1. Grandma Bercher’s Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe has been passed down for generations. So you know it’s legit.
For the dough:
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon whole milk
1/2 cup water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons (or 1/4 ounce pack) active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (soft)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vegetable oil for greasing
For the filling and glaze:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (soft and spreadable)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
1. Heat the water and 1/2 cup of the milk in a small saucepan over medium low heat until warm. (The liquid should be no warmer than a baby’s bottle.) If it gets too hot, pour it into another container and stir until just warm.
2. Pour 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and nutmeg into a large bowl and whisk to combine evenly. Break the butter into small pieces and use a spatula to stir it into the flour mixture until the texture is crumbly and the butter is well combined with the flour. Pour over the warm milk and water, stirring until combined, then beat in the vanilla and one egg for a few seconds until the mixture is fully incorporated.
3. Add more of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky. It should be soft and easy to handle. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. Shape into a ball.
4. Grease a large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning to grease all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Grease a 9 × 13 inch baking dish with butter. Gently punch down the dough, then roll it out on an oiled surface to an 18 × 10 inch rectangle. (If you rub the countertop down with vegetable oil the dough won’t stick and you won’t have to add any extra flour.) For the filling, spread the 8 tablespoons softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on the long side farthest from you. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the butter, and then the raisins.
5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Starting at the long side of the rectangle closest to you, roll the dough tightly into a log, toward the 1 inch clean border on the other side. Using a knife, cut the log into 12 pieces, each 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the cinnamon rolls in the greased baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Alternatively place the rolls into the baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and put them straight in the fridge to rise overnight. Remove the rolls from the fridge the next morning and let them finish rising in a warm place for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, while you heat the oven and continue with the next step.)
6. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon milk and brush lightly over the top of cinnamon rolls. Bake the cinnamon rolls on the center rack for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly. Whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and milk to make the glaze. Drizzle over the warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.
2. Pumpkin Orange Cinnamon Rolls with Chocolate Chips
These are not your run-of-the-mill cinnamon rolls. The rolls are moist and soft and the pumpkin and spices add welcome complexity. The maple, orange and powdered sugar glaze is the proverbial icing on the cake. Get the recipe at Food52.
3. Nutella & Pecan Swirl Biscuit Buns
What’s a biscuit bun? Just a sweet biscuit rolled up around a sweet filling to make sweet, sweet perfection. Get the recipe at Food52.
4. Monkey (Ginger)Bread
Not too sweet and not too spicy, this holiday breakfast reaps all the best rewards of monkey bread and gingerbread. It’s fluffy and fragrant, and the crust is lacquered with a brown sugar caramel. We recommend eating it warm, with salted butter and coffee. Get the recipe at Food52.
5. Cardamom Lemon Sticky Buns
Fragrant, tangy, and utter perfection with a steamy cup of coffee on Christmas morning. Get the recipe at Food52.
6. Gubana (Italian Nut Roll)
The filling for this Italian holiday pastry includes a long list of ingredients that includes four types of nuts, raisins, cookies (!), sweet wine, sugar and cocoa. Maybe you’ll only make it once a year, but it will be the best thing you eat. Get the recipe at Food52.
7. Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Fine. This is not a cinnamon roll. But it’s sweet bread dough rolled with a gooey cinnamon filling, so it counts. Get the recipe at Food52.
8. Sweet, Sour and Savory Sticky Buns
Why not making sweet and savory sticky buns? These have sausage, dried cherries, and pecans rolled up inside and they’re topped with a brown sugar glaze. Sweet and salty: unite! Get the recipe at Food52.
9. Orange Scented Olive Oil Sticky Buns
The secret to these moist buns is olive oil in the dough and a generous dose of orange goo rolled into each bun. The glaze is made with buttermilk and powdered sugar, but regular milk works in a pinch. Get the recipe at Food52.