I’m a big believer in ritual and tradition. One of my greatest joys as a wife and mother is creating and cultivating them for our little family. Early in Claudia’s babyhood, I decided we needed a Christmas breakfast custom. Cinnamon rolls seemed the perfect choice. They can be assembled the day before and left to rise in the refrigerator overnight. They are easy to eat in a non-table setting, which means we can enjoy them in the living room as we open gifts. And, I can’t help but think that cinnamon’s distinctive scent will evoke fond sense memories for my children even when our little foursome is not gathered together on Christmas morning.
I use a recipe I found online. I chose this one over the alternatives that called for powdered milk because I didn’t want to have to buy that ingredient, which I don’t normally keep on-hand. I eyeball the amount of raisins and walnuts but definitely use more than the 1/3 cup of each that the recipe calls for.
Pro Tip: after you’ve rolled the dough into a log, use thread or dental floss rather than a knife to cut it into individual rounds. Just slip a length of thread under the log to the point you want it sliced. Cross the two ends of the thread into an X shape and pull them in opposite directions. It will cut neatly through the dough log without smashing it out of shape the way a knife would.
Here are my rolls ready to go into the oven to rise overnight. Once risen, they fill the baking dish.