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Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls

As I was packing for my trip to Texas earlier this week, my mom was making her famous cinnamon rolls, which made my departure all the more sweet.

As long as I can remember, my Mom has made cinnamon rolls for Christmas, which we usually enjoy for breakfasts leading up to Christmas day, and then the morning of the big day, too, as we open our presents.

There’s nothing like my mom’s cinnamon rolls. They are perfect in so many ways – light, buttery, sugary and cinnamony, with a lovely powdered sugar glaze on top – when warmed, it’s just cinnamon-sugar heaven, I tell you. I can’t stop at one. Or two. Or even three. (Hey, it’s Christmas.)

I’ve made these too, but they never taste as good as my mom’s. As far as how many rolls each batch makes, Mom says that the amount varies, depending on all sorts of things, like the weather and how thick you slice them (by the way, this recipe was written for a Kitchenaid mixer, which I hope you have — or if you don’t, that Santa C. remembers this).

Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls

¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup butter
⅓ cup warm water
5 ½ to 6 ½ cups flour
2 packages dry yeast
3 eggs, room temperature

Here’s what you do. Scald milk; stir in sugar, salt and butter. Cool to lukewarm (115).

Pour warm water into warmed bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture, eggs and 5 cups flour. 
With dough hook, on speed 2, mix until dough begins to cling to hook, about 3 minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed. Mix until dough clings to hook and sides of bowl, about five minutes.

Knead on speed 2 until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. 

Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, for about an hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll each piece of dough into a 9 x 7 rectangle. Spread each with butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture. Slice and brush with melted butter, and place in pans, about two inches apart.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

When the rolls are completely cool, mix up a box of powdered sugar, along with as much whole milk as it takes to make a glaze that’ll drizzle easily, and add a teaspoon of vanilla. With a large spoon, drizzle away!

This batch makes approximately 3 dozen rolls, Mom says, but she advises doubling the batch, putting the rolls in aluminum pans, and sticking some in the freezer.

I’m off to have a couple of rolls with my mom right now. Merry Christmas, everyone!