Cinnamon Buns From Heaven

Undoubtedly it is high time that I got this recipe posted. It is from The Best American Recipes 2000. I don't make the huge rolls that the original recipe calls for (12) but opt for a more normal size yielding a batch of 24.

The editors of the book mention that they skip the glaze which we would never give up. However, we do skip the optional nuts and raisins. Why add things that will just get in the way of the cinnamon, butter, and sugar flavor?

These freeze quite well if you haven't added the glaze. Just let them thaw, heat them slightly in the oven and add the glaze before serving.

I have paraphrased this recipe in spots.

2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degree)
2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon. granulated sugar, divided
1 cup warmed milk
2/3 cup butter
2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed

In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky).

Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5 -10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1-1/2 cups raisins (optional)

Spread butter on dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough, then sprinkle with nuts and raisins, if desired. Roll up like a jellyroll and pinch edges together to seal. Cut roll into 12 or 24 slices.

1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Spread butter on the bottom of two 13x9" pans (for 24 rolls; if making 12 rolls use a 13x9" pan and an 8" square pan). Sprinkle with sugar. Place bun slices close together in pans. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned. Let cool slightly before glazing.

2/3 cup butter, melted
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup hot water

Combine all except water. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a spreadable glaze. Spread over buns and serve.