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Supposedly easy cinnamon rolls

Okay, I really shouldn’t slam these so hard–they were pretty easy (the only non-easy bit was entirely my own fault), and they do taste pretty good. They’re no-yeast, so use them only if you want dense, cake-y cinnamon rolls.

The original recipe I used for all the non-icing bits can be found here, though the directions are a little hard to read, as they combine the ingredients for filling and the dough itself. I’m simplifying them here:

To make the filling:

In a small-ish bowl, mix

1/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Combine with 1 Tbsp. melted butter (this recipe uses 1/2 c. total) and mix until butter is evenly distributed. (Original recipe says until all parts are “equally moistened”–basically, mix it good.)

To make the dough:

Mix the following in a large-ish bowl

1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (you’ll need more for rolling out the dough)
1/8 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

In a > 1 c. measuring cup, mix

1 1/4 c. butter milk (original recipe explains how to clabber milk if you have no butter milk and don’t know what to do about it)
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the solid ingredients and mix until a “shaggy” dough forms. Knead with hands until smooth–approximately 30 sec. The recipe says that the dough will be sticky. It’s wrong; it will try to eat your hands. You have been warned.

Put it all together…

Clean your hands. Spread some (read: a LOT of) flour on a surface large enough that the dough can be patted into a 9″ x 12″ rectangle.

Butter a pan large enough to hold 8 or 12 rolls (this recipe makes 8 large, or 12 medium, which I found out rather by accident after I cut it into 12 rolls instead of 8). To give you an idea, a 9″ x 13″ is way too large, but a 9″ cake round works for 8 rolls.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Pat out the dough into a 9″ x 12″ rectangle, making sure that the dough is of even thickness everywhere. (I didn’t take quite the precautions I should have. This resulted in much cursing, and in a very Victorian novel way. Guess what I’ve been reading lately?) Brush it with 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Pat the filling firmly on the dough–it shouldn’t absorb it, but the layer should be even and should stay somewhat when you roll the dough. Make sure you leave a 1/2″ border around the edge of the dough.

Roll the dough from one long side to the other. (i.e. If you were folding, you’d be folding “hot dog” style vs. “hamburger” style.) Pinch the seam to seal the roll. Cut the log into 8 or 12 rolls; whichever amount you want to make. Brush the tops with 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden-brown.

Now, for the fun part: the icing.

I used this recipe for sour cream icing, as I had a spare 1/2 cup of sour cream lying around. As I learned, though, unless you want to absolutely smother 12 rolls in a thick enough layer of icing to make the most placid and lethargic of children bounce off the walls, halve the recipe. (I wound up using about 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar for a full batch that was rather more thick and frosting-y than viscous, by the way.)

Spread it on the just-done rolls and serve.


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