Every holiday, the family expects sweet rolls, but not just any old kind, they have to be Mashed Potato Cinnamon Rolls. Seriously! I have no idea why they are so good, but they are winners every time.
This recipe was shared with our family in 1975 in the Junior League of Salt Lake City’s Heritage Cookbook and we never went back to old recipes. But I have a feeling this one has been around for more than a hundred years. It’s just a hunch, but I think some pioneer baker figured out something just right for our high mountain altitude (4500 ft/1370 m); but whatever you do never leave out the mashed potatoes!
Ingredients for one 12 in/30 cm dutch oven (about 1 doz in all)
Soften yeast in warm water and let stand 10 minutes. Place butter into milk while cooling to lukewarm. Stir in half the flour and all the sugar, mashed potatoes, egg, salt and yeast. If adding raisins and nuts, mix them separately in another bowl with one cup of flour. Then add to dough. Continue adding flour until all is mixed in. This is a soft dough. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll dough to 1/2 inch thick rectangle on a floured surface. Brush one side with melted butter, cover surface with 1/4 inch layer of brown sugar, then generously cover that with cinnamon (if nuts and raisins were not added to the dough they can be added to the filling now, or skip them depending on your Scouts tastes). Roll the entire rectangle, jelly roll style and cut into 1 inch slices. Place onto a buttered dutch oven, cover and let rise to double.
Place onto hot coals; cover lid with hot coals too. Bake for 20 min until golden brown, checking every five minutes. Remove from heat and while still warm, slather with buttercream or cream cheese frosting. This allows the icing to melt into the rolls for rich and gooey filling.
If I am doing this on an overnight campout, I cut the rolls and freeze them on a cookie sheet ahead of time (don’t allow the final rise before freezing). Then just before leaving for camp, I butter the dutch oven, place the frozen rolls in the bottom, allowing them to thaw and rise overnight. They will be perfect for baking in the morning.