Grandma’s pecan rolls, a cup of coffee (hot chocolate for the littles), Christmas music playing in the background, snuggled up in our pjs by the beautifully lit, fresh-cut Christmas tree. That is how we do Christmas mornings. It’s a tradition that we’ve had for years, and it’s one that I’m looking forward to passing onto our boys. These rolls remind me of my childhood. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners were not complete if Grandma’s rolls weren’t sitting in a basket at each end of the table. She would always make extra so that we could save a few to reheat on Christmas morning. Now that we live across the country, my Grandma has shared her recipe with me (and has given me permission to share it with all of you) so that I may carry on her tradition with my family. We take these rolls to all of our holiday gatherings, and they’re always a hit! So, I wanted to be sure to share this recipe with you just in time for the holidays.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Box Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
1 Cup of Hot Water
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter*
1 Tablespoon of Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
3 Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
1 Small Bag of Chopped Pecans
*Earth Balance Vegan Butter can be substituted for a dairy free option. I have done this several times, and they always turn out well.
Follow the instructions on the back of your hot roll mix. While the dough rises, prepare your 9 by 13 inch pan. Spray it lightly with cooking spray. Combine 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and one tablespoon of light corn syrup – mix well. Spread on bottom of your pan. Sprinkle on as many pecans as you like. This will be the topping for the rolls. You will flip them after they come out of the oven.
After the dough rises once (as directed by box), punch the dough down and roll it out on a lightly floured pastry sheet from corner to opposite corner so you have a long narrow dough – it’ll be 5 or 6 inches wide and about 2 feet long. Melt a few tablespoons of butter and spread it out on the dough. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the dough.
Roll up the dough so it is long and narrow. Cut into 24 slices – each about 1 inch wide. Place rolls in your prepared dish (cut side down), cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise for 30 minutes. On occasion, I’ll have a little leftover cinnamon sugar, and I’ll sprinkle it over the top of the rolls once they’re in the pan to rise.
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll know that they’re done when they’re light brown in color. While still warm, turn your pan upside down onto another another 9 x 13 pan or cookie sheet.