Tuesday, March 3

Old Fashioned Maple Cinnamon Rolls



When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time with my Bambie (my Nana's sister). She and my Uncle Ross lived in a small ranch in Bristol NH, about a 1/2 mile from where my parents both worked. She was one of those ultimate grandmothers/great aunts that always had a house full of kids. She was our family's designated babysitter. A day at Bambie's always included lots of hot chocolate with a large dollop of fluff, Kraft macaroni, her teaching us inappropriate, songs,  jokes and riddles that she was famous for, and then afternoons playing cards with Uncle Ross. Now to most young kids, that probably sounds boring, but to me it was comforting, because at that time in my young life,  life was full of turmoil.









Like most kids, I was very aware of the things going on around me. We had just moved into a new house, my parents worked a ton of hours, and my mother had just given birth to my first sister, Elizabeth (named after our Bambie who everyone called Bett for short).

Mom carried Elizabeth to term, we all loved her and were excited for her arrival. I still remember vividly, the day mom went into labor. I think she and dad knew right away that something was terribly wrong and without any explanation my little brother and I were shipped off to my Nana's and then later the next day to my Bambie's, where I spent few days waiting for my parent's return with the new baby...

When my dad came to get us one afternoon, I could tell he had been crying, and asked where our new baby was.  That is when he told us that Elizabeth had died. I was only 5 years old, and did not fully understand what that meant. I do not  know if I was sad because I had never met my sister, but I do know I was terribly confused.

The next day there was a small service held at our family plot in the graveyard across the street from my Bambie's neighborhood. I remember it was really cold and rainy with high winds, and then after the service, there was a lot of food. I am not sure where we went, if it was at a hall of some sort, or if it was at some one's house. I do remember getting a plate of Bambie's homemade dinner rolls and her baked beans and I feasted. She was just as famous for her dirty mouth as she was for making the best yeast rolls known to man. For real, they are the best I have ever eaten in my life.


To this day I associate the smell of fresh baked breads to my Bambie and the smell of her kitchen, which during that time frame in my life was probably my only place of comfort and routine.  25 years later, Bambie is still living in the same house, though Uncle Ross passed away years ago and she is as feisty as ever. 

And her kitchen? It still smells like fresh baked bread no matter when you go to visit. 


I think one of the main reasons I bake so much fresh bread for my family is because that smell still brings a sense of comfort to me.  My kids have grown up with that same smell lingering in our home, and when I start a batch of bread (no matter the type) they comment on how good it smells before they gobble up their warm yeasty rolls.


This recipe is really nothing like Bambie's but it did bring that comforting aroma into our home one Sunday afternoon. Filled with butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon then topped with a maple glaze these rolls are sure to bring a sense of comfort to you as well.

Old Fashioned Maple Cinnamon Rolls 

Ingredients:

2 packages Red Star Platinum Yeast (or another quick rise yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tbs salt
About 5 cups of flour ( I use bread flour, but you can use all purpose or white whole wheat as well)

For the filling:
1 cup of room temperature butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs ground cinnamon

For the topping:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Directions:

In a small bowl add yeast to 1/2 cup warm water with 2 tbs granulated sugar. Give a stir and allow to sit for about 5 minutes or until it is bubbly.

In a mixing bowl mix yeast with  the melted butter, maple syrup, milk, salt, and about 2 cups of flour. Mix well until it starts to come together. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is just barely sticky.

On a floured work surface pour dough out and start kneading until it is smooth and elastic. About 8 minutes. Add in as much flour needed (small amounts at a time) to keep it from sticking to your hands and work surface.

Place dough in a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until it has doubled in size.  The colder it is, the longer it takes to rise.

Once it has doubled in size, pour it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick.

In a small bowl mix the filling ingredients together and then spread it over the top of your dough.

Starting from one end, roll the dough into a long log enclosing the cinnamon filling in the dough.

Using a piece of string or a sharp knife, cut the rolls about 1 inch thick. Place each of them in a buttered baking dish. I used two dishes, a small pie plate and a 9x11 cake pan.

Set rolls aside, and allow to rise again until they have doubled in size.

Once they have doubled, bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Allow rolls to cool slightly.

To prepare glaze, whisk together maple syrup with powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over the tops of your warm rolls and then dig in!

Recipe yields about 12 extra large rolls.

I have 2 kids that like glaze and one that doesn't.... that's why in all of my picture about 1/3 of the batch is NOT frosted! Because you know how we moms have to make everyone happy!

26 comments:

  1. I totally understand what you mean about the aromas a different foods bringing back comforting feelings. I feel that way about a big pot of marinara simmering on the stove.

    And I'm sorry for the loss of you baby sister. xoxo

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    1. It's funny how food and aromas work that way isn't it?

      Thanks, it's been 25+ years and I've never felt like that was my loss to morn, since I never knew her, not sure if that even makes sense! But thank you <3

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  2. This post is written beautifully, full of emotion and detail, I can almost smell her kitchen myself! As a child, we don't realize the impact a day can have on our lives, but things can change in an instant and on those days I think our senses become more heightened and intense. Im sure it was an incredibly trying time for your family and impacted it forever after that type of awful loss. I'm happy that you did have the comfort of your Bambie - and I think a lot of her spunk and fiestiness rubbed off a bit ;)! Great recipe and mouth watering photos!

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  3. Bread - it truly does solve everything. Thank you so much for sharing such a precious and tender story with us....xoxo
    Gorgeous rolls you've got there too!! :-)

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  4. Why do you make it so hard to find the print icon on the cinnamon roll recipe.Thanks for reading my rant. LOL Have a great day.

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    1. I do it purposely, just to annoy you.

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    2. Honestly, I don't believe in printing recipes off the internet... it's a waste of paper and not eco-friendly. If you really MUST print it, copy and paste into a doc. Just as east and quick as printing from here.

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    3. Talk about First World Problems. Lol

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  5. Love the fact that you used maple syrup!!

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    1. Thanks so much! I do love my maple syrup!

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  6. What a heavy experience that must have been for a wee 5-year-old Carrie. This just brought tears to my eyes. I love hearing about your foul mouthed Bambi. The idea of her makes me smile through my tears. Beautiful post, and ridiculously awesome maple buns my dear.

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    1. Thanks Katie! Yeah now that I'm older and a parent to kids that age, I am realizing how much that year affected my siblings and I growing up... it's a loss that my parents have felt ever since.

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  7. you're killing me with how thick and fluffy/big these are. well done. high five!

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  8. I am drooling over those fluffy rolls and that maple glaze!!! Beautiful rolls and awesome post!!! Love hearing a little bit of background on a recipe like this :-) Pinned!

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  9. What a beautiful post, I have tears in my eyes! Your poor mom, I can't imagine. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Jackie! I never understood how it must feel until I became a mom for the fist time. I can't imagine the pain of leaving the hospital without a baby in my arms.

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  10. Cinnamon rolls, I loved them so much... :)

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  11. I enjoyed this post. It was sad to read about your sister, when I was 8 years old my mom gave birth to my sister Lisa, she lived for about an hour and died. I know what you mean it is hard to understand what is going on at such a you age. There is nothing like fresh bread.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your sister as well. I can't imagine what our parents went through.

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  12. cinnamon rolls look yummy, full of calories though:)

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    1. If you want a recipe without calories.... May I suggest water?

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  13. These look amazing Carrie! Baked food is so comforting. It's the American way I think. Or maybe just the Human Way. I liked reading your story. Losing babies is not something that's easy to talk about, or respond too. Hugs.

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    1. Thanks Karen! It is tough for any loved ones involved <3

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  14. Fresh baked bread is one of the best smells in the whole world. Whenever I smell it I take pause. These look amazing! I wish I had some in front of me now. I wish even more they were in the oven so I could smell that fresh baked smell.

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