As a new year swings into full force, accompanied by blankets of snow and blustery winds, I thought it would be the perfect time to share another comfort recipe with you. Even though this one didn’t start out in mom’s kitchen, it quickly became one of our family’s favourite treats and mom gave it her wholehearted approval the first time she licked the cinnamon and icing off her fingertips.
I obtained this recipe years ago when my family was living in what is now known as Miramichi City, but at the time was called Newcastle. One of the women in my local craft group served these buns when she was hosting our get-together one month, and it was an immediate hit. We all asked for the recipe and our hostess kindly shared it with us. The note on my copy of the recipe says it came from this woman’s mother-in-law, but unfortunately I don’t remember her name.
I do remember that my husband and children loved these cinnamon buns and we enjoyed them on Christmas morning that year. It quickly became a Christmas tradition, and once a tradition begins in my family, it is pretty much cast in stone.
“Should we have scrambled eggs and bacon for Christmas breakfast?” I asked one year.
My family recoiled in horror, as if I’d raised the possibility of skipping Christmas all together. “No way,” they said. “It wouldn’t be Christmas without cinnamon buns and orange juice between opening our stockings and opening our gifts under the tree. Good try, mom!”
We continued with our “traditional” Christmas breakfast of cinnamon buns, orange juice and coffee every year until Christmas 2009. That year my husband passed away shortly before the holiday and we didn’t do anything “traditional” on December 25, unless you count cooking a turkey dinner and eating it in front of the television while watching a Christmas movie.
This past December I didn’t make cinnamon buns for Christmas morning either, but I did make them during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and we enjoyed them with steaming cups of hot coffee. They were good, and the memories they held for us were good, so I will make them again, maybe even again this winter.
You should try them too—the recipe is a simple biscuit-type one, no yeast required, and I have never had a batch turn out badly. I also usually double the recipe because after all, what good is a dozen cinnamon buns?
Let me know how yours turn out, and if your family has discovered a new favourite recipe!
2 cups flour
½ tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
½ cup shortening
¾ cup sour milk (I add 2 tbsp white vinegar to the milk)
Roll out on floured surface into a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Spread with butter or margarine. Mix ½ cup brown sugar with 1 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle over dough. Roll jelly-roll fashion and slice into 12 biscuits.
Cook at 425° oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Separate buns with knife edge if required. Mix icing sugar with milk until a thin consistency forms that will run off a spoon. Drizzle over top of cinnamon buns. Let cool. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool and enjoy!