County Fair Tea: Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls, served warm, have been a big hit at my local county fair for several years now. You can smell them baking long before you see the stand. Instead of a scone with this tea, a cinnamon roll will hit the spot. Cinnamon rolls are not difficult to make but they are time consuming. Most bakeries sell these if you don’t have the time to make your own. Avoid buying cinnamon rolls from the grocery store or any other place where they might sit for more than a day. Not even warming can save a stale cinnamon roll.

¾ cup milk
½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (110º to 115º)
4 ¼ to 4 ¾ cups flour
2 eggs

Scald milk; add shortening, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast on warm water; stir to dissolve.

Add 1 ½ cup flour to milk mixture; beat well with electric mixer at low speed 1 minute. Beat in eggs and yeast.

Gradually stir in enough remaining flour, a little at a time, to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth, satiny and no longer sticky, 5 to 8 minutes.

Place in lightly greased bowl; invert to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down and turn onto board. Divide in half.

Roll each half into a 16” x 8” rectangle. Combine 1 cup sugar, ½ cup melted butter and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Spread half of the mixture on each rectangle. If you like, scatter 1/3 cup raisins over each rectangle. Roll lengthwise as for a jellyroll; seal edges. Cut in 1” slices. Place, cut side down, in 2 well-greased 9” square pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-40 minutes. Bake in 375º oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove to wire racks to frost with Confectioners’ Sugar Frosting.

Confectioners’ Sugar Frosting

To 1 cup confectioners’ sugar add enough milk to make mixture of spreading or drizzling consistency. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla and a dash of salt. Stir until smooth. Spread or drizzle over Cinnamon Buns.