When you hear about a family recipe that makes time stop and your mouth immediately water, you are convinced that you must see how it’s done. A good friend said her family’s traditional recipe for caramel rolls were the best breakfast (or maybe even dessert) in the world, so it was time to shine our Guest Test Kitchen spotlight in her direction. Mandy is a girl who normally eats in a healthy fashion, runs and bikes along the beach and generally maintains a great balance between enjoying food and living life. But it appears even the most balanced person can tip around caramel rolls! You be the judge. Or maybe we will if she offers to make another batch!
Following an interesting discussion with fellow foodies, I had this amazing realization that I do not associate food born from tradition as junk food – no matter how laden with fat, sugar or carbs it may be! This is definitely one of those recipes–a staple in the traditions of my family, reaching back to my childhood and weekends with my cousins up in Northern Minnesota. That tradition is so strong now that I forbid myself to keep the ingredients on hand, or I’ll make these decadent devils and devour them myself!
Caramel Rolls – Approximately 2 dozen
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more (melted) for brushing the dough and the baking dish
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 loaves frozen bread dough (This is Rhodes’ brand.)
The recipe is super simple with just a few ‘must–haves’ only because that is what the women at Ernie’s Food Market in Staples, MN told my Aunt Gina 16 years ago! Thaw two loaves of frozen bread dough (must be frozen bread dough and only in the loaves, not rolls) until 70% thawed. Using just your hands, push the dough out so you get a nice sized rectangle upon which you lovingly adorn with a bit of melted butter, cinnamon and white sugar. Meanwhile, heat the ice cream, butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan. While this is melting, tightly roll your dough into a log and begin to cut 1-1 1/2” rolls and place in a buttered glass baking dish. (It is important to use glass and not metal so your rolls will cook evenly.) When your pan is full of rolls, pour on the caramel mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, uncover your rolls and put them in a preheated oven at 325 degrees and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Take out the rolls and let them sit for a bit then invert onto a tray and enjoy!
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
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