Friday, December 16, 2011

Preparing for Christmas Brunch--My best cinnamon rolls

Some of you have asked why I've not been posting as frequently as I had in the past. In my heart and mind I want to post something every day, but these past few weeks at work have been extremely busy. Perhaps things will slow down a bit between Christmas and New Years.

Christmas! Can you believe it's just a little over one week away?

I've also slowed down on my baking of Christmas goodies--partly from lack of time, and partly because I really don't need the temptation of a dozen different kinds of cookies beckoning me to "have just one more". At the last appointment with my doctor, I tried to convince him that the jeans I was wearing weigh 10 pounds, but he wasn't buying into it.

Sigh.

So this year I'm making a few favorite cookies and immediately giving them away to friends and family. But I am still planning our traditional Christmas brunch.

Last year I experimented with a cinnamon roll filled with apples. (Cinnamon Spiral Rolls). Everyone loved them, but I think this year I'll go back to my original recipe--the one I've been using for almost 30 years. The recipe for "My Best Cinnamon Rolls" comes from a "Best of Postal Recipes (1983)" that my brother and sister-inlaw gave to me. It's a compilation of recipes from all of the chapters of the National Association of Letter Carriers--an amazing collection (over 800 pages) of recipes from all parts of our United States. Tried and true, home-cooking recipes. Thank you to Mary Medcalf, Washington State, #202 for the Best Cinnamon Rolls:

My Best Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup boiling water
1 cup instant mashed potatoes
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg. dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
5 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins

In large bowl, mix boiling water and instant mashed potatoes. Add scalded milk, oil, salt, sugar, dry yeast and beat well. Add eggs and flour, cup by cup, and knead 15 minutes. Put in warm place and let rise 1-2 hours.

Divide in half and roll out each half to 10x15-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter on each half of dough.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together; distribute evenly over dough. Add raisins and nuts; roll up and cut  each roll into 6 pieces. Put into 2 greased 9-inch pans and let rise 1 hour. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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