The Neighborhood Chef



Published Tue, Jan 2, 2007

The Ponca City News


Several years ago my Northwest Classen graduating class got together on a list serve. Itís a little strange but Iíve made friends with people I never knew in school but have gotten to know and enjoy through this small world thing called the internet. Since we are always talking about food, Iíve been lucky to gain access to favorite old recipes from our past such as Cinnamon Rolls made from the long lost Oklahoma City school district recipe. They were big gooey bites of warm cinnamon pastry. Classmate Becky Davis found the Putnam City (OKC) recipe which folks think is the same as the NWC one.


So, to test them out, another classmate, Dona Hollingsworth who was visiting her sister, Diana, in Oklahoma City over the holidays, made and invited anyone who wanted to stop by to a Cinnamon Roll party.  The rolls were delicious and were as remembered by those classmates sampling.


Putnam Cityís Cinnamon Rolls



     2          packages Yeast

     2          cups warm Milk

     1/4       cup plus 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar

     1          teaspoon Salt

     1/4       cup Margarine, melted

     1          Egg

     5          cups Flour



     3/4       pound Margarine or Butter, softened (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups)

     1-1/3    cups granulated Sugar

     1-1/2    cups Brown Sugar

     3          tablespoons Cinnamon



     2-1/4    cups Powdered Sugar

     1/2       cup Warm Water

     1          teaspoon Vanilla


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in milk. Add sugar, salt, egg and margarine mixing well. Gradually add flour until thoroughly incorporated. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a well-buttered glass or plastic container, cover with cloth and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Lightly oil surface (very important) and roll the dough out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Combine filling ingredients in food processor or by hand and mix well.  Spread over dough with spatula. Roll dough, (jelly roll fashion) and slice, using clean thread or serrated knife.

Place rolls in heavily buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans, leaving 1 inch between rolls. Cover with cloth and let rise in warm place until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together icing ingredients. Remove rolls from oven and immediately pour icing over rolls.


Note: this makes several pans, plenty to enjoy with friends and co-workers.




Becky Davis also sent in this recipe for a Cinnabon-like roll originally published in the Portland newspaper as submitted by Judy Hilman. (These rolls remind me of the ones you can get at the State Fair in OKC)


Cinnamon Rolls II



     2          packages active dry Yeast

     1          cup warm Water (105-115 degree)

     2/3       cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated Sugar, divided

     1          cup warmed Milk

     2/3       cup Butter, melted

     2          teaspoons Salt

     2          Eggs, slightly beaten

     7 to 8   cups all-purpose Flour, or more if needed



     1          cup softened Butter or Margarine, divided (2 sticks)

     1-3/4    cup granulated Sugar, divided

     3          tablespoons ground Cinnamon

     1-1/2    cups chopped Pecans or Walnuts, optional

     1-1/2    cups Raisins, optional


Creamy Glaze:

     2/3       cup melted Butter or Margarine(1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)

     4          cups Powdered Sugar

     2          teaspoons Vanilla

     4 to 8   tablespoons Hot Water


In a small bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and 1-teaspoon sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky).


Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20-inch rectangle.


For filling, combine 1-1/2 cups sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Spread dough with 1/2-cup of the softened butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture and follow with nuts and raisins, if desired.


Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch the ends and edges together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and an 8-inch square pan with remaining 1/2-cup melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4-cup sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices in pans. Lightly cover and let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool slightly before icing.


To prepare glaze, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl; add hot water 1- tablespoon at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.




The following recipe is about the closest weíve found to the true cinnabon-like roll icing. The key to this is whipping for at least 12 minutes and of course, the blend of lemon and vanilla mixed with the richness of cream cheese.


Cinnabon-like Roll Frosting

     1          pound Margarine, room temperature (2 cups or 4 sticks)

     1          pound Cream Cheese, room temperature

     2          pound Powdered Sugar

     2          teaspoons Lemon Juice

     2          teaspoons Vanilla Extract


In a mixing bowl, beat with a mixer cream cheese and margarine until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar beating until all the sugar is mixed in. Then beat for an additional 12 minutes. Just before finished beating add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat just long enough to thoroughly blend. Spread over warm rolls.




Connie Mullennax has been so kind as to share with us the recipe for the Ponca City School system's Cinnamon Rolls. "Old" kids tell me they stayed for lunch just so they could indulge themselves with one of these extra large warm gooey rolls, slathered with butter and a thick creamy icing.


Connie says this recipe uses a basic white bread recipe for the cinnamon roll dough. It will make two dozen hot rolls, two loaves of bread using 9 x 5-inch loaf pans or two dozen cinnamon rolls.


Ponca City School's Cinnamon Rolls


Basic White Bread for Rolls:

     2-1/4      cups Warm Water

     1/3         cup Dry Milk

Or, substitute water and dry milk with 3 cups Milk (whole, 2 percent or skim).

Or, substitute with 1-large can Milnot or any other evaporated milk with 1-can of water to make 3-cups of liquid.

     1/3       cup Vegetable Shortening

     6          cups all-purpose Flour

     2          packets dry Yeast or 2 tablespoons yeast

     1/3       cup granulated Sugar

     1/2       tablespoon Salt (1-1/2 teaspoons)


In a saucepan, place liquid with shortening. Heat until around 115 degrees as registered on a candy thermometer, or warm enough like testing for a baby bottle.


In a large bowl, thoroughly combine dry ingredients including dry milk if using that method; if not, flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add warm liquid to the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth ball. (Don't use a mixer on this dough, it is too heavy.)


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (enough flour not to stick on the counter top). Knead about 5-minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover with cloth or waxed paper. Let rise about 20 to 30 minutes or until double in size. Punch dough down and shape into hot rolls, bread loaves or roll dough into a rectangle for cinnamon rolls.


Spread with filling (or, goop) to the edges, roll rectangle up from long side and slice into rolls about 1-1/4 inches thick or larger. (Connie uses 2 fingers together and place on dough to get the size she wants). Place the rolls into a greased baking pan, press dough down, "tuck the tails" under the rolls.


Now, whether hot rolls, bread loaves or cinnamon rolls, let rise until double in size. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees for 10 minutes, turn pan and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and immediately butter tops. For cinnamon rolls, after buttering the tops, follow with a glaze of thin icing on the hot rolls. Cool, then ice with a thicker icing.


Makes 2 dozen cinnamon rolls.


NOTE: Connie says "dough can rise with no problem even in a cold kitchen if the bowl is placed on a heating pad set on MEDIUM; or, place rolls in a pan, lay a kitchen towel on top of the heating pad on HIGH, then cover the top of the pan with another towel.


Filling for Cinnamon Rolls (The Goop):

     1          cup granulated Sugar

     1          cup Brown Sugar

     3 to 5   tablespoons Cinnamon

     2          sticks Margarine or Butter (softened or melted)

     1          cup Raisins (soaked in warm water and drained; sprinkled with sugar) optional

     1          cup broken Pecans optional


To make Connie's "The Goop," in a large bowl mix sugars, add cinnamon stirring well. Add softened or melted margarine or butter creaming until smooth. Spread the Goop over the dough, making sure you get to the edges. Sprinkle with pecans and/or raisins, if desired. Roll and slice.


Or, you can spread the dough with the softened or melted butter and sprinkle the dry mixture (sugars and cinnamon) over the butter.


NOTE: "The Goop kind keeps well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Take out what you need the night before; may need to use a mixer to "Whip Up" again. To short-cut, I mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a gallon zip-lock bag. This will keep for a long time"


Icing for Cinnamon Rolls:

     3 to 4  cups Powdered Sugar

     1         teaspoon Vanilla

     1/4      cup Margarine, melted (1/2-stick)

                Few drops Milnot or Milk

                Pinch of Salt


In a mixing bowl, beat together powdered sugar, vanilla and margarine until smooth. Add enough Milnot or milk to a spreading consistency. Add salt in the final mixing to get out the powdered sugar taste. When cinnamon rolls are hot out of the oven, butter tops and make a thin glaze out of this icing and spread over hot rolls. When cooled, ice with the thicker icing.


Connie says "I double or triple this icing recipe, place it in an air-tight container. It keeps well for weeks in the refrigerator. Take out what you need the night before. Enjoy!!"


Copyright ©2007 The Ponca City News