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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Grandma's Cinnamon Buns

1 cup whole milk
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1/4 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp butter (melted)
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 flour, plus more if needed
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Flour, for dusting
12 Tbsp butter (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp ground cinnamon

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter (melted)

Make the dough:  Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until it reaches about 100 degrees.  Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar (don't stir).  Set aside until foamy, 5 minutes.  Whisk in the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla.

Whisk the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the salt and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture.  Mix on low speed with the dough hook until thick and slightly sticky.  Knead on medium speed until the dough gathers around the hook, 6 minutes.  (Add up to 2 more Tbsp flour if necessary).

Remove the dough and shape into a ball.  Butter the mixer bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat with butter.  cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 hour 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough, fill and cut into buns.  Butter a 9 x 13" baking pan; place the buns cut-side down in the pan, leaving space between each.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 40 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Bake the buns until golden brown, about 35 minutes.  cool in the pan 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the glaze:  Sift the confectioners' sugar into a bowl, then whisk in the cream and melted butter.  Transfer the buns to a rack and spoon the glaze on top while still warm.

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