Monday, September 28, 2009

Mall-Style Cinnamon Buns

This past weekend I learned a new-to-me Yankee idiom. Apparently, we are having what is described as a "dividing rain." It's a term used to describe the rain that comes between the seasons of summer and fall and heralds the commencement of autumn's rainy season (as if our summer hasn't been rainy enough!). It's generally a week of steady downpours that brings down the autumn leaves before we've had an opportunity to enjoy the full flush and peak of their vibrant colors and beauty.

So what do I do to cheer myself up? I bake! I went to our local library and borrowed several cookbooks, one of them entitled 150 Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens. I think I want to try virtually every recipe in the book and it's one I'm going to look to buy when I'm next at Border's.

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? I leave that for you to answer. This recipe will make either 12 or 18 buns. Because I was craving something sweet for breakfast and because I was feeling extravagant and because I don't have two 9 inch by 13 inch pans, I went with twelve buns. As you can see, four buns almost spill over a cake plate, and one bun generously fills a dessert plate. These buns are huge!

You will need a good sized space to roll out this dough (it's rolled into an 15 inch x 20 inch rectangle). The dough is absolutely gorgeous to work with. For those who are familiar with working with yeast breads, you'll know what I mean when I say the dough was soft and silken after kneading.

A frosted cinnamon bun used to be my all time favorite and these buns really are very good. Would I make these again? It's quite likely. This recipe calls for a ton of butter and cinnamon sugar, which I found I did not completely use. I ended up saving nearly a cup of the cinnamon-sugar mixture in a jar to use on cinnamon toast. If you like deadly sweet and gooey then by all means go for it, grins, and use the entire amount. I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but yes, for me, there can be too much of a good thing.

For flavor, I much prefer my Lion House Orange Rolls; they're more work, but are still the best breakfast roll I've ever made.

The directions look long and tiresome, but it's not really not so bad once you get into it. Read through them first, get your ingredients ready, and it all goes pretty quickly, with a little down time in between while the dough is rising to do other morning activities. You'll win smiles and Wows! with these.

Cinnamon Buns From Heaven
(The 150 Best American Recipes by Frank McCullough & Molly Stevens
They credit "The Oregonian" as their source)

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 envelopes active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon plus 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
10 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
7-8 cups all purpose flour, more or less as needed, sifted

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)

10 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/3 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup hot water (using only enough to make a desirable spreading consistency)

Making the Dough
In a small bowl or large cup, combine the warm water, yeast, and one teaspoon of the sugar; stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, beaten eggs, and salt. Stir well; add in the yeast mixture.

Add 3 1/2 cups of flour and beat until smooth (it will be like a thick pancake batter). Stir in enough remaining flour until the dough is slightly stiff ~ it will be sticky. More flour will be added for kneading so don't despair.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding small amounts of flour by sifting flour over the dough as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Once a small, elastic ball has been attained, place the dough in a well-buttered bowl, flipping the dough over in the bowl to lightly coat the dough with the butter (helps with rising). Cover and let rise in a warm place (or place in the oven with a pot of warm water beneath the dough and close the oven door) for 60-90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and allow the dough to rest for five minutes (this will help to relax the dough to make it easier to roll out). Lightly flour a clean surface and your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle.

Making the Filling
Spread half the melted butter on the dough. In a small bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough. Sprinkle the walnuts and raisins if you're going to use them. Roll the dough up, as for a jelly roll, and pinch the edges together to seal.

To cut into twelve near even sizes (grins) I take out my ruler and cut the roll in half. I line up the two halves in front of me, one behind the other, measure, cut the two halves in half (there should now be four rolls of equal size). After that I just eyeball it and cut each quarter into thirds, making 12 rolls. I cup the rolls in my hands to bring them back to a nice circular shape as cutting the rolls can slightly flatten them.

If you're making 12 buns, use the remaining butter to generously grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and an 8-inch pan. If you're making 18 buns, use two 9 x 13 inch pans. Sprinkle the pans with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place the cinnamon buns, cut side down, close together in the pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are a delicious golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before glazing.

Making the Glaze
In a medium bowl, combine the first three ingredients, and then add the hot water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring in between, until you have a spreadable glaze. Spread the glaze over the buns and serve.

An Afterthought: I know that this is already a long post, but I have to share this with you. I'm not going to share the recipe but I wanted to share the picture. Some folks are a little shy about making yeast products. Want to know what I have problems with? No Bake Cookies!!

The picture on the post that I saw showed these as beautiful glossy morsels of delight. **Sigh** I think the question that was raised by Ole Sweetie-Pi was "Have we been visited by a giant rabbit?"


  1. LOL!!! But...the cinnamon buns...ahhhhgggghhhhh....droool! I love homemade cinnamon rolls in any form and they look amazing :D

  2. Your cinnamon rolls are beautiful. I would love to be eating one right now. As for your no-bake-cookies...from the photo, I would suggest that you are cooking them to fast and too long.I've done that before and thats exactly what they look like.

  3. Can I come to your house? Those look awesome!

  4. YUM!!!! Since I'm still in diet-mode, I won't be making these, but oohhhhh how I want too. And tell your "Sweeti-pi".. hmmmph.. and don't let him have any! BWAHAHAHAH

  5. Your cinnamon rolls look gorgeous.. I would love one with coffee right now.

  6. Oh my! Those cinnamon buns looks really good. They look just like the Mall buns....A good cup of coffee and at least two of those cinnamon rolls and I would be quite a happy camper.
    I especially like unrolling them when I eat them-YUM!

  7. OK, first I laughed right out loud at Sweetie-Pi's comment. What a hoot! Not a big fan of no-bake cookies, so who cares...did they taste good?
    But ooooooo, Katy, those cinnamom rolls! How many calories in one bite? LOL YUM-MO

  8. Those are wicked good looking...

    but i think i gained 5 pounds just reading this

  9. I'm going to have to go check out that book. These cinnamon rolls look out of this world!

  10. Haha - the rabbit. But if they tasted good who cares? I think I am in heaven - the buns look excellent!!

  11. I love cinnamon rolls! Even when I was the cinnamon roll girl at the bakery I used to work at, making hundreds a day, you'd think I'd never want to see them again...

    So, to answer your question no, you could never have too much of a good thing.

    I have a sticky bun recipe post featured-you should check it out!

  12. Oh dear Katie, those cinnamon buns are a 'wow'! Unbaked cookies??..mine are never quite right either.
    I chuckled at your ole sweetie-pi's comment.

  13. These yummy rolls could cheer anyone up!

    I hate when the rain comes and makes all the leaves fall before we can appreciate them! That does happen here quite often. :0(

  14. I think that I have this cookbook! And, shame on you for posting such a delicious recipe. Now I'm going to have to make this! I bet your no-bake cookies tasted great even though you had problems with them. I've got a recipe for some similar ones. Check out the no-bake label on my site. :)

  15. Awsome rolls, Katy- you make the best looking yeast breads! I'm craving them now for a bed time snack. you just might force me to bake some! LOL!

  16. I live in the desert, so your talk of rain is very seducig...and add cinnamon rolls? Well, you had me at Cinn.....

  17. Would if be possible for you to board a plane to the netherlands to teach me the ways of cinnamon roll baking? these are so beautiful looking! Im craving a cinnamon roll so

    Your No bakes..are you boiling the butter,sugar,milk and cocoa just to that point and then adding in the oats and watever else you want in there? I take it off the burner and add it all in,mix super fast and start dropping them onto wax paper.

  18. Velva, I unroll buns to eat them, too! Is there any other way?

    Linda, I'm not a big fan of no bake cookies either, but I needed to bring something last minute and thought of these. They taste raw to me, but I know there are people who are mad for them, grins.

    Coleen, Sonya, thanks for your tips. This is probably about the third time I've tried making no bake cookies and each time they come out looking like these did. This last time I came up with the same thought, I'm cooking the sugar syrup too high and too fast and probably too long. I refuse to be outdone by a no bake cookie LOL I'll try making them again at some point.

    Sonya, I would love to come to the Netherlands and visit with you, especially on one of your Sunday walks!

    Heidi, c'mon over. We have tons of buns! Coffee's always on.

  19. Oh..I really love the smell of cinnamon :D

  20. I've never heard that term either. But that's what's been happening all week here! Those cinnamon buns look to die for!

  21. I always love your descriptions before you post your recipes..They sound like PURE heaven..I will make these for Christmas Morning..I am not into the no bake cookies either :)

  22. Never mind him. I'll bet the cookies were delicious and you scored a home run with the cinnamon buns. They look amazingly good. Have a great day.

  23. Hi Katy,
    The cinnamon rolls look wonderful and so delicious! My son and husband have both requested these time and time again but I just and still fearful of baking with yeast. I did make a coffee cake a while back with yeast that turned out great and I should have kept baking with yeast for a while from that point on, but didn't!! I will have to try again...those buns just look to good to pass up trying to make!

  24. My family would be so happy waking up to these! They look fabulous!

  25. Homemade cinnamon rolls have always been my favourite for the winter afternoon.
    Thanks for sharing the term "dividing rain" .... I have never heard about it.
    "No bake", "No knead"....I like them, perfect for those "No Time", not only easy, but also very good.
    Angie's Recipes

  26. Gosh those cinnamon buns look good Katy! Thanks for sharing...argh...the recipe does look scarey for someone like me but a whole saturday to do it might work! As I sit here and type this on my lunch hour we do NOT have dividing rain but we do have a slushy rain....the division being only between snow and hail I do think! Happy Tuesday my southern friend.

  27. such gorgeous cinnamon rolls, mmmmm. this is perfect for sunday breakfast!

  28. What a fun post! (I skip no-bake cookies) But your buns - hmmmm .... I can smell them now and I can't smell anything these days with a cold. I love virtual aroma! Delicious!

  29. I love cinamon rolls, any hints on how to make them low fat? (ha, ha just kidding bring on the rolls)

  30. Love homemade cinnamon rolls! These look awesome! Good work, lady.

    I've never heard of dividing rain. Thanks for the regional vocab lesson. : )

  31. Can you believe I've never tried cinnamon rolls? Your buns look delicious!

  32. Your cinnamon rolls look gorgeous! I would love to be able to set aside time to make these.

  33. Katy, Ever since, I got my shortie cinnamon roll, I have forgotten to bake the "real thing". These look wonderful and if you say the dough is good to work with, I want to try these.

    Next week, I have some time cut out for baking, and this would work out beautifully. Thanks.

    You are one special lady.

  34. I can smell the cinnamon right now lol
    oh my! your buns looks really really nice. Thanks.

  35. I've been dreaming about cinnamon rolls. I love sweet and sticky! ;) Too funny about the giant rabbit!

  36. The cinnamon buns look gorgeous. The cookies - not so much LOL. Great post.

  37. To answer Sweetie Pies question, tell him no I was no where near your house....HA HA!!!! I love Cinnamon Buns Katy, I've never had Mall Cinnamon Buns though. I have to try these they look fantastic!

  38. lol @ Bunny above! ;-)

    Katy, I'm wishing I had one of your cinnamon buns with my coffee this morning. I love them but rarely ever make them. They look yum!

  39. I want cinnamon rolls but I don't want to fuss with yeast! I messing up and I have a feeling yeast is going to trip me all up! :( Sad part is that my kiddos would love me to death if I made them homemade cinamon rolls. You don't live in Florida, right?! LOL, was just wondering if you did if we could make some sort of trade.

    Happy Friday, Katy!

  40. Katy--I would give ANYTHING for one of those cinnamon buns right now...with a big, hot mug of coffee!

    I had to laugh at your comment regarding the no-bake cookies! I haven't made those in forever!!! You actually gave me a perfect idea for an "activity" with my son this afternoon :)

  41. OMG those cinnamon rolls look to die for! I'd give anything for one of them right now!

  42. oh these cinnamon buns look delicious!
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  43. How do you have trouble making No-Bake Cookies?! I think they look delicious! You know what else looks delicious... your mall cinnamon rolls! Wow Katy!

  44. Hmmm cinnamon buns, a very nice treat.I found a recipe years ago that has instant vanilla pudding in the mix.

  45. Yummm, Lori. I know what you mean. Check out my recipe for my Tea Ring. It has vanilla pudding in the recipe. These are so delicious and light. It makes a HUGE amount. Wish I had neighbors I could share my bounty with.


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