Quick New Potato Soup Recipe

Brian brings home what I call the "old folks magazine" a local newsprint called MATURITY JOURNAL,  see what I mean?  Well anyway...he drug another one in the other evening and said,  "How about trying the potato soup recipe in there?"  After looking at it I was certain we would like it and happily rustled it up.  My adaptation of their recipe goes like this.......

Ingredients for Quick Potato Soup:

6 potatoes
1 onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
2 cloves of fresh garlic chopped fine
1, 8 ounce bar of Cream Cheese
1 undiluted can of cream of mushroom soup
1 undiluted can of cream of cheddar soup
1/2 C. diced crisp bacon or diced ham for garnish if desired

Peel and dice  the potatoes and cover with water.  You want no more than 1/2" of water covering the potatoes.  Add the onion, garlic, and celery.  Salt  the water, cover, and cook about 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Do NOT drain!  This recipe does not call for additional liquid.

Add the cream cheese,  and both cans of soup stirring until melted and well blended.  Taste and correct seasoning to taste.  Serve pipping hot with garnish if desired.

We were raised on Campbell's soup and love cream of mushroom soup.  So if you like things made from their soups you will love this one, we did.  I will make this again, it is sure to be a "do again" as my daughter-in-law says!


Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Strawberries and Ganache for Dipping

This pound cake has been on my stack of things to try and given the 2 pounds of ripe fresh strawberries I have to serve with something I think this is a good day to bake.  It is adapted from a recipe from Ina Garten.  We really do like pound cakes and I am always on the lookout for recipes for them.  The fact it called for honey was another plus in my book.

Ingredients for Honey Vanilla Pound Cake:

2 sticks cool soft butter (not room temp.)
11/4 C. sugar
4 extra large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. fresh lemon zest
2 C. sifted cake flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Butter a loaf pan and like the bottom with parchment paper.  Butter the paper and then dust with flour shaking the excess away then set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar for 3-4minutes with electric mixer at medium speed.  Crack the eggs and place in a large glass measuring cup.  Add the vanilla and zest to the eggs but do not beat.  With the mixer on low speed add the eggs one at a time and beat together.  Add the whole amount with the last egg.

Whisk the sifted flour, salt, and baking powder together then add with the mixer on low speed until just blended.  Finish by folding by hand until just mixed.  Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a pick tests clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.  Take the cake from the pan and cool completely.

Wash and hull berries and arrange on a platter.

Ingredients for Ganache:

2 C. semi sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 T. corn syrup
Melt the chocolate and cream over simmering water in a glass bowl.  Stir until melted and add the corn syrup mixing well.  At serving time pour the chocolate into a small pitcher or bowl with a spoon and pass with the cake and berries.

While this cake is good I would rate it as a "3" compared to our favorite, the Chocolate Pound Cake posted on 5/15/11 which would receive my highest rating, a "5".


Double Quick Apple Buns Sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar

Warm, oozing with apple goodness, and topped with crisp sugar and cinnamon this treat is a winner!
I had a half quart of apple pie filling left from having made apple turnovers and needed to use it or loose it to eventual spoilage....."brainic" I am not but it seemed to me like mushing out a canned biscuit, filling it like a turnover and sprinkling with cinnamon sugar was indeed a no-brainer!

So this morning as my old cowboy "9 fingers" ( his cowboy shooting nickname),  showered I did just that!

Ingredients for Double Quick Apple Buns:

1 can "Grands" canned biscuits
1/2 C. apple pie filling (or any filling desired)
Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or grease.

Flatten each biscuit one at a time to a large circle 4 or so inches.  Place a scant tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough.  Fold one half over atop the other and pinch the edges together.

Sprinkle well with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake for 17 minutes.

Serve warm.  Yield 8 buns.


THE BEST Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe Ever for Pennies

The dry mix is just short of making a quart and would also store well in a large zip lock bag.
Ranch Dressing is a big item around here.  Seems like I make a double batch every week or so.   Sometime back I posted a recipe that I liked made in the summer with fresh herbs.  That doesn't work  in the dead of winter!  I feel like I just get "nickeled and dimed" to death when I go to the store and this recipe posted by peeked my interest because I had everything it called for,  it makes a BIG batch of mix, and the made up batch called for the addition of a bit of fresh lemon juice.  That peeked my interest as I hold the ranch dressing made by "Hot Box" Pizza as the gold standard and it has an extra sour bite to it I have not yet matched.  I can add a bit more lemon juice until I get this just right!

I adapted it a bit and made it up.  After licking my spoon for a taste and stowing it away in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours as directed I have concluded this is my new GO TO for ranch dressing.  Delicious and just pennies by comparison.  Plus not even packaging to throw away!

Ingredients for Ranch Dressing Mix:

1/4 C. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. parsley flakes
1/2 C. granulated garlic
3/4 C. granulated onion
1/4 C. garlic powder
2 T. kosher salt
2 T. dried dill weed

Combine all of these ingredients and blend well.   Store in an airtight container.  Yield about 3 1/4 cups of dry mix.

To Make Creamy Ranch Dressing Whisk Together:

1 C. Hellman's Mayonnaise
1 C. buttermilk
3/4 C. sour cream
1 slightly rounded T. dry mix
1 scant  teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

Refrigerate in a sealed container for 2 hours to let the flavors develop before serving.   Yield 1 1/2 pints of ready to serve dressing.  Keep refrigerated until serving time.


Amish Breakfast Casserole

Make and bake, make ahead and cook later, or make and freeze to reheat in single servings.
This is a dish I have adapted for my family from  There are several things I like about these types of recipes.  Usually they are flexible enough to change to suit your tastes.   They are great for any mealtime,  any time of day.   I love to make this up,  cut into serving size portions,  double wrap and freeze,  then pull them out,  microwave,  and serve.

Yield 12 servings.
Yesterday, "my baby", Joel our youngest son, asked me for a recipe for just such purposes,  to grab, heat, and eat on the way.  I also suggested to him another method I use, making up a weeks worth of breakfast sandwiches all at once,  My husband goes in spurts of wanting this or that for breakfast.  Right now he is into cold cereal but that is not the norm.  He gets tired of things and we move on.

Helpful Hint:  Cook enough ham, sausage, or bacon and eggs ahead and make up sandwiches using buns. biscuits, toast or bread.  (Whatever your family likes.)  Wrap each in paper towels or napkins and place all of the wrapped sandwiches in a big plastic bag you can seal up.  Store them in the refrigerator and each morning microwave for one about 40-50 seconds to warm.  It is all cozy in it's paper towel and napkin and ready for the ride to school or work.  I do the same thing with single servings of breakfast casseroles.  Just cool it completely before slicing, double wrapping,  and freezing unless you are planning for the week ahead.  If that's the case just refrigerate after a single wrap of each single serving will do the trick.

Ingredients for Amish Breakfast Casserole:

1 pound of breakfast meat or combination (example 1/2 pound sausage and 1/4 pound bacon and 1/4 pound ham)
1/2 t. each salt and pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 t. hot sauce or red pepper flakes
4 C. shredded cooked potatoes (can be thawed frozen hash browns or shredded leftover potatoes)
1 onion diced
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese divided
8 oz, shredded Swiss cheese divided
6 beaten eggs
1 1/2 C. cottage cheese
Herbs of your liking, optional  (like chives, parsley, or savory)
vegetables of your liking, optional  (like broccoli or peas, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, etc.)

Empty butter wrappers are perfect to butter casseroles, baking sheets, etc.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter well a 9" x 12" baking dish and set aside.

I fold the empty butter wrappers in half, butter side together and store on a door shelf in the freezer section.
HELPFUL HINT:  Save empty butter wrappers in the freezer to  pull out and use to butter dishes or pans.  Keep your fingers clean and dry and your cookware buttered easily.

I use a scissors and clip the bacon into the skillet and cook until crispy.
Cook the meat or combination of meats you have selected.  I tend to start with the fattiest first.  For example if using bacon I dice it with a scissors and fry it then remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
This is turkey sausage so I cooked it after the bacon.

Next cook the sausage or ham in the drippings and remove them when browned.  Pitch the diced onions into the drippings and saute them until tender.  

Today I used fresh Asian mushrooms along with a red onion.
You could also throw in any veggies you have on hand and want to use like bell peppers zucchini, mushrooms.....etc. and saute until tender crisp.

This works well with grated loft over baked potatoes or hash browns.
Using a large bowl combine the shredded potato, salt, pepper, garlic, and hot sauce.  Stir in the cottage cheese and all but about 1/2 cup each of the Cheddar and Swiss cheese you will save for the topping.   Stir in the drained and cooled meats reserving about 1/2 cup of it for the topping.  Stir in any sauteed vegetables.  Add the 6 beaten eggs and stir well.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.  Top with the reserved cheeses and meat.

There is a lot of good protein in this dish!
If you are making this ahead to bake later cover well with foil and refrigerate.  Just remove 30 minutes prior to baking to let it come to room temperature.  If you plan to bake it now proceed and cook for 35-40 minutes until it is set in the middle and bubbling.  You may wish turn the broiler on at the end of the baking time and brown the top if desired or just serve with the cheese melted.  Either way allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.   Garnish with sliced tomatoes and green onions if desired.

Yield 12  servings.

NOTE:  To reheat from the freezer I usually microwave single portionsfor 40 seconds then add 10-15 seconds more as needed.  It will depend on your microwave.  Enjoy 'cause this is lip smacking good!


Lazarus Burger Sauce

This sauce is delicious as a dipping sauce for fries, on burgers, and more.
For 10 years I worked for Lazarus Department Stores (part of the Federated Group now Macy's) and enjoyed their wonderful restaurant right on the second floor where my office was located.  Many of their recipes are delicious and sought after.  I realized that the other day when I was looking for an old recipe on line and stumbled onto a sight that seeks out just such old, lost, and sometimes vintage recipes. 

It was than I decided I would share this one.  If you ever had a burger and fries at the Lazarus Restaurant it was served with a little cup of the secret sauce on the side.  It was meant as a topping for the burger but we all loved it as a dip for the fries too.  Luckily they were generous with it and gladly served extra sauce if requested as it so often was!

Ingredients for Lazarus Burger Sauce:

2 C. Hellman's Mayonnaise
1 C. sour cream
2 1/2 T. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix, Buttermilk Recipe

Stir these ingredients together well  cover, and refrigerate.  Delicious as a dip for vegetables,  chips,  french fries, or on a burger as first intended.

Yield 3 cups. 

American Goldfinches on A Winter Day

American Goldfinches Dinning.
These cheery little birds are as interesting to watch year around as can be... and they certainly cheer up the winter blahs!  These 7 are wearing their winter coats of a drab gray and green hue with black and white bars across their wings.  They will frequent your feeder if you offer Niger seeds, a tiny black seed about a 16th of an inch long and no thicker than a straight pin.  When spring is just around the corner they turn the brightest purest yellow and will cause your spirits to soar as you watch the transition!  Then you will not care what the Groundhog predicts as you will know another season is dawning.


Beef Tenderloin in Browned Butter Sauce with Yams and Russet Potatoes makes for a No Occasion Special Occasion Dinner.

Beef Tenderloin right out of the oven needs to sit covered for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Once is a while I love to fix something over the top in flavor and that my men love.  Beef tenderloin is one of the no brainers that is so very easy and delicious,  Just a bit pricey so not an everyday dish!  I called Randy the owner of Rivertown Butcher and he made me up a tied roast that netted out at 3.6 pounds.  Randy always then grinds all of the trimmings from the roast in another package.  That makes for a delectable chopped steak that repeats all of the smiles!  Plus there was enough remaining roast for Mike to package up as a lunch and for me to make Beef Strogenoff this week for another meal.  Actually there may well be enough of that for two meals!  Five meals from one roast, expensive though it may have been, is tolerable for me to do once in a while.

Ingredients for Roasted Beef Tenderloin in Browned Butter Sauce:

Trimmed and tied Beef Tenderloin Roast 2-4 pounds
4 T. butter
4 T. olive oil
1 T. per pound coarse Kosher salt
1 T. per pound fresh ground black pepper

Take the beef from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Salt and pepper the tenderloin generously on all sides and on the ends, pressing it into the meat.

Melt the butter and add the olive oil in the biggest heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet you have over medium high heat to high heat and sear all sides of the roast.  Add any vegetables you may want to cook along side.  I use chunk-ed russet potatoes and yams.  Salt and pepper them and stir them about in the hot butter/oil to coat. 

Transfer the skillet into the preheated oven and roast as follows, 15 minutes for the first pound then 10 minutes for each additional pound.  (I roasted the 3.6 pound roast for 40 minutes and it was perfectly done, pink and juicy).  Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 10 minutes before cutting.  Be ready to be kissed because it is a winner!  Slice the meat and serve on a warm platter with the vegetables and spoon the warm browned butter over all.

This was served with an assortment of raw veggies and dip, corn, Lima beans, and cake with winter fruit salad for a no occasion special occasion dinner!.


Chewy Chocolate Cookies with a Kiss!

These cookie kisses might just be a great Valentine for the chocolate lover in your life.
Not too long ago I posted a "Homemade Brownie Mix" that produces the best homemade brownie I have ever eaten!  And at 64+ years old that is a lot of brownies!!  Well anyway.......this is a drop cookie you can make from the same homemade brownie mix and sort it of broaden your horizons as they say.  The Homemade Brownie Mix was posted on 10/15/12 and the post is available if you just ask for it in the finder box toward the bottom of the right hand column,

Ingredients for Chewy Chocolate Cookies:

1/4 C. butter melted
2 eggs beaten
1/4 C. water
2 1/4 C. Homemade Brownie Mix
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 C. flour
1 t. vanilla
Walnuts or Pecans, Kisses candy, Chocolate chips, Diced cherries, all OPTIONAL additions.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease baking sheets if you are not using parchment or sil pat baking mats.

Combine butter, eggs, and water in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Beat with a fork until well blended.  Stir in brownie mix, baking soda, flour, and vanilla.  Blend well.  (You may add a few droplets more of water if needed.  Batter should be quite thick.)  Add additional nuts or other optional goodies stirring just to incorporate.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2" apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool.  Yield 36 cookies.

Note:  This recipe was adapted from Make-A-Mix by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, & Madeline Westover.


Girl-ie Girl Ruffled Apron in Pinks, White, & Cream

Ruffled Girl-ie Girl Apron with Pink Satin and Lace.
Our oldest son has had a friend of many years, who I promised I would make an apron for about a year ago, so it looks like I had better get after it!  She too has twin boys.  She described to me a yearning for an apron with lots of ruffles and very feminine.

The first step was to find a apron that was close to what I imagined she would like.  I did sketches, searched the Internet and came up with this pattern.  I scoured my treasure trove of fabrics and selected pinks, white, and cream for the color scheme.   Just for her, her girl-lie ruffled apron.

I really can't see a bunch of ruffles, fabric around the bodice.  Probably because it would bother me!  It seems way more practical and pretty too to go for a little trim up top and contrasting fabrics in lightweight and airy fabrics.  A bit of lace, a little sheen, and some dainty will hopefully delight!

After selecting the fabrics wash and dry them if applicable.  This rids them of any finishing chemicals and will preshrink the fabric.

My HELPFUL HINT for the project is to explain the fasted easiest way to end up with straight to the grain rectangles of fabric, (which is what this will require) is to tear the pieces to size with the exception of two fabrics I am using.  You can also pull threads if the fabric is too delicate to tear and one of the pieces selected is.  This is explained in: "Getting Ready to Sew, Conversation 1", under "Pages" in the upper portion of the right column on the blog.  I am also using lace which has no grain to speak of so I pinned a piece of equal dimensions to the lace straight to the pattern and cut from there.

Here is a list of materials and fabrics needed for this project:

Apron bib, 1/2 yd. 45" wide fabric, I used a pink and white tiny floral pattern with green leaves on a white lightweight cotton.

Four skirt tiers, 1/2 yd. 45" wide fabric, I used pink tulips on a white background cotton for tier #1, pink floral stripe cotton for tier #2, cream colored lace for tier #3, and wide pink striped cotton for tier #4.

Fabric for the apron top lining and the apron skirt lining:  1 1/4 yd. white lightweight cotton.

Fabric for the neck ties, waist band, and waist ties:  3/4 yd. 45" wide fabric, I used a pink nubby cotton satin.

1/2 yd. jumbo ric rac trim for the top edge of the apron, I used deep pink.

All purpose thread
Fabric pencil
Iron and Ironing board
Straight Pins
Sewing machine
Bees wax
Needle and thread


1. From the fabric selected for the apron bib cut one rectangle 13" wide x 11" high.
2. From the fabric you are using for the waist and ties cut eight strips 3" x 44".
3. From the fabric you are using for the lining cut one piece 13" wide x  11" high for the bib and one rectangle 27" wide x 22" high for the skirt.
4. For the four skirt ruffles or tiers cut as follows:
    1st tier one rectangle 27" wide x 7" high.
    2nd tier one rectangle 45" wide x 7" high.
    3rd tier one rectangle 45" wide x 10" high.
    4th tier one rectangle 45" wide x 10" high.

Next press all of the pieces with a warm iron and you are ready to sew.

Pivoting gives a pretty end for the ties.
Match up the 8 pieces cut for the ties and pin the first pair together right sides facing each other.   Sew them starting at one open corner down the long side 1/2" from the raw edges.

When you reach the first corner pivot and make a diagonal turn crossing the full width until you are 1/2" from the other side and continue stitching to the end of the second long edge. STOP.  Do Not close the end.   Turn the ties right side out and press.  Repeat the process on a second pair to form the straps/ties for the top of the bib of the apron.

Sew the two 3" ends together with the right sides facing then press the seam open.
To make the ties and waistband join a pair of the ties at the 3" raw edge with a 1/2" seam and the right sides facing each other.  Then press the seam open.    Join the last set of ties in the same fashion,

A charcoal marking pencil is handy.
Pin the two long sash pieces together right sides facing and matching the center seam.  Mark the center top leaving a 12" opening for the bib (6" on either side of the center front).  Mark the center front of the lower edge 28" (measure 14" from the center seam on both sides).   This is where you will attach the skirt.

A sewing guide comes in handy here.
Pin the ric rak to the right side of the bib fabric so the highest point in the lower edge is between 7/8 and 1" from the raw edge.  Sew just catching the top of the ric rak about 1/2" from the raw edge.

Place the bib and the bib lining fabrics together right sides facing.  Measure 2" in from each top corner and mark.  Do not sew the 2" openings as this is where  you will insert the ties for the neck. Sew the area inside the two places you have left open on top of the stitching you used to attach the ric rak.  Turn and press.  Pin the neck ties in the openings leaving a 2" overlap inside the opening.  Close the side seams and press.  Top stitch the sides and top  to finish.

Here is half an apron!
Fit the bottom of the bib into the 12" opening in the top of the waistband.   Top stitch all of the edges together except the 28" opening.  Leave it open.  Set this aside for now and make the skirt tiers as follows.

On the skirt lining panel, the 2nd tier panel, the 3rd tier panel, and the 4th tier panel: make a 1/4" double turn hem along the sides and bottom edge.  To do this, fold in the raw edge 1/4" and press. Then, fold 1/4" again and press Stitch in place close to the fold, making sure to encase the 1/4" hem as you sew.

On the 1st tier panel make a 1/4" double turn hem along the SIDE EDGES ONLY.

When I make gathers I sometimes prefer to hand baste and I found this to be true here.  So prepare a needle and thread by running your length of thread through bees wax.  If you are not familiar with this you can usually purchase at any sewing supply store.  The bees wax does a terrific job of keeping the thread from knotting as you sew.

I like to hand baste for short lengths of gathers using a double thread and making big running stitches.
Baste in long stitches (about 1/4th") using a double thread the top of the RAW edge of the 2nd tier and gather until it is 26" wide.  Tie off the ends.  Pin the gathered edge of the 2nd tier to one of the raw edges of the 1st tier, with the right sides facing each other and the hemmed side edges lined up.  Sew a 1/2" seam. 

Flip over to the backside and press the seam allowances up towards the top of the raw edge of the 1st tier.

Turn under 1/2" all along the top raw edge of the 3rd tier.  Press to make a nice folded edge.  Top stitch about 1/4th" from the folded edge to secure the fold.  Baste and gather equally across THIS FINISHED EDGE until it is 24" wide.  REPEAT this step with the 4th tier.

Pin the gathered edge of the 4th tier to the skirt lining panel so the top of the gathered panel is 15 1/2" below the top raw edge of the lining.  The edges of the tier should be centered and SET IN 1" from each hemmed edge of the lining panel.

Sew this gathered tier to the skirt lining panel with a 1/4th " top stitch.

Pin the gathered edge of the 3rd tier to the skirt lining panel so the gathered edge is 9 1/2" below the top raw edge of the skirt lining panel.  As above, the edges of the tier should be centered and set in 1" from each hemmed edge of the lining panel.  

Sew this gathered tier to the underskirt panel with a 1/4" top
stitch.  The bottom edge of the 3rd tier should hide the top sewn edge of the 4th tier by about 3" or so.

This finished side is the left and the right side is flipped to show the seam pressed up.
Pin the WRONG side of the 1st /2nd tier combo piece to the RIGHT side of the skirt lining panel (with it's two tiers in place), lining up the top raw edges.

Sew together along the top with a 1/4" top stitch.

Line up and pin the hemmed side edges of the 1st tier to the hemmed side edges of the lining, and sew together with a 1/4" top stitch following the existing hemmed edge stitching.

To finish the apron insert the top of the skirt panel into the opening in the bottom of your waistband.  Edge stitch skirt panel in place matching the edge stitching to the stitching that was previously stopped for this opening.  Press and enjoy what you have made.

Note: I adapted much of this apron from my own ideas but also from some I have seen online.  I particularly liked one called Citrus Holiday found and want to mention them as they had lots of great aprons!


BIG BATCH Cinnamon Rolls

These are the most delicious cinnamon rolls I have ever tasted and I just put 7 pans in the freezer and kept out 3 for the weekend!
I found an extra jar of Vietnamese Cinnamon in my pantry the other day and have since had the notion to make Cinnamon Rolls.  I don't have to be frugal with it as there is plenty to last while I order more from King Arthur Flour Company as I like theirs the best of any I have tried. 

To date my favorite recipe was one I posted, "Cinnamon Rolls made with Cream Cheese Layers." on 4/15/12.  But, I have been anxious to adapt this new one made by REE Drummond, The Pioneer Woman on the food network.  She baked these and gave them as gifts during Christmas.  I loved that is is a huge recipe and that she flavored the frosting with Maple and black coffee.  Two of my favorite flavors together!  I know from past experience you can freeze the unbaked or partially baked yeast dough and pull them out and finish as needed.  Also her recipes, as are those of The Iowa Housewife,  (sisters Sue and Myrna) and Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa  always good and flexible enough to be adapted to my families preferences and my ways of doing things.

If I were to rave about results this one would be at the top of the list!   The dough is easy but very slack which results in a very soft roll.  The dough is easy to work with and rolled out perfectly.  They are most delicious, in fact they are the best cinnamon roll I have ever tasted!  Couple that with the flexibility of being able to either refrigerate the dough and use for up to three days or make one mess and have enough to stock the freezer with 10 pans of 7 each of yummy cinnamon rolls.  I already sent a text message to our out of town son promising to pull a couple pf pans from the freezer and let them thaw as I drive for my next trip to visit him and the twins.

Ingredients for Big Batch Cinnamon Rolls: 

1 quart of 2% milk
1 C. canola oil
1 C. sugar
4 1/2 t. instant yeast (or 2 pkg. active day)
9 C. flour + more for rolling on the work surface
2 t. baking powder
3/4  t. baking soda
1  T. salt

Ingredients for Cinnamon Filling:

2  1/4 C. melted butter
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. Vietnamese Cinnamon
1 1/2 C. sugar + more if needed

Ingredients for Maple Glaze:

2 pounds powdered sugar
3/4  C. 2% milk
6 T. melted butter
1 t. espresso powder (or instant coffee powder)
pinch of salt
2 t. maple flavoring

First to make the dough heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a sauce pan over medium or low heat until warmed and the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and cool to no more than 115 degrees F.    Meanwhile take a very large glass bowl or crock, something heavy that will hold the warmth, and set it in the sink.  Fill it to the top with very hot water from your tap and just leave it while you go to the next step.  Sprinkle the yeast atop the milk mixture and let it stand for a minute or so.

Empty the water from the bowl and thoroughly dry with a clean kitchen towel and measure 8 cups of the flour into this vessel.  Pour the 115 degree milk and yeast mixture into the flour ans stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Cover with a clean cloth towel and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour.

After an hour remove the towel and sprinkle in the baking powder, soda, salt, and last cup of flour then stir until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or you can leave it for up to 3 days.  (I made the dough the night before.)  Occasionally check the dough and punch down when it rises to the top of the bowl.

When you are ready to form the rolls remove half of the dough from the bowl.  Flour a large work surface. (I used the enamel pull out top from an antique Hoosier cabinet.)  Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough into a very large rectangle, 30" x 10".  The dough will be VERY thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 C. of the melted butter onto the surface of the rolled dough and spread it evenly with a pastry brush or your fingers.  Stir together the cinnamon and sugars and sprinkle one half of it evenly over the melted butter leaving about 1/2" edge around the outside of the dough without sugar.  Add more butter or sugar as needed.......

Start with the longest (30") edge furthest from you and tightly roll the dough towards you using both hands.  I dust any excess flour that my be clinging to the underside of the roll away as I roll.  Try to keep the roll tight.  When you get to the end of the rolling pinch it together a bit and turn the dough seam side down.  Lift the end of the dough and slip a cutting board beneath the first section of the dough.  I find a serrated bread knife works best to slice the rolls. 

Before slicing drizzle a good 2 T. melted butter into 5,  8" disposable pans or other pans of your choosing.  If using larger pans increase the amount of melted butter accordingly.

Slice the rolls a little more than 1/2 " thick and place cut side down  7-8 rolls per pan, being careful NOT to crowd them. My 30ish" log yielded  5 pans of 7 rolls each.  (Remember this is only half of the dough!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and cover the pans of rolls for baking and leave them to rise on the counter for at least 20 minutes. ( I left mine 30-35 minutes.) 

I covered 2 pans after the raising period with heavy duty foil, labeled them, and tucked them away in the deep freeze for another day.

Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown being careful NOT to over brown them.   While they bake prepare the icing.  Since I am baking only half of the rolls today I prepared only half a batch of frosting and used it today.  In a large bowl empty the sugar.  Microwave half of the milk in a small cup or bowl until just warm, about 30-40 seconds and stir in the espresso powder and stir until dissolved.  Add all of the remaining ingredients to the sugar and whisk until smooth.  The mixture should thicken but remain pourable.

Remove the rolls from the oven and immediately drizzle very generously with the frosting.  It will be somewhat absorbed and you will then need to repeat the drizzling.  Just drizzle away until you use all of the glaze.  Now get a fork, pull up a chair with your beverage of choice and be delighted.  We were!