Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Little House on the Prairie: Sweet Rolls with Maple Icing

"They took off the paper wrappings, and each had a little, hard, brown cake, with beautifully crinkled edges.  'Bite it,' said Pa, and his blue eyes twinkled.  Each bit off one little crinkle, and it was sweet.  It crumbled in their mouths.  It was better even than their Christmas candy.  
'Maple sugar,' said Pa."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

When I was a little girl, I would sit in my grandparents' kitchen and watch my grandpa smear gobs of peanut butter all over his pancakes at breakfast.  He called it "jungle mud."  "Everything tastes better with jungle mud," he would say.  While I've never had the inclination to glue a stack of hotcakes together with peanut butter, I do believe that there are foods that make everything in this world taste better---like butter, chocolate ganache, and Chick-Fil-A sauce.  

A few years ago, a friend of mine brought me a plate full of sweet rolls drizzled in maple icing.  As I started on my 8th roll, I decided that her maple icing was one of those magic foods---the kind that is so good that you could put it on asphalt and totally pass it off as a delicacy.  (Her rolls certainly weren't asphalt, but I couldn't help noticing how I would have probably scarfed them down too even if they had been . . . )  Now, if you are fresh out of asphalt, I suggest you drizzle this divinest of confections on a fresh pan of cinnamon rolls.

Here is the recipe I used this morning to make these . . .

Sweet Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water
7 1/2 cups of flour

Mix yeast in warm water in a bowl and set aside.  Put sugar and salt in a mixer.  (I use a KitchenAid.)  Meanwhile, heat milk in the microwave for about 3 minutes on high.  Pour hot milk into mixer with sugar and salt.  Add shortening to the mixer and stir until shortening is melted.  Add eggs and yeast mixture to the mixer and stir until blended.  Slowly add the flour a cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of your mixer.  Knead the mixture for 5 minutes.  Let rise until double in size (about 1 hour).  Punch down and roll into a large rectangle (14X24ish) about 1/4 of an inch in thickness on a greased surface.  Cover the surface of the dough with 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.  Roll up the dough lengthwise like a jellyroll and cut the roll into 1 inch disks with a knife.  Place disks in a greased pan about 1 inch apart.  Let rise for another 45 minutes or until rolls are touching.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown the surface of the rolls are firm to the touch.  (Makes 18 rolls)

{When you are done making your rolls, whip up a batch of this ambrosia and smother them in it.}

Maple Icing

 1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional) (use if you are a maple fanatic, but skip if you don't have it since the icing already has a rich, sugary maple taste without it)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Put butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and add extracts.  Whisk in powdered sugar until the sugar completely dissolves and there are no lumps.  Immediately pour on cooled rolls.  (Don't panic if your icing starts to set up.  Just turn the heat back on and stir until it becomes drizzle consistency.  Add a few drops of milk if necessary.)


Pray that you have some icing left over for anything and everything else in this world that needs a delicious nudge.  I think even grandpa might have traded his "jungle mud" for this maple icing if he'd been given the chance.  Happy drizzling!

Linking To . . .
StoneGable  ~  Six Sisters' Stuff  ~


  1. I remember my first taste of maple candy from Canada...I could NOT!

    Thanks for the recipe for these yummy looking rolls!

  2. I am loving your Little House posts. Thank you for showcasing the beauty in simple pleasures. These were my favorite books growing up and are just as enduring today.
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  3. Thank you for sharing your Magic Food! These looks better than scrumptious! Such an adorable post... beautifully written. Thanks for bringing the sweetness to ON THE MENU MONDAY!


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