This recipe was first given to me by a dear friend when we were stationed in Germany in the 80's. I tweaked it until it is as it reads here. These are great anytime, but my family traditionally expected these to be around to snack on when we decorated the Christmas Tree and again as part of the Christmas morning breakfast spread.I love these rolls either way, with or without the pecans. This recipe looks like it has a lot of steps but I promise, it is a snap. And sooooo good!
Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of WARM water. Allow to sit about 5 minutes. Stir to make sure all of the yeast is dissolved.
In a large bowl, add the yeast mixture to the powered milk, sugar, oil and egg.
Slowly add in 1 1/2 cups flour and work in until smooth. Gradually add 2 - 2 1/2 cups more flour until you get the dough to a good working consistency so that it is easy to handle. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
Knead the dough onto a floured surface until smooth. Put dough in a large bowl with lightly oiled sides. Cover and set in a warm place. Allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and then roll it out into a large rectangle. Generously spread the room temperature butter over the top of the rectangle of dough.
In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and the sugar and sprinkle evenly over the top of the buttered dough.
Sprinkle the chopped pecan pieces evenly over the sugar-cinnamon mixture. (OPTIONAL)
Beginning at the widest side, roll up as evenly and tightly as possible. Cut into rolls at 1 inch intervals with kitchen twine.
Place on a greased cookie sheet or baking dish. Cover and set in a warm, dry place until doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven to begin to cool. While still warm , drizzle with the glaze.
TO PREPARE THE GLAZE: In a small mixing bowl, add vanilla to the sifted confectioner's sugar. VERY SLOWLY add warm water a teaspoon at a time until the mixture gets to a consistency to allow you to drizzle it over the warm cinnamon rolls. If you get it too thin, simply add more sugar.