Today's guest post is from Celeste over at Sugar & Spice by Celeste
(fun fact: Celeste and I were cheerleaders together in high school - Go Cougars!)


Celeste Ward is a Director of Business Development in the relocation industry by day, and a passionate food blogger and photographer by night.  She is published on her blog, Sugar & Spice by Celeste, which she created in 2007 shortly after getting married.  What originally started as a simple way to catalog recipes, has turned into a full-blown love for all things food related.  Her work has been featured on Fox 6 News’ Good Day Alabama, The Cooking Channel website,, Tastespotting, The Magic City Post, and Belle Chevre to name a few.  She is currently working on co-authoring and photographing her first cookbook, due to be published in 2013.




Twas a week before Christmas

And in my blog's queue,

Awaited a deliciously special recipe just for you.

See, this recipe is unique and has been handed down,

And it in fact made Etta Reid famous around town!

What is it, you ask?  Well, come over here.

I'll tell you the secret to filling your taste-buds with cheer!

With a little cinnamon, sugar, butter and dough,

Upon first bite, your friends and family will say "Whoa!"

So, make these rolls at your very first chance.

You'll want to thank me with a little happy dance!!

 In the spirit of Christmas, I'm SO very excited to share this incredibly special recipe with you.  My Great Uncle Mike recently shared his mom's recipe for Cinnamon Rolls with me and has given permission to share it with all of you lucky folks!  This is a treasured family recipe that his mom Etta only shared with a few people.

Recipes with stories behind them can't be beat...There's just something so special about making your grandmother's chicken & dumplings from a handwritten recipe or making cornbread dressing that's been passed down through generations.  Those foods mean so much, because just one bite can bring back so many wonderful memories.  When I use my GrannyRene's recipes, it's almost like she's in the kitchen cooking with me.

My uncle Mike graciously shared his mom's story about these cinnamon rolls, which follows below: "When Mom and Dad finally quit farming in NE Louisiana and moved back to Arkansas in 1975, Mom became an Investment Officer with the First State Bank in Newport.  She began baking and bringing in to the bank her special cinnamon rolls to share with her co-workers.  Of course, some of the bank's customers were invited to have some rolls and coffee while doing their business with Miss Etta.  Gradually, Tuesdays became the main day of the "Blue Haired" customers, older widows, to do their banking business with Miss Etta.  Mom told me she even had customers from the competing bank across the street move their accounts to First State Bank and join the Tuesday Cinnamon Roll Crowd.  The bank president discovered this and tried to pay Mom extra for baking the cinnamon rolls.  Mom told him it was a labor of love and only agreed to the bank reimbursing her partially for the ingredients.

Mom would start preparing the dough on Friday night and then bake some trays of rolls on Saturday morning.  Six of her brothers and father farmed about 10k acres of rice and soybeans in Jackson County.  It was amazing how each of them would have to stop and see Etta Lee around noon on Saturday's just as the rolls were coming from the oven with the smell of hot cinnamon rolls drawing them in like bears to honey.  Mom loved them all and made sure everyone had all of the rolls they could eat or wrap in a napkin to eat on the tractor or combine that afternoon."

So, there you have attempt at poetry, a story and some pretty amazing cinnamon rolls to top it all off.  :)

 Merry Christmas, my friends!




Before going into the oven.

Etta's Famous Cinnamon Rolls Adapted from:  Etta Reid

Ingredients: 2 pkgs. yeast 1 tsp sugar 2 cups whole milk, scalded 4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 8 cups all-purpose flour (approximately) 1/3 cup melted butter (or vegetable oil) 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda

Filling: 1 cup melted butter, divided 1 cup white granulated sugar, divided 1/8 cup ground cinnamon, divided

Directions: Soften the yeast in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water with 1 tsp sugar.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Bring milk to boiling point, remove from heat and add 4 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Combine beaten eggs, lukewarm milk mixture and softened yeast.  Add approximately 1/2 of the flour (4 cups).  Mix well (either with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, or by beating with a wooden spoon about 4 minutes).

Add melted butter (which has been cooled) or vegetable oil, mixing well.  Stir in remaining flour, along with the baking powder and baking soda, to make stiff dough.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead dough until it is smooth and elastic but no longer sticky.  Place the dough inside of a large bowl, which has been well greased.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight (dough will double in size). NOTE:  For a quicker rising time, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot, away from drafts, instead of the refrigerator.  Let the dough rise for approximately 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

To make the cinnamon rolls, punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a floured work surface.  Divide the dough in half, returning one half to the bowl.  Using a rolling pin, roll half of the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/4" thick.  Spread with 1/2 cup melted butter.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar, followed by a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon.  Tightly roll up in a jellyroll style.  Next, pinch the seams to seal all edges.  Slice with sharp knife into 3/4" inch slices.

Place on greased baking sheet, cut side down.  Repeat steps with remaining half of dough.

Cover and let rise in a warm spot for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove from heat and glaze with the icing (recipe below) while the rolls are still warm.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Icing for Cinnamon Rolls: Ingredients:  1/2 cup melted butter 1/4 tsp salt 1 lb powdered sugar 1/4 cup hot water 1 tsp Mexican vanilla

Directions: Pour the melted butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment.  Add the salt.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar until it has all been incorporated, adding the hot water halfway through.  Finally, add the vanilla.  Mix on medium speed, until it becomes a smooth, thin glaze, adding a tiny bit more hot water if needed.

Etta_Lee_Madden_ReidThe beautiful Ella Reid! :)