14 Sep 2014
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Sweet Rolls Three Ways

Whether using frozen dough, the bread maker or the old-fashioned method, sweet rolls are a holiday favorite.

Almost everyone I know salivates when they smell sweet rolls baking.

But not everyone has the time or inclination to create these tantalizing treats. And though there is the option to buy one of those refrigerated tubes of cinnamon buns, the results fall short of delicious.

So here are three ways to make your children's breakfast dreams come true, whether you're a last-minute cook, a seasoned baker or find yourself somewhere in between.

Quick Method

I discovered this recipe last year when my mother-in-law gave me the Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics cookbook. These Easy Sticky Buns immediately caught my eye. My family has homemade sticky buns every Christmas morning, however, I often want to make something similar without the lengthy process.

These buns are made with puff pastry, so it's a lighter, crispier bun than a traditional sweet roll. Take the pastry dough out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator the night before so the dough can thaw. In the morning, this recipe will take about 20 minutes to prepare and another 25 minutes to cook (unless you use a convection oven).

While the muffin tin is still warm, these rolls are turned out onto a cookie sheet, so the sticky sauce will run down the sides and create an irresistible glaze. These are best enjoyed the same morning, so I wouldn't make these ahead of time.

Bread Machine Method

This is my tried-and-true way of creating homemade yeast Sticky Buns. My ancient bread machine does most of the work when it comes to mixing and rising the dough. But I still get to have the fun of rolling it out and forming those swirls of dough.

This recipe makes two pans of buns, so I add pecans to one pan to add some crunch, but leave the other pan plain for those who don't care for nuts. These rolls have the perfect balance of yeast dough to sweet sticky goodness.

The beauty of this and the old-fashioned method is that these can be frozen either raw or baked and still taste deliciously fresh. Just make sure to securely cover your rolls before placing in the freezer, then allow to thaw and rise, if raw, before baking.

Old-fashioned Method

There are a vast variety of recipes for cinnamon buns. These Overnight Cinnamon Rolls split the work between two days, which means you may actually have time to make them.

The first day involves most of the preparation, including making the dough, letting it rise and rolling it out. The buns then rise in the refrigerator overnight, so you just need to pop them in the oven the next morning.

As mentioned, these rolls can be frozen raw, but you can even freeze them already iced. I've also tried them without rising overnight, and they came out just as light and fluffy.

None of these sweet rolls last very long in our house, but, they also make good welcome gifts when made in smaller pans. Check back later this week for ideas on packaging food for gifts.

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