Love cinnamon rolls? I do. But really I only LOVE my mom's and like everyone else's. Mom is known for her cinnamon rolls. People drive from other cities to buy them from her store and during the holidays, they are overloaded with orders. I, of course, request them every time I visit. Oh if only she could ship them to DC. sigh.
This quicker version is something mom used to make at home, when she did not feel like getting up at the crack of dawn to make the real deal. Waiting for the dough to rise takes forever and at home there is no proofer (an appliance that makes dough rise faster). This was my first try at making them. Something to tide me over until I can have the real deal over Thanksgiving.
I had a phone consultation with mom before I started. Did I ignore her advice? Yes. To my own peril? 50-50. I did not have the exact ingredients that I needed to really make this but I wasn't feeling like going to the store so I decided to wing a few things and it more or less worked out ok, tasted good anyway, maybe too good...I ate 3 already!
pre-made crescent roll dough
I did not put in the amount of each ingredient because you can adjust based on how many you want to make. Roll out the crescent dough and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar roll them up and put them in a greased pan. You may notice in the photos I used a loaf pan, is there a reason for this? Yea, I couldn't find my 9" round pan. It's important that the pan not be too over sized, when the crescents are cooked and plump up you want them to touch lightly, so I used the loaf pans.
After the crescents are in the pan, prepare the brown sugar topping. This stuff is like crack. The total secret to the amazing-ness of mom's cinnamon rolls. Pour about a cup of cream in a saucepan and mix in a cup of brown sugar, you can make more or less but there should be about a 1 to 1 ratio of cream to brown sugar. Boil the mixture until the brown sugar dissolves and it bubbles nicely. It should be a dark brown, carmel color. You can add more brown sugar if needed and pour the mixture over the rolls. Put the pan in the oven and bake according to the package directions.
This is one place where I ignored mom (yea...there was more than one). I did not have enough cream so I used half and half for the carmel mixture and it worked pretty well. I added a little more brown sugar to make it thicker. No problem.
While the rolls are in the oven, make a cream cheese frosting. Mom uses cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream. Like I said, I did not have enough cream and now I'd used all the half and half for the brown sugar topping, so I used milk. I also did not have any powdered sugar so I used granulated. Did it work? Um...not so much really. It tasted fine but did not have the same texture of mom's and was more of a sweetened cream cheese than a frosting. It still tasted yummy and I'm going to use the extra as a dip for apples tomorrow at lunch.
These are perfect brunch fare and soooo much easier than waiting for bread to rise for hours and hours. No thank you. Plus, you can make a few or a few dozen. I made one pack of crescent dough, so 8 and I will def be eating them all. Hopefully not all today...we'll see.