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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Cinnamon Roll Miracle

When I lived in Wyoming, I had the opportunity to flop my lip over some of the best tasting cinnamon rolls I've ever had. They were phenomenal. At least that's how I remember them.

Natalie Olmsted, a woman from church, had made them and they were the greatest things I had ever tasted. I remember I had several. This was back when my metabolism was AWESOME and I could eat whatever I wanted with no dire consequences. Now I can think about them and I feel my pants getting tighter.

I raved and raved to Natalie about her cinnamon rolls, she reached up, and ripped the recipe right off the inside of her cupboard door, and handed it to me. It was taped up with some old athletic tape, and had been typed out on a word processor. (Remember those?) I told her there was no way I was going to take her only copy of this recipe but she assured me she had it memorized and didn't need it. I was elated, because I had the recipe for doughy gold in my very hands.

Here we are at least 15 years later, and I have never made these. In fact, I forgot I had the recipe. I was thinking about what I wanted to eat for breakfast Christmas morning, and I remembered.....the best cinnamon rolls ever. I dug for the recipe and was quickly reminded of why I've never made them. I don't understand what dear old Natalie was saying. The recipe is confusing. I think I can make it out, but if I'm going to spend that much time making cinnamon rolls, I want to make sure I'm doing it right and not mostly winging it. I can wing it on anything in a skillet, but baking is a different ballgame entirely.

This is where I'm calling on you for a Christmas miracle. Help me figure out how the heck to make these decadent breakfast rolls!

I'm going to type it out exactly how it is on this piece of paper. It's like a map, and if you misstep, you'll fall into the pits of baking despair. All of my questions/additions are in italics. Natalie's original recipe is below. Help.

Natalie Olmsted

Bring to boil and set aside to cool:

2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oleo
(so water, salt, sugar, and oleo to a boil together? And oleo...should I substitute shortening? or butter? or a little of both?)

Let yeast soften. (and how long does this take?)

2 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. warm water

When yeast is soft, add 3 beaten eggs and liquid mixture. (liquid mixture as in what I boiled and set aside to cool, right?) Add 5 cups of flour and mix well. Then add 2 1/2 cups of flour and mix well. (Why can't I just add 7 1/2 cups of flour right away?) Cover with damp cloth and foil paper and put in refrigerator for 5 hours or more. When ready to make out, (Hey Brent! We get to make out when I make these!) melt 1 cube of butter in a 13x9x3 inch cake pan. Takes two pans for this. Divide dough in half. Roll out to thickness desired. Pour melted butter over and spread. (Just as much melted butter as I deem deliciously necessary?) Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll up and cut. In a pan put 1/2 pound of brown sugar. (And in cup sizes, half a pound is.....?) Raisins and nuts can be added to brown sugar. Place rolls on top. Take 1/8 cup of whipping cream, 1/8 cup of hot water and mix. Pour over each roll. Let raise until double in size. (and how long does this take? Overnight? A couple of hours?) Cook in a 375 oven, for 10 minutes, then 350 until golden brown. Turn out on foil paper. [This can be frozen after getting them in pans with cream and water poured over before they raise. Take out and let thaw and raise to double and then cook as before directed.]

[] This does not work very well. They don't raise very hi.