Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

Finally, I'm ready to share the cinnamon roll recipe that I promised yesterday. I have fond memories of eating cinnamon rolls made by my Mama Llama when I was a kid. It was such a treat.

This recipe is pretty close to my mom's, except that this recipe would probably be categorized as food porn by any self-respecting nutritionist. I think it has something to do with the giganto globs of saturated fat and sugar crack frosting. I think.

See, take a look at the recipe.

I've been making these cinnamon rolls for more than 20 years and it has evolved here and there. The biggest change has been going from kneading the dough myself, to making the dough in our bread machine with the dough setting. I really like using the bread maker because I don't have to touch the dough (it's an OCD thing) and there's less mess. Also, the bread machine provides a warm covered place for the dough to rise on its first go round. And yes, because I'm lazy too. Our bread machine and our Kitchen Aid mixer are the two small appliances that we use most, so you won't be talking me out of it anytime soon.

To start, add the first nine ingredients, in the order listed, to the bread maker pan. Then put the bread maker on the DOUGH setting and press start. You'll want to stick around while the bread maker mixes the ingredients together because you'll need to add more bread flour. You really have to go by the look of it. You don't want it to be sticky, but you don't want it dry either. You're goal is smooth and elastic. If you add too much flour, you'll end up with a big dense blob that doesn't raise. I've had this problem more since I've been using the bread maker, because when you handle the dough when you're kneading it by hand, you get a better feel for when it's perfect. When you're being lazy like me, you've really got to pay attention. And maybe touch it here and there. And if you accidentally pinch a piece of dough off and it jumps into your mouth, nobody has to know.

The dough should look like this when it's smooth and elastic. I have to tell you though, I took about 20 pictures trying to get this one, and it's far from perfect, but in order to take a close-up shot I have to hold my breath and be super still so I don't shake the camera. If the camera moves, I end up with a blurry picture. So, holding still while holding my breath is not easy to do for a roundish person like myself. I lack balance and spatial awareness. And yes, my morning coffee is also conspiring against me.

As if all that wasn't bad enough, I was resting my camera hand on the bread maker to help steady myself, but every time I snapped a picture, the bread machine would start the kneading again and knock me off. So I have lots of big, blurry, blob pictures.

It was exasperating, but I prevailed in the end.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, you let it raise in the bread maker for about 90 minutes.

Then you take it out and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. You're going for a rectanglish shape here.

Then you brush melted butter on the dough.

And sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar.

By the way, I love these little Flour/Sugar Shakers from Pampered Chef. I have one for flour, one for powdered sugar, and this one for cinnamon sugar. They're so handy. If you don't have a Pampered Chef consultant, and you want to order stuff from a fellow mom blogger, you should contact Lisa at Yeah, I'm Still Here and she'll hook you up with whatever you need.

Oh yeah, and I had to sprinkle pecans on this batch because Smashley likes pecans in her cinnamon rolls. She's so high maintenance. Actually, I like pecans too, but sometimes they're buried in the bottom of my freezer and it just isn't worth the effort. Sometimes.

Some people like raisins too. Heck, throw in whatever you like.

Then start rolling it up from a long edge.

And keep rolling until it resembles a well-fed snake.

Then cut the well-fed snake into approximately one-inch sections.

Put them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Throw a kitchen towel over it.

And keep it warm in your hopefully not as nasty-dirty as my oven. I sometimes have kitchen mishaps that make it impossible to keep a clean oven.

Leave the rolls in the oven, all nice and cozy, for 30 minutes to an hour. We just want the rolls to rise a little. Or is it raise? I'm so confused.

This is what mine looked like when they were ready. I usually set my timer for the 30 minutes, because I tend to ignore my timer and get distracted with other things, so sometimes my rolls get to raise for the whole hour. No biggie. You can invite Ginormica over to share your cinnamon rolls with. She's very polite and pleasant to be around. Just don't let her sit in your good chairs.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. You really want to keep an eye on your rolls here because you want to take them out just as they start to brown. Don't go getting distracted. I find this is a perfect time to mix up my frosting and wash a few of those dishes.

Then when the rolls are hot out of the oven, slap some of that frosting on them. Don't be shy here. Really let 'em have it.

Here, do you want a closer look? Oops, sorry. Did you fall in?


  1. These look crazy good! I want one right now with my morning coffee! I have a yeast phobia - but this makes me want to face my fears!

  2. I haven't made cinnamon rolls in a long time because they are SO evil. I want some. Now.

  3. Those look sinfully delicious!

  4. Geez, Jill. It's way too early for me to be baking, but now I might have to...

  5. wow! the only way i know how to make cinnamon rolls is out of one of those scarey cans that pops and makes me jump every.single.time. i may have to try this, but then i will probably just hate you! they look D-LISH!

  6. Yum! Those look so good. Bet it smells delicious too!

  7. You know, I was holding firm until that last picture! Thankfully my bread machine bit the dust awhile ago and I haven't replaced it. This recipe is yet another reason not to! Oh my, do those look beyond yummy.

    Oh wow, do they look yummy.

  8. OH MY GOSH those look SO GOOD! I'm drooling here! And cream cheese frosting?! Mmmmmm... frosting... I can't stand it!

    That's a great idea using the bread machine to cut down on mess - you are so my kind of girl!

    I love the recipe card too, how did you get those cute little utensils? I really need to get busy making my recipe cards, its hard to get motivated though when yours are so wonderfully adorable and look so yummy! It's all your fault! :p

    Thank you for the mention! You are the best!

  9. What perfect timing - I've been looking for a homemade cinnamon roll recipe. Your recipe looks sooo yummy!

    BTW, I really love your blog... it always makes me laugh!

  10. I LOVE cinnamon rolls!! I make them for special breakfasts:-)

  11. oh my, these look amazing. thanks for the step by step pics. cinnamon rolls have always intimidated me.

  12. YUMMY! I think I gained wait just reading your post...

  13. I smelled cinnamon, so I hopped over from SITS. I just watched a news story about the 8 wosrt foods to eat. Cinnamon rolls were not listed, so I guess they are perfectly good for us. They look delicious!

  14. YUMMMMMMMMMMM I remember you making those:-) I don't remember your Mom making them though I thought it was your own recipe...I will have to try those one day what a great breakfast treat!

  15. YUM, you are making me hungry!
    I love your recipe cards... they are so cute... you are so good.

  16. Wow! I remember those Cinnamon Rolls - fixins' starting the night before, and then New Year's Day - voila - THE best cinnamon rolls. And although I have had this recipe for awhile now, mine really don't measure up!

    how are you??

  17. ps - I don't think my 'identity' shows up, this is Pat (Reed!) - just started delving into tech stuff with a class I'm taking - and subscribing to a blog is one assignment - couldn't think of a better place to start than here!!

  18. As the past 17 commenters noted, these do look YUMMY!! But, I just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your play-by-play on each picture...too funny!!! Have a super sweet, cinnamonny day!! Erin Blair

  19. after a few years of not using my bread machine was reminded of the yummy, deliciousness that can come from them after a girlfriend made a loaf of bread. was looking for a recipe and yours looks TERRIFIC. love the step by step with pictures. am going to make them tomorrow and can't wait for my hubby and daughter to taste them. appreciate the pampered chef comments too because i LOVE their products. looking forward to eating a sweet treat tomorrow morning. thank you!!!