love on a platter: Grandma M’s cinnamon buns

This morning while it was still dark, I went into my kitchen to make a batch of cinnamon buns. I was craving some serious comfort food. This is my late mother-in-law’s recipe (only I’ve adapted it here for the breadmaker). She was a not only a superb cook, but also one of the strongest, kindest, and most capable women I’ve ever known. When she served these buns, what she was really serving was love. On a platter.

 Grandma M’s Cinnamon Buns

1/2 cup milk, warmed slightly
1 large egg
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed. Use dough setting. If you don’t have a bread machine mix together the warmed milk, sugar and yeast and let stand for approximately five minutes, then mix in the remainder of the ingredients. Knead thoroughly and set to rise until doubled in size.

Cinnamon Filling

1/4 to 1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp cinnamon

Once the dough is ready, roll out to a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. Spread thickly with butter (use as much as you like – be generous!) and then sprinkle with brown sugar (1/2 cup) mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon. I’m pretty conservative with the sugar – use more if you want the full-on Cinnabon kind of experience. Roll tightly starting with the long side of the rectangle. Divide in 12 equal portions. Place the rolls into a well-buttered Pyrex lasagna pan (9 x 13 inches)- giving the rolls room to expand. Set to raise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.

Bake at 375 deg F for approximately 15 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 tbsp butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Beat together and spread over the warm rolls before serving.