Janet's Notebook
Magical Memories of Sweet Holiday Mornings


Gooey East Brunswick Cinnamon Rolls


One of the sweetest parts of Christmas mornings growing up in Kentucky was the feast that was lovingly laid out on our dining table. As a child it was all my parents could do to tear me from the piles of colorful wrapping paper and shiny, new gifts. As a teenager, our bountiful breakfast just meant more work I was expected to help with. But as an adult, the memories of those beautiful - almost magical - morning tables bring the widest of smiles to my face. That warm, nutty aroma was like no other - a combination of brewing coffee, fresh made pastries and sausages crackling in the cast iron skillet. Christmas breakfast just plain tasted better than any other meal of the year. Period.

Along with our own holiday staples, the Kitchen Crew and I have been burning the midnight oil sampling recipes you've shared with us for your own family's holiday favorites. More often than not, the story of the recipe is every bit as sweet as the dish itself!

Frequent recipe submitter Stephanie Jameson of Fairview, TN is showing her New England roots with her spectacular East Brunswick Cinnamon Rolls.

"My Aunt made these one year for Christmas breakfast and I've been making them ever since," says Stephanie. "As my son would say, they are ooey-gooey yumtastic!"

Well now, young Jameson took the words right out of my mouth! These aren't your "every day" cinnamon rolls. The recipe calls for a little added TLC to get the "ooey-gooeyness" just right, but the end result is well worth the extra effort!

Now before you go putting that cinnamon shaker away, why not try Irana Bencich's creative West Coast take on Christmas morning? This California gal's Cinnamon Tortilla Chips with Strawberry Salsa is a sugary-sweet play on traditional brunch flavors.

"This is a very fun recipe to try out," encourages Irana. "I really enjoyed making my own [sweet] tortilla chips, [and] the strawberry salsa is great on the chips too!"

Not only that, but Irana's dessert-like fruit salsa would be absolutely delicious atop a scoop of creamy ice cream or served over a big slice of decadent pound cake... a perfect holiday indulgence.

Another breakfast all-star that we recently had the pleasure of tasting is Donna Bardocz's recipe for Hungarian Nut Rolls. I've been singing the praises of this wonderful recipe from my very first bite.

"This wonderful recipe was my husband’s Hungarian grandma’s recipe. She would lovingly make them whenever the holiday season rolled around," explains Donna. "...after she passed away, I wanted to carry on her holiday tradition of making these yummy rolls for our family. One year I decided to try something different to change things up a bit when the holidays rolled around. But my husband’s father was so disappointed that year when he learned that I had not made any that I vowed never again to break this family tradition — that was over 20 years ago now and I haven’t since!"

We sure can see why, Donna! This beautiful roll-up consists of homemade dough, a sugary-sweet icing and a buttery, nutty filling of either walnuts or pecans.

Not only are these breakfast-time recipes full of flavor, but you can almost taste the years of care that have gone into perfecting each dish. So let your little ones play in the wrapping paper, and that teenager tap away on her electronic gadgets... They, too, will look back on these days as ones filled with the joy and sweetness that can only be homemade.



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4 Comments
donnacl
donna clark - Nov 18, 2011
I GOT THESE OFF YOUR SITE LAST WEEK AND MADE THEM FOR THE GRANDKIDS, WHAT A GREAT HIT IT WAS. I WILL NOW BE MAKING THEM FOR THE HOLIDAYS AS EVERYONE WILL BE AT MY HOUSE. THIS CINNOMAN ROLL WILL BE GOOD TO WAKE UP TO BEFORE THE FUN OF OPENING GIFTS. THANKS
grandmaNme
Cyndy McDonnell - Dec 17, 2010
Thanks for your great story, Janet! Can totally relate to your feelings about the Christmas breakfast spread! As we've all gotten older (parents and myself) we have cut down considerably, but what we still have every Christmas morning is a variety of homemade nut breads (often zucchini, pumpkin or banana and always cranberry) with cream cheese and dad's (my grandmother's recipe from her mom from the "old world") homemade German stolen! We serve with hot coffee in our special Christmas mugs...yum. I agree that those smells and flavors put a huge smile across my face too; such a great feeling anytime I think of it. :)
Grandmereb
Donna Bardocz - Dec 15, 2010
Aw, thank you Janet for the nice words for my recipe for Hungarian Nut Rolls--we love them too! I am gearing up for my second batch I am making this week.
CookingMaven
Leah Stacey - Dec 14, 2010
I love cinnamon rolls! Thanks for the great post!