Melanie Maxwell’s Christmas “Pick” Recipe

Now that we’re onto another second sister-in-law recipe, you may have figured out what we’re doing. A blog reader requested the sisters-in-law favorite Christmas recipes! So, we’re working on fulfilling that. 

Melanie’s Christmas pick is actually our favorite cinnamon roll. 

We use a basic roll dough, which is one that has been previously posted on the blog, but I’ll post it again.

Recently I oversaw the making of these cinnamon with Nathan and Melanie’s kids so we could document it for the blog. The kids really did pretty much all of the work. These are awesome cinnamon rolls.

Maxwell’s Favorite Cinnamon Rolls
(if you want to see the step-by-step instructions,
this is the link to our Light and Fluffy Rolls
which is what we used)

1 1/2 Tablespoons (heaping) yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 cups warm water (100-110º)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
6 TB. honey or granulated sugar
1 egg room temperature (Put egg in bowl with hot water to warm it for a couple minutes.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dough enhancer (optional)
4 1/3 cups flour – white or wheat or a mixture (This is measured by scooping the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife.)

melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Step #1: Heat water to 100-110º. Pour warm water into a mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Gently mix together with a spatula and let proof for 5 minutes.

Step #2: In saucepan, melt better. Then add milk and honey until warm.

Step #3: Pour the milk+honey+butter mixture into the yeast mixture.

Step #4: Turn mixer on, and add egg, salt, dough enhancer, and a cup or two of flour. Finish adding the rest of the flour and knead for 7 minutes.

Step #5: Place dough in oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, then put in oven at 120º to rise for an hour. I heat the oven up to 180º and then leave the door open until the temperature drops.

Let rise until doubled (about an hour). Lightly flour hands and top of dough as often as needed. The dough might be slightly sticky. 

Step #6: Punch dough down. Divide into thirds. Roll one portion out. A key is not to make it too tall. Otherwise, your rolls will be huge. Brush with melted butter. Then, sprinkle on 1/3 of the brown sugar + cinnamon mixture. Tightly roll up, and then cut (we use floss).  Put in a greased pan. Let rise until doubled (I put ours in a warm oven). Take out of oven, preheat to 375º, and then return rolls to oven and bake until golden brown (around 15 minutes). Do not over bake! Frost with your favorite frosting recipe. Ours is a standard Betty Crocker buttercream icing. 

We use dental floss (not flavored, lol) to cut the cinnamon rolls,
and it works beautifully.
This is about how tall you would want it.
Drew brushed on the butter.
Benji adding his approval.
Before we baked them
The final product
100% kid approved

“Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know
to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
Isaiah 7:15

22 thoughts on “Melanie Maxwell’s Christmas “Pick” Recipe”

  1. These look super delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂 Love all the pics of Nathan and Melanie’s kiddos!

    1. It was all super great with the cinnamon roll making that night. We wanted to make them for the blog post, and we were babysitting Nathan and Melanie’s children. It was a perfect opportunity to include them in something they like to do and get the “cute” factor for the blog photos. We enjoyed cinnamon rolls for dessert that night, and the children took the rest home as a surprise birthday breakfast for their Daddy the next day. Cinnamon rolls are a favorite of his. The children were thrilled and Nathan had a wonderful breakfast.

  2. My Dad and siblings will love these for Christmas!

    One question: the recipe says ” Divide into thirds. Roll one portion out…Then, sprinkle on the brown sugar + cinnamon mixture.” Do you use the whole 3/4c of mixture on the one portion, and if you more rolls you make another 3/4c of sugar?

  3. Mmmm… looks good we’ll be trying this! Is there a sugar free substitute u can use instead if the brown sugar?

    1. Alana, you might know better than we do since I assume you eat sugar free. The girls said honey is difficult to work with and burns easily so that doesn’t sound like a good option. We haven’t used anything else except raw cane sugar.

    1. We aren’t sure. Chelsy might be making hers this weekend, and then we could have photos to go with it. Elissa didn’t have plans to make hers, and we didn’t ask a busy mommy to do extra even though she sweetly offered! We have both recipes so it is thinking about photos or not in the posts. And then there is Sarah’s time to put the posts together. That’s a totally noncommittal, uncertain response. Maybe this is better. We’d like to get them up before Christmas, but we don’t know if it will work.

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