?  No?  Just me?

Sprinkle cinnamon over the brown sugar.  Don’t cake it on thick, just sprinkle it evenly over the brown sugar.

Now you get to roll!  Starting from the long side further from you, start working your way back and forth, tightly rolling the dough toward you.

My sous chef is preparing her favorite: l’hoof d’Sophie:

Once you reach the front side of the rolls, pull it up and over the roll, pinching a bit to seal it off.  At this point I always stretch it a bit, although I believe my mom omits that step.

Before you start slicing you have to prepare your pan.  Melt about 1/2 stick of butter (did I mention this is not low cal?) and pour it into a round cake pan (or pie tin, or 8×8″ square pan) and add about 1/2 cup brown sugar and a 1/2 tablespoon of cream and mix it all up with a fork (the cream is optional but helps keep the mixture from crystallizing).  It will look something like this:

Now start slicing the log into 3/4″ rolls and place them face up in the pan.

Anything extra on the counter?

Add it on, baby.

Waste not, want not.

Now is the hard part (for me, anyway): waiting for them to rise.  Sometime in the next 45 minutes or so go ahead and preheat your oven to 325.

Here they are ready to bake, about an hour later (if you have a warm, non-drafty spot in your kitchen it will work best).  My rule of thumb is that they have to have risen to the top of the pan.

Note: it’s a good idea to put a large baking sheet on the shelf underneath the rolls, as the sugar and butter often overflow and (and this is hearsay, I wouldn’t know anything about it personally) occasionally light on fire.  So I’ve heard.

And here they are about 25 minutes later, lovely and golden brown.   One thing I didn’t get a picture of (full hands): flipping them onto the plate.  As soon as they come out of the oven invert them onto a plate (they’re HOT.  Please be careful.) and let them cool that way.  Like so:

Now, important note.  If you, say hypothetically, decide to re-organize your baby’s dresser drawers (post on this coming soon) while you’re baking your cinnamon rolls, do remember to set a loud timer and/or do not get engrossed in an old episode of Grey’s Anatomy while folding because you may 1) frighten your husband when he comes home and finds you bawling uncontrollably over a sad season 2 incident and 2) burn the heck out of your last two batches of rolls.  Like, I don’t even want to say how long these baked.  It was probably less than an hour, but not much less.

Bright side: they still look pretty!  And shockingly, did not taste terrible.  Not good, but not charcoal.

There you have it!  The bestest cinnamon rolls in the whole wide world.  Go forth and conquer your jeans’ top button (it, uh, might not like you so much after you eat a whole pan of these).

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2 Comments to “Family Secret Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Did you do this all yourself?? Amazing work on the photos!!

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