Mom’s Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

Up until last year, Scott and I traveled to visit either his family or mine for Christmas. Last year, between my scary first trimester and everyone else having one health issue or another, we just couldn’t make it work. This year, it’s a choice. Marcus is such a little guy and already exposed to enough, we didn’t feel like dragging him onto a plane during the busiest and germiest time of the year. So we’re enjoying another year of our own traditions here at home!

There are a number of different things we’ve incorporated into our own holiday, bits and pieces of our childhoods and a few things that are altogether our own. There was one tradition we didn’t have to think twice about including, though, and that was my mom’s Christmas morning cinnamon rolls.

She usually only makes these for Christmas, so just the smell of them baking brings back every warm and glittery Christmas memory from my childhood. We introduced Scott to these one of the first Christmases we were together, and he was hooked. So this Christmas morning, bright and early, the smell of cinnamon rolls will waft through our house, and even though we’re far from family, they will make it feel like the family Christmases I remember.

The Amarula is a family favorite touch. My sister brought home a couple of bottles of this South African cream liquor after interning with a fashion institute in Capetown {yes, she does live the life} and we’ve all enjoyed incorporating it into our family recipes. You can substitute another cream liquor {Bailey’s vanilla works well} if you can’t find Amarula, or if you don’t want/can’t have the alcohol, swap it out just for more cream.

Mom’s Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 14-18 rolls.

What You’ll Need:

For the dough:

  • 3/8 cup mashed potatoes
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Amarula cream
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

For the icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water

How to Make Them:

1. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, water, yeast, and mashed potatoes. Allow to rest in a warm spot near the stove for about 60 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients until blended and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the mashed potato mix with the wet ingredients and the salt. Stir in flour slowly (by half cup works for us).

4. On a well floured surface, turn out the dough. Knead dough until even and elastic. Then roll into a 12 inch square.

5. Spread the filling over the dough to within a thumb’s width of the edge. Roll up the square and then cut into 9 pieces.

6. Place the pieces in a 9×9 baking dish and allow to rise until doubled in size (30 minutes).

7. Heat oven to 350F. Place baking dish on middle rack and bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

8. Remove buns from oven. Mix icing and drizzle over buns.

9. Serve warm, preferably with coffee!

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you give these tasty rolls a try, and that you have a wonderful week, regardless of what and how you celebrate!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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