Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls
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The Tracing Roots & Building Trees project paired teens from Tucson Hebrew High with residents of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging to remember stories and favorite foods together. From this experience a cookbook, “L’dor v’dor: From Generation to Generation: Stories and Memories around Family and Food, was published.


Why I LOVE THIS RECIPE: On each snow day while my kids played outside in the snow, I made hot chocolate and baked cinnamon rolls. I created this recipe on my own since I was diabetic and did not like the idea of corn syrup and unnatural sugar. I came up with something based on a recipe I found in a book, editing it to contain less sugar and butter. I got particularly creative and mixed orange juice and powdered sugar to make the frosting. Another tip is to cut the cinnamon rolls with dental floss so they keep their shape. My daughter entered the recipe in a Mother’s Day contest at her place of work, Woman’s Day Magazine. When I won, she sent a first edition copy as a Mother’s Day gift!


1 tablespoon active dry yeast
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 ½-3 ¾ cups all- purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup of skim milk
4 tablespoons or ½ stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
¼ cup of packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Sewing thread or unflavored dental floss
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons of orange juice

In a large bowl whisk together yeast, salt, 1 ½ cups of flour, and 1 ¾ cup of granulated sugar.

In a small heavy bottom sauce pan heat milk and 2 Tbsp of butter over low heat until the butter has melted and mixture is very warm (not boiling).

Add the milk mix to the flour mix: add the egg. With an electric mixer on low, beat the flour mix until the flour mix is moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 1 ¾ cups of the remaining flour. Mixing to form a a sticky dough.

Sprinkle ¼ cup of the remaining flour onto the work surface. Turn out the dough and knead it, add in more flour as necessary to create a smooth pliable dough that is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.

Return dough to same mixing bowl (you don’t have to clean it): cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Set the bowl in a warm place and let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 45 min. Remove the cover, punch down the dough, and return it to the bowl. Cover and let rest 10 min more.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 2 Tbsp granulated sugar.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Spread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Avoid ½ inch of the edge.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mix. Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Slide a length of thread or floss under the log of dough about 1 inch from the end: bring the ends of the thread up. Holding the thread taut, cross the strands to cinch off the piece of dough.  Repeat 10 times to cut 12 1-inch-thick rolls.

Place the rolls cut-side up on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them ¾ inch apart. Cover with a towel and let rise until they double in size, about 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 375º F. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the rolls are lightly brown, 18-20 minutes.|

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the confectioners sugar and orange juice until smooth. Spread the icing onto the warm rolls.


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