Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

I posted earlier about one of our Christmas Traditions, Chiles en Nogada. Another is cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Today we went to a brunch and I brought along my Christmas Cinnamon Rolls. I am including the very easy recipe for you here. I varied the icing as I sometimes do, by adding tangerine juice and zest.

Cinnamon Rolls

This is the basic recipe my great grandmother used. These freeze well and can be re-heated. You can also make and proof the dough the night before and then refrigerate the dough. If you do this, it will take longer for the rolls to rise in their second fermentation.

Prep Time: 2-3 hours (depending on rising time)

Cook Time: 20 minutes


·                        1-1/2 packages (about 3-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
·                        1/4 cup warm water
·                        1/2 cup shortening, lard or butter (I usually use home rendered lard)
·                        1/3 cup sugar
·                        1-1/2 teaspoon salt
·                        1 cup milk or cream (I use cream)
·                        2 Tablespoons fresh lemon or orange zest
·                        1 egg
·                        4 to 5 cups sifted flour
·                        Softened butter (about 1/3 a cup, maybe a little more)
·                        brown sugar
·                        cinnamon

·                        Vanilla Frosting
·                        2 cups powdered sugar
·                        1 teaspoon vanilla ( I make my own)
·                        Milk, cream or fruit juice plus zest ( 4-5 tablespoons)


Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 minutes.
Scald milk; pour over the shortening. Add sugar, zest and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour adding one at a time beating after each addition.
Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle. Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1-1/2 hours.
Softly press dough down and shape into a rectangle. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches wide and 8 inches tall. Cover with the soft butter. Layer with a generous layer of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon as desired Roll up jellyroll fashion.
Using scissors or a piece of dental floss cut off slices about 1-1/2 inches thick. Place slices in an 9 X 13 inch buttered pan. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Let rise until rolls fill the pan generously. This could take about an hour.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 20 - 30 minutes. If rolls get too brown, cover with a piece of tine foil until the end of baking. Do not over bake rolls. Make sure the center rolls are cooked all the way through by testing with an instant read thermometer. It should read about 200 degrees. Cool on a rack.
For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, place sugar and vanilla. Then whisk in enough milk, juice or cream to reach a thick, hardly-able to stir consistency. If you are using zest add it.
Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.
Valentine pleads for a taste... 

1 comment:

Kris @ Big Island On The Cheap said...

Raisins! Where are the raisins?? ;-) Seriously, cinnamon rolls are OUR Christmas tradition, too, but your recipe couldn't be more different than mine. Though it looks like yours rose more successfully than mine this year.