The Irish Coffee was a good way to kick off the snow day.
But this winter storm calls for something even better.
Grandma Helen’s Cinnamon Rolls.
I may have told you about my grandma Helen before, so if I have, I apologize. But she was such a great woman that she deserves a repeat story.
My dad is one of 6 kids – 2 girls and 4 boys. And there is a wide age range between with the first 3 being born about a year apart from one another and then the fourth following after about 8 years. Which means that when my parents were dating at 17, my dad’s youngest brother was 7.
My grandmother had no dishwasher. And no driver’s license.
But she cooked and baked. A lot.
When she passed away and we held her wake, the funeral home was filled to the max with kids from the neighborhood who used to come over for dinner or snacks or family parties. She basically fed the whole neighborhood at some point. Pies, stews, spitzad, pepperoni and string beans, and a whole list of things. Thursday night spaghetti night would find my aunt’ college friends piled into the kitchen.
But Monday night. Monday night football to be exact, was about cinnamon rolls.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been intimidated by this recipe for some time. Yeast. Letting dough rise. Making a caramel sauce?
But it actually isn’t that bad. And it is totally worth the wait.
Before I get started, a note on the name. My dad and his siblings used to say to each other “I’m tellin’ Helen!” whenever one or the other did something bad. Eating these cinnamon rolls is not in any way a bad thing. But eating them all and not saving any for a family member is definitely a bad thing!
So be sure to share.
Or I’m telling Helen you hate the cinnamon rolls.
For this recipe you will need:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup margarine, room temperature
- 1/2 cup scalded milk
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg, room temperature
- extra margarine for greasing the dough
- 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing the dough
- brown sugar
For the glaze:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons margarine
- 4 tablespoons hot water
Okay. To get started combine sugar, salt, margarine and scalded milk in a large bowl.
Scalded milk is milk heated to just before boiling.
It will look something like this – bubbles at the edges and a slight skin on the top.
Dissolve the yeast in a half cup of warm water
When the yeast mix is lukewarm, add it, half the flour and the egg to the sugar, margarine and milk mixture.
Continue to stir and incorporate the flour until all of it has been added.
Turn the dough ball out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.
Grease the dough ball with margarine, then place back in the bowl, covered with a towel in a warm place.
Let the dough rest and rise for 1 and a half hours.
It will double in size.
Then, punch the dough down, cover and let sit for another 15 minutes. It will rise a bit again.
Now we are ready to get rolling! Preheat the oven to 350.
Flour your work surface. The Itty Bitty kitchen does not have enough counter space to roll out dough, so we use our table.
Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle. We’re going to roll it up like a jelly roll so you want it to be fairly thin.
Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Be generous.
Starting at one ed, carefully roll it up.
Leave the dough to sit for a minute while we make the glaze.
In a sauce pan, heat one cup of brown sugar and four tablespoons of hot water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Add 6 tablespoons of margarine and stir until melted.
Pour this sauce into the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking tray.
Stay with me on this one.
Slice the cinnamon roll log up – I got 16 rolls out of this dough – and place the slice rolls in the tray on top of the sauce.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. The rolls will absorb the glaze and will puff up.
Let them sit for about 5 minutes so the glaze sets up on the rolls.
Marvel at the ooey-gooey cinnamon deliciousness.