Meanwhile, onto the spectacular New Year's breakfast. This year I have a recent issue of Southern Living magazine to thank for motivating me to try this easy, feather-light yeast dough that rises in 30 minutes and makes the house smell absolutely fabulous while these rolls are cooking. Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls employed one cup of our pecans (I broke them into bits instead of chopping them) and called for them to be toasted for five minutes until fragrant (talk about another wonderful smell—toasted pecans fresh from being browned in the oven!)
The magic of this recipe occurs with the packaged hot-roll mix (I tested with Pillsbury Specialty Mix Hot Roll Mix), which contains the yeast as well as the flour mixture. The recipe instructs the cook to prepare the hot-roll dough as the package directs. Everything else is simple as pie (or as cinnamon rolls—the recipe says the mixture is "simple enough for a beginning baker".)
The recipe says this makes a dozen rolls, but I filled two full pans—making at least 18 plump cinnamon rounds—one batch to enjoy now and one to freeze for later.
With these simple rolls to welcome the celebratory morning, how can 2011 help but get off to a terrific start?
1 cup broken pecans
1 (16-ounce) package hot-roll mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (1/2 cup if using brown-sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar, sifted to make 1 cup
2 tablespoons milk (I use skim milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Stir halfway through. Prepare hot-roll dough as back of package directs; let dough stand 5 minutes. Roll dough into a 15-by-10-inch rectangle; spread with softened butter. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Sprinkle pecans over brown-sugar mixture. Roll up tightly; start at one long end; cut into 12 slices (more if dough allows). Place rolls, cut sides down, in a lightly greased 12-inch cast-iron skillet or 13-by-9-inch glass pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a cloth towel; let rise in a warm place (free from drafts) about 30 minutes or until rolls are doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover rolls and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until center rolls are golden brown and done. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Stir together sifted powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle over rolls.