This recipe was requested by Bob P. Thanks for joggin’ my noggin’!
As with all my recipes, there is a story behind this one, too. It simply took a little bit of time to search for some pertinent information—such as the year that I WON THE YEAST BREAD COMPETITION AT THE TULSA STATE FAIR, and place third overall in the Culinary Arts category.
Uh-huh, it was a biggie! *doin’ a little dance here*
So I dug through my box of ribbons—to be honest, most of them are horse show ribbons--and discovered that it was in September of 1993 when I won my category. I think I also won $5.00 and a bunch of Red Star yeast and maybe some flour. Nothing big, but it was fun, and I got a big fat ribbon.
This recipe was originally from a Bon Appetit magazine. At that time, I simply hand-copied the recipe (no computer), so I don’t have any more info than that. I personally think it’s the icing that makes the recipe . . . though I don’t think they allowed icing on the cinnamon rolls when I entered the competition.
Margaret’s Blue Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls
¾ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2 envelopes dry yeast (4 ½ tsp bulk dry yeast)
1 2/3 cup warm half-and-half (105-115 degrees F)
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbls. salt
6 ½ - 7 cups sifted all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
2 tsp. cinnamon
Oil large bowl and set aside. Pour warm water into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and stir to dissolve. Blend in milk, shortening, sugar and salt. Add 3 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form workable dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to oiled bowl, turning to coat all surfaces. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour.
--I usually put the bowl in the over-the-stove microwave with the stove light on. This allows the microwave to stay a nice warm temperature.
Grease two large baking sheets. Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll out into 12 X 18 inch rectangle. Spread with butter (use clean hands). Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, nuts, raisins and cinnamon mixture. Start from one long edge and roll dough up as for jelly roll, keeping out air pockets. Cut into slices slightly over 1 inch thick. Arrange on prepared baking sheets, tucking ends of dough under. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes (turn the oven to 170 degrees F, and the TURN IT OFF) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls until golden, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare icing.
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ to 1/3 cup orange juice
¼ cup butter, room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract
Combine all ingredients in small bowl of electric mixer and beat at high speed until smooth, using only enough orange juice to form spreadable icing. Frost rolls while still hot. Serve rolls warm or at room temperature.