Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas (and only at Thanksgiving and Christmas), either my sister or mom makes my Great Great Aunt Hester’s much beloved recipe for dinner rolls. They are so small, light, buttery, and delicious! They are also a lot of work. They have to rise multiple times, plus they have to be rolled out.. it’s not an everyday kind of project. But, I often think about my Great Great Aunt Hester (my 97 year old grandmother’s aunt)–kneading that dough with her hands. She had no help from fancy modern day appliances like Kitchen Aid mixers with a dough hook or food processors. As a matter of fact, my grandmother didn’t use those fancy tools either–and my mom probably didn’t for many years…
The rolls are fantastic, but a few years ago, we (as in either my mom, sister, or myself) decided that we need to add a variation to some of them. Not all of them of course, but just some of them since the recipe makes so many… So we decided to make cinnamon rolls. After much trial and error, we realized that you needed to use a heck of a lot of cinnamon and sugar, and high heat is needed so that some of the cinnamon sugar mixture caramelizes. We top it with the icing from my other grandmother’s equally (if not more) famous “million dollar cake” cream cheese icing.
For some reason this year, the cinnamon rolls came out better than ever (and I wouldn’t know precisely why because we don’t have a recipe for them). We had them for Thanksgiving breakfast, along with all the fixins–eggs, grits, sausage, and coffee with Bailey’s creamer 🙂 Even my super thin, weight conscious, health conscious family members found themselves going back for second helpings of cinnamon rolls!
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