I am sure by now you can tell that I love tradition and this very special family recipe takes me down memory lane as far back as I can recall. These homemade cinnamon sticks adorned our memories and palettes for years and years growing up and were a quintessential treat that my great grandmother and grandmother would always make us upon visiting. Now that I know the time and energy that went into them, I wonder how they felt when we gorged down the entire pan in less than 10 mintues……now that I think about it, that was probably the BEST complement they received.
The tradition for these cinnamon sticks continued at our house at Easter time. They were perfect Easter morning as they baked and smelled the house of butter, cinnamon, and sugar while we ran around and hunted our Easter eggs and tore into our Easter baskets. You would think the sugar high from all the candy would have sufficed but we all knew our favorite treat was really the cinnamon sticks waiting on the table.
With the cinnamon sticks, mom served up hard-boiled eggs and homemade sausages sent down from the same grandmother who made the cinnamon sticks. They arrived right before Easter and paired a perfect savory sweet combination.
I look back and think about all the hard work, love, time that went in JUST for that Easter meal and treasure every moment and savor every memory. The joy now is the recreation and the honor of a bygone time and a revamp of old traditions. It really is what we have to pass down…….and it makes for the BEST table side conversation.
- Day before baking make dough:
- 3½ tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 cup scalded milk
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup potatoes, mashed through sieve
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 7 cups unbleached white flour
- For topping:
- 2 sticks butter
- cinnamon and sugar mixed, equal parts
- Dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Cool milk to lukewarm and add yeast water.
- In a mixer with mixing attachment, cream butter, sugar, mash potatoes, and eggs. Switch to a dough hook.
- Add salt and flour together and start with flour and add a little to butter mixture then add a little water. Alternate between flour and water but start and end with flour. As soon as mixture is pulling from side of bowl and wrapping around dough hook.
- Grease a large bowl with butter and add dough. Cover with towel and let rise in warm place til double in size. Punch down and cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight. (I leave out but can put in fridge but bring to room temperature)
- Morning of baking:
- Punch down dough and in a 9x13 pan, start with a little bit of dough and roll into a log shape, about 4 inches long by 1 inch thick. Dip into butter and then roll into sugar/cinnamon mixture and put in pan. Repeat this with all the dough and alternating sides you place them inside pan as you will make 2 rows. As you put them next to each other, just "push" a little against each other to pack in a little bit. Pan won't be totally full which is fine as they will rise again in oven
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put a pan underneath 9x13 as it will spill over with sugar mixture. Bake for 25 minutes and check to see if they are done. They will be soft but easily pull apart.
- Serve immediately with butter. Best HOT and out of oven!