Katie Graykowski: Hand over the cinnamon rolls and no one gets hurt

Best-selling romantic comedy author Katie Graykowski is here for FOODIE FRIDAY today. I still remember the first time she shared the opening to her first book, Perfect Summer, in our local writer’s group. I laughed out loud then. I laughed out loud again when I read the actual book, and I’m still a fan today.

Katie’s brought along some FREE BOOKS and CINNAMON ROLLS. To be clear, the books (5 copies of CHANGING LANES) are free to a few lucky commenters. I’m going to eat the cinnamon rolls. All of them. Back off my cinnamon rolls. I doubt we could squish them into an email attachment anyway.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Katie’s Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing


For me, the holiday season is all about the food…specifically breakfast. On Christmas morning, I make cinnamon rolls and an egg/sausage casserole. For drinks, we have mimosas. This Christmas morning food ritual is one that I carried over from my mother, Barbara McCelland. She likes to fill her cinnamon rolls with apples and cherries while I prefer straight up cinnamon.

For those of you who don’t know, my mother has written three cookbooks and has written a cooking column in the Longview News Journal for over forty years so baking comes naturally to me.

In my mother’s house, after breakfast, she starts on a lavish feast that includes turkey, ham, and a billion sides dishes. And don’t get me started on the desserts. While in my house, I figure that the effort of making homemade cinnamon rolls is enough. If you want a Christmas dinner…there’s the kitchen and don’t forget to clean up after yourself. I’ll be right here on the sofa drinking the rest of the mimosas.

What are your holiday food rituals?

{Katie is giving away 5 free copies of her new book CHANGING LANES – make sure you leave your email or other contact with your comments to be entered to win}

Hand over the cinnamon rolls and no one gets hurt.

Excerpt from Changing Lanes by Katie Graykowski

“Are those the ones she made last Christmas with the cream cheese icing and the little bits of orange zest?” Devon’s stomach sat back on its heels and begged like a dog for a treat.

“Yes.” Clint eyed him suspiciously.

Devon and Keshaun exchanged a look.

Keshaun crossed his arms. “Think we can take this skinny-assed white boy?”

“With my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.” Devon nodded. “Hand over the cinnamon rolls, and no one gets hurt.”

Recipe: Summer’s Cinnamon Rolls



3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 cup milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 1/4 ounces active dry yeast (7 1/2 teaspoons)

1/2 cup orange juice

5 large eggs

Zest from 2 oranges

8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

5 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon


1/2 lb cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup whipping cream, approximately

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


For the dough- heat the butter with the milk, 3/4 cups of the sugar and the salt in either a small saucepan or in the microwave, until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm orange juice (110-ish degrees) and add the remaining teaspoon of sugar, stir and set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. Add the lukewarm mixture and the eggs, beating until well combined. Add the flour a cup at a time, stirring and using enough flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny, approximately 10 minutes. (Or place in the bowl on a heavy duty electric mixer and knead with a dough hook until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl, approximately 5 minutes). Place the dough in a very large buttered bowl, turn to butter the top and allow to rise, covered loosely with a kitchen towel, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, approximately 1 hour. Punch the dough down and roll out to a large rectangle, 24″ x 36″. Butter two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes.

 For the filling- beat together the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until it looks like wet sand. Spread evenly over the surface of the dough. Roll up lengthwise and cut at 2″ intervals to make 12 rolls. Place 6 rolls in each buttered dish. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the rolls for about 20-30 minutes or until puffed and browned.
For the frosting- beat the cream cheese, cream and vanilla until well combined. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth and soft, not stiff. Frost the rolls and serve immediately.

RECIPE: Katie’s Sausage Casserole

Here’s the recipe for the casserole. I don’t have a book reference because well…I don’t like eggs so none of my characters do either. For me, breakfast is all about the baked goods.


1 lb. breakfast sausage cooked and drained

1 lb. grated cheddar cheese

1 large can green chills

8 eggs beaten

16 oz. sour cream


Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and preheat oven to 350.

Mix sour cream and chills into eggs. Layer casserole starting with sausage, cheese, and then pour the eggs mixture on top.

Bake for 1 hour or until egg mixture is set.

Changing Lanes, a romantic comedy novel by Katie Graykowski

Changing Lanes is available now!

Changing Lanes:

Professional Football Player, Devon Harding found his soul mate at the age of seventeen. Trouble is, he can’t remember her last name. For the last fourteen years, he’s been waiting for The Universe to send her back to him. When that day comes, he nearly falls all over himself to get to her. But he plays it cool and waits for her to come to him.

And she walks right past him.

Pediatric Oncologist, Laney Nixon has only been in love once—at the age of sixteen. For the last fourteen years, she’s looked for him, but not knowing his last name has made finding him impossible. But when she comes face-to-face with him, she doesn’t recognize him.

Can Devon get her to remember the past so they can have a future?

Because all is fair in love and football…and the past is just the beginning.

Buy Changing Lanes on Amazon

Picture of Katie Graykowski - Best-selling author of romantic comedy

Katie Graykowski

Katie Graykowski is a bestselling author who likes sassy heroines, Mexican food, and glitter nail polish. She’d love to hear from you.

Visit her at www.katiegraykowski.com.

See all Katie’s Books on Amazon

Comment to Win!

Don’t forget, Katie wants to know, “What are your holiday food rituals?

To enter, leave a comment below. We’ll leave the contest open until at least noon Saturday. Make sure to leave your email or other contact so we can reach you if you win!


Filed under Contests Freebies and Give-aways, Foodie Friday, Guest Authors

19 Responses to Katie Graykowski: Hand over the cinnamon rolls and no one gets hurt

  1. You had me at cinnamon rolls. LOL. The excerpt sounds great and I love, love, love your cover! Now I just need to hunt down a tasty pastry and I’ll be set for the day.

  2. I’ve never actually made cinnamon rolls (that didn’t come from Pillsbury, anyway), but every year my mother makes loaf after loaf of a cinnamon-raisin bread. It’s not unusual for her to bakc 50 loaves of this bread, and she gives them away at her annual Christmas party. I take a couple home, and that’s IT for Christmas breakfast here at Chez Caldwell. For so many years I sang midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, so my kids know they should just fill up on Aunt Lynne’s bread until Mom wakes up enough to feed them.
    Thanks for the giveaway, Katie!

    • Liv,

      Your mom sounds a lot like mine. My mom used to make cookies to give to random people she saw through out the day…like the people who work at the dry cleaners and the man next to us getting gas. It’s amazing that people teach their kids to never take candy from strangers, but adults will take free baked goods from that crazy lady in the Toyota van.

  3. Changing Lanes sounds SO cool! Fate, kismet, serendipity!
    And I am definitely swiping the cinnamon roll recipe. It’s hard to come up with much else when hubby is an anti-eggs kinda guy. He loves cinnamon rolls though! Hmm, new Christmas tradition in the DeCuir household? I’m thinking so. 🙂

    • Jennifer,

      I’m with your husband. I hate eggs. It’s funny because I actually made these recipes this morning because I have family in town. They raved over the egg casserole and the cinnamon rolls. Secretly, I drive to Chik-fila and had a chicken biscuit. Don’t tell my in-laws.

  4. So – I’m passed out in a sugar coma from eating the WHOLE BOWL of cream cheese icing (who needs rolls?)

    Our Christmas food tradition is seafood gumbo and potato salad on Christmas Eve. Usually there is turkey and whatnot Christmas day – but Christmas Eve is always gumbo!

    Katie – I’ll bring the leftover gumbo to your place on Christmas if you’ll make an extra batch of cinnamon rolls (with extra, extra icing!)

    • Irene,

      It’s a date.You bring the gumbo and I’ll bring the cinnamon rolls.

      As far as frosting, until it’s socially acceptable to eat only frosting, we have to deal with rolls, cupcakes, and muffins. It’s a sad, cruel world.

      Maybe we should start a frosting revolution. Let’s call it Liberate Icing from Cupcakes or LIC. Who’s with me?

  5. OMG a Cinnamon roll recipe with even more butter than the one I use for Christmas morning. You beat me by a half a cup. My mom also made cinnamon rolls and I’m happy to carry on the tradition. If my son ever murders me on Christmas day, it will be because I have failed to deliver cinnamon rolls.

    I can’t wait to try out this recipe. Your book Changing Lanes looks really fun.

    • Lola,

      I believe that butter equals love. The more the better. I love European butter.

      When most people travel outside of the US, they bring back liquor, I bring back butter, gouda cheese, and chocolate chips. The last time I went through customs, the customs officer asked me what was in my bag. I told him 25 pounds of chocolate chips, 20 pounds of butter, and 10 pounds of cheese. He asked me to lift it up so that he could inspect it, I told him that he was crazy because it weighed 55 pounds. He let me pass right on through. Guess he didn’t want to lift it either.

  6. This year has been fun. My sister and I have lived on opposite sides of the country for years, but are back together again. We’re sharing Mom’s recipes plus cookie and candy recipes my sister has gathered over the years. And I have my own favorites that she’s never tried. Definitely not counting the calories this go-round!

    • Becky,

      Calories are for wimps and salads are for sissies. Real woman aren’t afraid to knock back handfuls of cookies. So what if occasionally we need to wear yoga pants because our jeans won’t button? At least we don’t wimp out.

      I hope that you and your sister have a wonderful holiday. I miss my sister, she died sixteen years ago. Now she could put away some cookies.

  7. Great recipes and love the excerpt! Mimosas are a huge holiday tradition for me as well, but I don’t always do the same breakfast. Looks like I’ll be adding the cinnamon rolls and sausage casserole this year! Thanks again!

  8. Great recipe, Kate. I can’t wait to try it. I crave sweets at breakfast. Okay…I crave sweet all the time. Our special Christmas morning breakfast has always been eggs benedict. It’s the one dish my sweet hubby makes. Oh but the mess he leaves behind … only a photo could do that justice. Maybe this year, I can get into the kitchen and pull your rolls together before he spreads out over every counter space.

  9. Cinnamon rolls – my most favorite food ever!! And your recipe to add apples or cherries is something I must try!

  10. Katie – this was an absolutely fabulous Foodie Friday! Remember, everyone, the contest will be open until noon tomorrow (Central) then we’ll notify book winners. I’m so glad everyone stopped by to enjoy these decadent recipes!