Pumpkin-pecan cinnamon rolls with browned butter icing were on the breakfast menu again this year over the holidays.
For me, making pumpkin-pecan cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning is certainly about the warm, sweet, buttery, frosted treat at the end. But more than that, it's about the smell of the yeast, it's the elastic feel of the dough in my hands, it's using moms rolling pin and Pat's sifter, it's remembering who was here last year when we ate them and wondering who might be here next year. It's about the spode christmas plates they are served on. It's about drinking a cup of coffee while I wait for the dough to rise.
It's about the idea of a cinnamon roll. The feeling of a cinnamon roll. Kind of like Alice's sugar cookies in the round needlework holiday tin, or Aunt Lois's biscuits mixed by hand on the countertop, or Chris's shrimp pasta. These are things that can never be understood simply on the basis of the ingredients.
You know that saying "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts it's made of" ? I am pretty sure the person who came up with that was referring to cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning probably.