I must say that making cinnamon buns for Mr. Collin Murray was something that I put off for a long, long while. After making them, I honestly don’t know why I put it off for that long — it really wasn’t that painful.

What makes these cinnamon buns a little special is the addition of a little orange zest to the butter/sugar “stuffing”. If you wanted a traditional taste, you could certainly leave it out but Collin Murray and I found that the zest was really quite lovely — it brightens and lightens the buns right up.

This recipe is certainly isn’t the easiest one on this site but when you are thinking of making buns, are you really looking for easy? I made them out of love and judging by how many he ate, Collin Murray felt the love.

Cinnamon Buns with Vanilla Glaze (adapted from Home Baked Comforts)

Makes 16-20 medium-sized buns

For the dough:

2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast

¾ cup milk, warmed to 110˚F

¼ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

1 ½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed

For the filling:

¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Zest of one orange

For the glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup milk or orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

Begin with the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk and the yeast and let stand until the yeast is foamy and dissolved, about 10 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, eggs, salt and 4 ½ cups of flour. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and on a low speed, knead until the dough comes together, adding more flour if the dough looks wet. Add the butter and allow the mixer to knead for about 5-7 minutes or until the dough is soft and springs back when touched. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough into the bowl to rise for 1 ½ hours or until it has doubled in size.

Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. Punch down the dough and cut it in half. On a lightly floured flat surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle – about 9×14 inches. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread half the butter all over the first rectangle, sprinkle with half the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and zest half an orange overtop. Starting at the long side that is closest to you, begin to roll the rectangle away from you, carefully and tightly, forming a long log as you go. Cut into eight equal pieces, arrange the slices in the baking dish.

Repeat the whole process with the second ball of dough.

Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for about an hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Bake at 400˚F for 20 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the buns in the middle of the baking dish comes out clean.

While the buns are baking, in a small bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, milk or orange juice and vanilla and stir together.

Once baked, allow the buns to cool about 10-15 minutes and the drizzle the glaze overtop and enjoy while warm.

Not all vintage recipes come from cookbooks. In fact, some of my favorites are handwritten or typed (by typewriters kids…not computers) on festive little recipe cards. Such is the recipe I’m sharing with you today. It comes from my Nannie Betty, a native Texan and expert on all things Southern. She typed up this recipe for my mother lord knows how long ago and I “borrowed” it from my Mama in order to make Nannie’s infamous cornbread.

Collin Murray and I are celebrating American Thanksgiving tomorrow and so in the morning, this cornbread will be crumbled and used in Nannie’s Cornbread Stuffing but today, I’m having just a wee taste with butter and hoping that y’all will make some and do the same because it is so gosh darn good.

 Nannie Betty’s Cornbread (adapted)

1 ½ cups cornmeal

¼ cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

 ½ teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

5 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Melt butter allow and to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and eggs to dry ingredients, whisk to combine. Add slightly cooled butter, whisk again and pour into a greased pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until cornbread is cracked and firm to the touch. Let cool in pan and enjoy.