These cinnamon rolls are, without a doubt, one of the top family recipes in existence. I don’t remember the first time I had them, but all I know is Grammy made them, then my mom, and now it’s my turn. In other words these cinnamon rolls are totally emotional (er, they make me emotional. On a flavor level and personal level. Now it’s getting weird). They are super decadent and rich, and they are so good I refuse to feel guilty any time I eat them. The fact that it’s mandatory to put butter on top of your hot roll in my family is just amazingly ridiculous, and I LOVE IT. (Totally know you are judging us, and judge away, if you had these, you would want to do it too).I have never really been a pro at making cinnamon rolls, but I love them so much. These are definitely worth the time and effort. Plus they freeze great. Let’s not talk about how I came home one (late) night and microwaved one and it tasted EVEN better than it ever had before. Let’s also not talk about WHY that could have been the case…But in all (semi) seriousness, this is just one of my favorite recipes of all time. It would probably go on my last-meal list, which makes sense since these rolls do send you straight to heaven.
Okay. I’m done with the bad puns. At least for today.
Upside-down Pecan Rolls
makes 12 cinnamon rolls
- 2/3 cup milk (nonfat is ok)
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 5 1/2 – 6 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
For the Brown Sugar Nut Syrup:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup Pecan halves
In a pan, combine milk, 3/4 cups of the sugar, salt and 1/2 cup of the butter (cut into pieces). Heat, stirring, to about 110 degrees (butter need not melt completely).
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Blend in milk mixture. Gradually mix in 3 cups of the flour, then beat for 5 minutes. Beat in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve remaining egg white), then gradually beat in enough of the remaining flour (about 2 cups) to make a stiff dough.
Turn dough out on to floured board, knead until smooth and satiny (10-20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn dough over in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).
Punch dough down. knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air; let rest for 10 minutes. Then roll and stretch dough into a 24×18 inch rectangle. Brush evenly with the 1/4 cup melted butter. Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over butter, and then sprinkle with chopped pecans. Starting with a narrow side, roll up jellyroll fashion. Moisten edge of dough with water and pinch it snugly against roll to seal. With a sharp knife, cut roll into 12 equal parts.
Prepare brown sugar nut syrup. Boil together 1/4 cup butter, 2 tbsp water and 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar for 1 minute. Immediately pour into a 9×13 inch baking pan; tilt pan so syrup forms an even layer. Arrange 1 cup pecan halves, flat side up, on syrup.
Arrange cinnamon roll slices cut side up in pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 1 1/2 hours). Brush surfaces of rolls with reserved egg white beaten with 1 tsp water. Bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until well browned. Immediately invert onto a serving tray. Makes 12 rolls.
*NOTE: The original recipe makes 6 GIANT rolls. You can do this, and we used to do this, however this year we downsized and everyone liked having 1 manageable roll to eat!