Nothing Smells Like Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Before there was Cinnabon’s, there was my mom.  Growing up, we never bought cinnamon rolls at the mall.  Our cinnamon rolls started in mom’s bread bowl and ended in her oven.  She would make them on Christmas morning and my memories of her rolls are firmly planted in my consciousness.  Just the smell of the milk, butter and sugar mixture warming on the stove reminds me of her rolls.

I’ve carried on the tradition over the years.  Although I use a bread maker to mix and knead the dough, which frankly feels a teensie bit like cheating to me.  I overcome the guilt by telling myself that I am, after all, making homemade rolls.  Which in some cultures is reason for reverence, I believe.  While Mom would make the dough and shape the rolls the night before, I haven’t gotten to the point where I trust the refrigerator with my dough.  So, there have been many Christmas mornings when I’ve gotten up at 4:00 AM to start the bread machine.  In both cases, the goal is to have freshly baked rolls for Christmas morning.  And few things, I think, make a place smell better than cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.  But, as we’ve seen in the mall,  these are not just reserved for the holidays.  Few things will say “good morning” to overnight guests quite like a homemade cinnamon roll.

Mom never frosted her cinnamon rolls but I do frost mine.  Because, honestly, frosting has been robbed of its rightful place in the food pyramid as one of the major food groups.

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