Friday, April 22, 2011

Grandma Johnson's Caramel Rolls

The difference between Johnson-cooking and Mikaela-cooking:  precision.

Mac's mother and grandmother have some amazing recipes, there's no doubt about that!  But EVERY recipe I ever request from them goes a little something like this:  "well, I put some of this and that together, then you add a little more and whip it up real good, then throw in some of this, and bake it til it's done"


Even I, semi-experience-amateur baker need a little more direction than that!  I guess I shouldn't be so picky, because EVERYTHING they make is delicious and perfect... apparently its the love that holds it all together. :)

Mac's birthday was on Thursday and I wanted to surprise him by making his grandma's caramel rolls.  The problem, again, with making anything for Mac that comes from his family is he always responds "it's good, but it's different than how she makes it."  As was the verdict with these rolls... Well, I can't be Mama O and I can't be Grandma Johnson, but I will sure try and learn from them!  Maybe you can do a better job with this than I did... I'll try and add in MY specific measurements, since those tend to be lacking.

This was the original recipe:
Rolls- makes about 64 crescent rolls/large pan or 2 9/13 pans cinnamon rolls

4 cups evaporated milk or 1 2/3 powder milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 oil
3 well beaten eggs 
1 tsp salt 
10 -12 cups flour

3 Tbsp yeast plus 1 tsp sugar mixed into 1 cup warm water.  Let yeast activate
Mix with liquid ingreds. and knead in flour. Knead well into a ball and place into  
greased large bowl. Cover and let rise/double once.  Punch down and form into 
rolls and bake at 375 for 12 minutes.
For cinnamon rolls, roll out dough into a large rectangle onto a floured service,
about 1/2 inch thick.  Spread dough with butter and sprinkle well with cinnamon
and sugar.  You can use white or brn sugar.  Roll length wise into a long log.
Take a piece of thread and lift log and place thread underneath it and cross over
on top slicing thru log.  About 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.  Place into pan.  Meanwhile
mix  1 pint of whipping cream and add brn sugar to it til thick.  Pour this mixture
over rolls and bake at 375 till brown.  Enjoy!

You can make a couple dozen of rolls and then just one 9/13 pan of cinnamon rolls
Secret make sure you do use alot of brn sugar for the carmel sauce!

Here's my version JUST for one batch cinnamon rolls:


1 1/2 T. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. warm water

2 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 well beaten eggs (medium or 1 1/2 large)
1/2 tsp. salt
5-6 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. softened butter

1 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. brown sugar

Mix together water, yeast, and 1/2 tsp sugar and let rest til foamy, approximately 5 minutes.  Beat in milk, sugar, oil, salt, and eggs until combined, then mix in flour, 1 cup at a time.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  (I use my kitchenaid then knead by hand for 1 minute into a ball).  Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rise until doubled.  
After it's doubled, roll it out on a floured surface into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  Spread with softened butter, then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Roll lengthwise into a tight log and pinch to seal seam.  Cut using thread or a serrated knife into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in a greased 9x13 pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise til doubled.  Preheat oven to 350.  
For the topping, mix together cream and brown sugar until it's thick.  Pour over prepared rolls.  Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and center is still gooey.