Cinnamon Rolls for special friends or occasions

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I always make these cinnamon rolls for Easter and Christmas and then randomly when I get a craving for warm, yeasty, cinnamon-y,  rolls dripping with melted butter.  These are my idea of comfort food. So I knew what I would make for a dear friend and neighbor who just got home from heart surgery (it doesn’t use that much butter & he claims that the doctor said he has no dietary restrictions…so, no, I’m not trying to kill him).  Tom may have some mechanical problems with his ticker but if ever there was a person with a ‘good’ heart, it’s Tom.  We’ve been friends and neighbors for 20 years now and there’s never been a time when I needed help that Tom wasn’t there. There was the early evening during a blizzard when I looked out my window because I heard a snowblower in my driveway.  Yup, it was Tom starting to clear the 3 feet of snow that had already accumulated so that my husband could get into the driveway when he came home from work.  Then one summer I asked for advice on the basics of building a tree house with my daughter.  We were thinking a floor and a few boards nailed on the sides but I didn’t know how to make the sides.  We had something like this in mind:

Image of a kids tree house

Next day, Tom’s construction crew was in my woods and they came up with this…

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And I’ll never forget the day that a huge tree fell on our house, crushing the screened back porch and punching a hole in the main roof of the house.  Tom happened to be driving by when he noticed the commotion and within a couple of hours he was on our roof putting a temporary patch on.  I could go on but I think you get the idea of what kind of guy Tom is and I have to ask you – do you think there’s anything wrong with his heart?

You do need a little time to make these rolls since it requires two risings but the process isn’t difficult but oh, they are worth it.

Sweet Dough – for Cinnamon Rolls

1/4     Cup milk
1/4     Cup sugar
1/2     Teaspoon salt
3        Tablespoons butter
1/4     Cup warm water
1        Pkg active dry yeast
1        Egg, beaten
2 1/4  Cups sifted flour

*  Heat milk in small saucepan until bubbles form on edge; set aside
then add sugar, salt & butter to the milk, stir until butter melts. Let cool to lukewarm
*  In large bowl (you will mix all ingredients in this) pour yeast over 1/4 cup warm water.  Let yeast sit for a few minutes then stir until
dissolved & all lumps are gone.  Add milk mixture.

Add milk mixture to yeast

Add milk mixture to yeast

*  Add egg and 1 1/2 cups flour, stirring with wooden spoon until
smooth and dough leaves side of bowl. At this point I use the mixer
with dough hooks as I add 1/2 cup of flour, then final 1/4 cup flour.

*  Knead dough w/mixer or by hand until it has a satin appearance
and an elastic feel. Remove from mixer & knead it a little more by hand

Finish adding flour using dough hooks on mixer

Finish adding flour using dough hooks on mixer

*  In large greased bowl, slam dough ball into bowl, then pick up &
slam it down on the other side (kids love doing this). Cover with a
cloth & let rise in a slightly warmed oven until about double in size
(usually about 1 – 2 hrs).

Put dough ball into greased bowl, cover & let rise until double in bulk

Put dough ball into greased bowl, cover & let rise until double in bulk

*  Punch dough down (another good job for kids) then knead for about 10 minutes on lightly floured board.  Roll out in a large rectangle (about 12×8″), then follow directions for the cinnamon filling.

After dough has risen, roll into rectangle then spread softened butter

After dough has risen, roll into rectangle then spread softened butter

Cinnamon Swirl Filling

1/4     Cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1        Teaspoon cinnamon
1        Tablespoon granulated sugar
2        Tablespoons softened (not quite melted) butter

1.  Combine sugars and cinnamon with a fork.
2.  Spread softened butter onto sweet dough then sprinkle sugar mixture all over.
3.  Roll dough tightly, pinching edges.  With seam side down, use a serrated knife to slice into about 10 sections.  Place each roll into a greased muffin cups & pull center up slightly.

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using serrated knife, cut into about 10 sections

using serrated knife, cut into about 10 sections

4.  Return muffin pan to a slightly warmed oven until rolls rise.  Remove from oven, preheat to 350°, return rolls for about 14 minutes (yes, 14 is how I like them because they come out not doughy but just slightly cooked & soft).

I know some people like these with a little bit of glaze or icing, but I’m a purist and prefer slicing them in half with a pat of butter on each side fresh out of the oven. If microwaving later, I cut in half with butter and warm for 20 seconds.

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40 thoughts on “Cinnamon Rolls for special friends or occasions

  1. They look amazing! My mother had major heart issue (well she still has) but she still is the centre of our family much in the same way as this chap sounds like he is still in the middle of your neighbourhood

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    • I am amazed at what they can do now for heart problems and the fast recovery. Tom was in for surgery on Monday, home by Tuesday afternoon & still plans to go to breakfast with my husband on Saturday morning the way they’ve done for 20 years.
      Some people may have heart trouble but still have good hearts & we’re lucky to have them around.

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    • Some people are very special and the nicest thing is how they never expect anything in return for all that they give. I send these rolls up to Tom’s family every Christmas so I know they’re on his favorites list.

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  2. Tom and you are both very happy to be friends that are always there……Lucky ducks the two of you! Hoping Tom is feeling better after these delicious treats! Kathy

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  3. What a great guy! How unfortunate that he is the exception rather than the rule.
    These cinnamon rolls were instantly moved to my “Must Bake” list, Diane. Is there anything better than smearing a bit of butter on a cinnamon roll still warm from the oven? Maybe I should move them to the top of the list. 🙂

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    • I think it’s great to run across a guy like Tom who just is such a good person & does the right thing for people. He owns a small hardware store now & his customers love him because he’s of the old school where customer service comes first. At Christmas, his customers actually bring him gifts! I do wish people would just slow down & think about others more – wouldn’t that be great if everyone did it?
      Yes, warm cinnamon rolls, dripping with melted butter…no better way to start your day.

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    • I do too – you remind me so much of a neighbor who used to live up the street from me. She loved to cook, really enjoyed traveling & was just a fun person to be around. Alas, she moved to N. Carolina and I’m sure her neighbors appreciate her there.
      Cinnamon rolls – can’t beat ’em.

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      • We MUST get together for dinner, drinks, maybe some wine…tee hee! Since we are in Atlanta, and you are way up in the North Pole (LOL!) we’ll have to meet in the middle and visit your former neighbor in N.Carolina…road trip! Though Hubby travels to the NE (will be there week after next) so I could go with him and we could shop…fun!

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      • Now wouldn’t that be a great blog – you could eat & blog your way up from the south & I’d eat & blog my way down from the north. When north meets south, we find some great restaurants…and yes, shopping!

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  4. These are so perfectly rolled and beautiful! They look delicious, and I think I would also opt for a simple topping of butter — mmmm, I can almost taste it. And most of all, what a blessing it is to have such a wonderful neighbor! Very uplifting. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I had a neighbor like your Tom many years ago. I could open my front door and yell, Harry, and he’d open his door and say, What do you need? Hi, Diane, Bobbi from Bams Kitchen suggested I stop by and read your blog and I enjoyed what I read today, so I’ll be back.

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    • Isn’t it great to have wonderful friends & neighbors? I’m so glad that you stopped by (Bobbi certainly has a terrific blog and I always look forward to reading her posts). I’ve been having fun exploring your site too and I’m please to meet you.

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    • I like to think we try. We were the 2nd family to move in to this little 9 home cul de sac and as each new family moved in we made a point of hosting a casual get together so everyone would get to know each other. I always wanted to live in a place where I knew my neighbors.

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  6. I just discovered your blog – and I love it!! I’m now a “follower” and I’m looking forward to each and every new recipe. Just a suggestion – I didn’t see an icon for “Pinterest” but I’m going to Pin It just the same!

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    • Cecile, welcome and thank you so much for stopping by. I’m so happy to see that you enjoy my blog and have been wandering around yours – it’s very nice. My daughter just started me on Pinterest & I’m still getting used to that site in general. Is setting it up for the blog difficult? I’d really like to do that & keep trying to enhance the blog as I go.

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      • I forgot how I did it but I’ll “check it out” and get back to you! And I, too, keep trying to make my blog better and better. It sure is a “learn as you go thing”. I felt pretty good recently when I showed my blog to my twin brother and he asked, “Who set it up for you” and I could reply, “I did it myself !”

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      • OK – go to your “dashboard”… go down to “Settings”… select “Sharing”… on that page they’ll have the icons you already have AND the ones you might want. You should be able to “drag” the Pinterest icon down to where you have your other “sharing icons” and that should be it!! Let me know !!

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      • Cecile – thank you! I did it…or at least I think I did it. I’m not sure if it’s theme specific but the Pinterest is only under the share button rather than it’s own. I’m not even sure what I did but I think I’ve got buttons for Facebook & Twitter too. I love learning new stuff & that was a great tip.

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    • I get rave revues on those cinnamon rolls but the trick is to that you just have to get the right feel for the dough. If it feels just dry enough as you add that final 1/2 cup of flour, the I think they’re too dry. I always take it out of the mixer while it still feels sticky & then work it by hand adding flour until it’s just slightly beyond sticking to your hands. Hope you enjoy it.

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