Because I woke up at 5 a.m. and rolled around in bed for 2 hours before I realized I wasn’t going back to sleep, I was struck at last by the weirdest memory – those lazy winter afternoons when I used to pop open a cylinder of Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls, place them on an oven tray and slide them into a hot oven. When they were done, I’d take the container that Pillsbury provided, filled with soft icing, and smear the creamy substance all over the top of each roll. When I was 12 it was heaven. But now at my age, at 7 am, after a sleepless night, somehow if just doesn’t cut it. Then I remembered a recipe I had tucked into the pages of a Rosicrucian Cookbook back in the 1960s, and voila! It was still there. Sleepy or not, you won’t taste Cinnamon Rolls any better than these. Thanks Ouida Pffeifer, wherever you are.
1 1/4 oz package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/3 cup + 1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons hot water
In a small bowl, mix warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add yeast and stir; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together milk, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, butter, salt, and egg. Stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a slightly stiff, sticky dough. Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Place in a well-buttered glass bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours).
Punch down dough, and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out into a large rectangle. Combine the melted butter, sugars, and cinnamon to form a paste. Spread evenly onto dough and roll up lengthwise. Butter a 13″x9″ pan with remaining melted butter, and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cut dough into slices and place in the greased and sugared pan. Let rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Make icing by combining ingredients, adding water 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Spread icing on cooled rolls.