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Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

There’s something special about a homemade cinnamon roll that just can’t be matched by anything store-bought. And when that recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, it takes on an even deeper meaning. That’s exactly the case with my grandma’s cinnamon roll recipe.

As a child, I remember waking up early on weekend mornings to the smell of cinnamon and sugar wafting through the house. My grandma would already be in the kitchen, rolling out dough and sprinkling on her secret blend of spices. By the time we all stumbled into the kitchen, the rolls would be in the oven, and we’d sit around the table, eagerly anticipating their warm, gooey goodness.

Years later, when I became a mother myself, I knew I had to carry on this tradition. So, I asked my grandma for her recipe, and she gladly shared it with me. And now, my husband and I gather around the kitchen table to make these delicious cinnamon rolls together.

There’s just something about these cinnamon rolls that brings me back to my childhood. And the fact that I’m now sharing this recipe with everyone makes it all the more special. Every time we make these rolls, we’re not just enjoying a delicious treat, we’re honoring a family tradition that’s been passed down through generations.

Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

If there was ever a food that brings me back to my childhood, it would have to be these amazing rolls.  
Prep Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 package 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup 3/8 lb. plus 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • About 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • In a 2-quart pan over medium heat, heat milk to lukewarm. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm (110°) water. Let stand 5 minutes.
  • If using a heavy-duty mixer: With the paddle attachment, stir milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, the salt, and 3 1/2 cups flour into yeast mixture. Beat on high until slightly stretchy, about 2 minutes. Switch to dough hook and, on medium speed, beat in 1 1/2 cups more flour until a stiff dough forms. Continue beating until dough pulls cleanly from bowl, 5 to 7 minutes longer; if dough is still sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • If mixing by hand: With a wooden spoon, stir milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, the salt, and 3 1/2 cups flour into yeast mixture. Stir vigorously until slightly stretchy, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups more flour until a stiff dough forms. Scrape onto a floured board and knead until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, about 8 minutes; add flour as required to prevent sticking. Return dough to bowl.
  • Cover bowl airtight and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Scrape dough onto a floured board and press gently to expel air. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 10- by 16-inch rectangle. Spread 6 tablespoons butter over each rectangle. In a small bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle half the mixture over each rectangle.
  • Starting from a long edge, roll each rectangle into a tight cylinder. Cut each cylinder into six equal pieces. Place, cut side down and slightly apart, in two 7- by 11-inch baking pans. Cover pans and let stand at room temperature until rolls are almost doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Bake in a 350° oven until rolls are browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then drizzle with icing. Serve warm from the pan.
  • Icing: In a bowl, mix 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. Thin with water if icing is too thick to drizzle.
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