Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

First make:

Traditional Sweet Roll Dough

2 packages (or 2 Tablespoons) active dry yeast (less at higher altitudes)
½ cup warm water (105-115F)
½ cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup shortening, or butter, or margarine
4 ½ to 5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 ½ cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining dough to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl. Turn greased side up. (At this point dough can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days.) Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 ½ hours. (Dough is ready if impression remains when touched.)

Punch dough down. Shape into desired rolls. Cover; let rise until double, about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Break dough into 2 halves. Roll each half into a rectangle 15x9 inches: spread with softened butter. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkled over butter rectangle. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Cut into 15 slices. Place slices slightly apart on greased baking pan on into greased muffin cups.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes. While warm, frost rolls with icing.

Sweet icing: Mix 1 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth. (I sometimes add a few drops of hot water to melt it all together and make it easier to drizzle over rolls.)

Variation: Frosted Orange Rolls

3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Combine above ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Roll ½ of dough into 12x7” rectangle; spread with half of orange filling. Roll up beginning at wide side. Pinch to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place slightly apart in a greased round layer pan or a square baking dish. If making both half into orange rolls, use a 13x9” baking dish or a cookie sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven. Frost with remaining filling while warm.

Family Memories: This use to be our favorite breakfast for Christmas or other holidays. I remember getting up while everyone else was sleeping to make the dough so it would rise and be ready to turn into rolls. Often at Christmas the kids would be up before me, and they would open their stockings and see what Santa brought them before we ate breakfast. Then I would make the dough and let it rise while we opened the rest of our presents before baking them fresh and hot and sweet from the oven. it was a great way to start our day, and my kids still ask me for this recipe at this time of year. As the kids got older, they would join me in the kitchen and participate in making these rolls. I know they will remember the cinnamon rolls the most, but there were times when I made the orange rolls instead. It has been years since I've made them,but they sure are yummy!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gingerbread Cookies

½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark molasses
¼ cup water
2 ½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon

Red Hot Cinnamon Candies
Slivered almonds
Decorator’s icing (below)

Cream shortening and sugar. Blend in molasses, water, flour, salt, soda, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Cover and chill 2-3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with gingerbread boy or girl cookie cutter; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press cinnamon candies, raisins, or almond slivers into dough for eyes, nose and mouth or buttons. Bake 10-12 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheets. Cool and finish decorating with icing if desired.

(For crisper cookies roll dough thinner and bake 8 minutes. This recipe can be doubled.)

Decorator’s Icing: Mix 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and 1 Tablespoon water or milk. Add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until of desired consistency to be used in a decorator’s tube, or thinner to be spread. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

¼ cup shortening (or coconut oil)
¼ cup butter (softened)
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ cups flour
¾ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt

Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and egg. Blend in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill in refrigerator.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. With fork dipped in sugar, flatten into a crisscross pattern to 2 inches.  Bake 10-12 minutes until set but not hard. Removed from cookies sheets to cool.

Notes: Who doesn't love peanut butter cookies! This is another family favorite and they don’t last long in this house! This recipe can also be doubled.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar, and the eggs. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls.

Mix:       2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Roll balls in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place 2” apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from baking sheets. This recipe can be doubled.

Family Notes: This is a family favorite, especially at Christmastime, but any time of years. It makes an easy cookie to bake and ship to family members that are far away and I can remember sending care packages with these cookies in them to my children as they spread their wings and flew the nest to start lives of their own! I usually double this recipe to make sure there are enough cookies to go around. They tend to fly off the plate as soon as they are baked!