I was just checking out the J.A. Jance website, which I do with some regularity. There is a page on it entitled “Sugarloaf Cafe”, named after a fictional restaurant that appears, I believe, in her Ali Reynolds series, featuring recipes concocted and tested by Jance’s son. The latest featured recipe is cinnamon rolls. Just the picture is enough to set the old salivary glands working overtime.
Seeing that recipe brought to mind all the times after we were first married that my husband and I tried to recreate his mother’s cinnamon roll recipe using healthy ingredients. This entailed using organic whole wheat flour, non-fat milk, oils instead of butter, and honey instead of sugar. The result was about what you’d expect; i.e. not so good. We kept ending up with rather heavy sticky-bun-like things that bore no discernible relationship to cinnamon rolls.
Just last year, we visited Don’s sister Lorraine in Colorado Springs, and she made a pan full of their mother’s rolls just as God intended, except that she used frozen bread dough instead of making the dough from scratch. They were light as air, sweet, cinnamony and gooey, and so delicious it made you want to weep. There are certain things that just should not be messed with.
Don asked Lorraine for her recipe, and I reproduce it here just as she gave it to him:
Rhodes Frozen bread (3 to 5 loaves). Thaw the bread two to three hours - let it rise just a bit. Roll it out into a rectangle 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and spread about a half-stick of butter on it. Spread brown sugar and cinnamon all over and sprinkle with pecans. Roll up the dough into a cylinder and slice into individual rolls.
Melt a tablespoon of butter with enough brown sugar, cinnamon, and cream to make about 1/2 cup and pour in the bottom of the pan. Arrange the rolls over the cinnamon/cream mixture, and dribble a little extra cream over the top of the rolls. Let rise 20 minutes then bake at 375 for about 25 minutes.
This is one of those ‘eyeball’ recipes. You don’t know just what quantities you used to make it so wonderful, you just know it when you see it.