My Grandma Noeker was famous (at least within the family) for her baked goods. To be honest, I don’t really remember her making cinnamon rolls but when I called my mom for her recipe, she said she used Grandma Noeker’s. Grandma’s recipes are also notoriously vague. I was looking at her recipe for stuffing and it says something like, “a little onion (1 tablespoon).” Have you seen what a tablespoon of chopped onion looks like? So sometimes you have to improvise. Some of her other recipes aren’t vague but for some reason do not turn out the way she made them. Ever. She made these soft white cookies at Christmastime that were The. Best. All of us grandkids still talk about them and salivate over them. We have her recipe for them. It’s pretty exact. A lot of aunts and cousins have tried to make them. They aren’t terrible or anything but they certainly aren’t the same. No one has been able to break this code. Perhaps she sprinkled fairy dust in there. Or crack? We’ll likely never know. Anyway, here’s her recipe for cinnamon rolls. I’ll explain any vague-ness.


So it’s all pretty straight forward although I just kind of dumped all of the ingredients in there and then freaked out because I poured the scalded milk on the yeast and I thought maybe I killed it. I didn’t. They still rose. But for your knowledge, yeast cells die if you add too hot of liquid to it (probably somewhere around 130 degrees F – maybe even a little cooler than that) and the milk I just dumped in all willy-nilly-like was boiling. So yeah. Anyway, I kind of just mixed everything (I didn’t have any shortening so I used butter and it was fine) up and kneaded it a few times until it was a manageable dough ball. Then I rolled it out:


This is probably about 1/4 in thick. Then I spread butter all over it. Butter is good so I used a decent amount of it (about 4 tablespoons or a half of a stick) Salt is also good so I used salted butter:


Then I sprinkled cinnamon on there. I didn’t measure how much I used. We’ll just refer to it as a “generous amount.” See Grandma? My recipes are vague too!


Since brown sugar is good too (and even better with butter), I used a “generous amount” of that too:


Then you roll this whole sucker up:


And slice it into 20 pieces and put into a greased baking dish. Cover it and let it rise until they’ve doubled in size:



Then you bake them in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. The recipe doesn’t even tell you how to make the glaze. It’s easy though. You use 3 parts powdered sugar and 1 part water (about – I didn’t actually measure it) and a little vanilla. Pour it on as soon as the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven. It will sink right in.


These are best served warm. But not as soon as you pour the glaze on like JW and I learned. Hot sugar and butter is roughly the same temperature as molten lava.

So do you have any family recipes that never turn out like your grandma made them? What are they?