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This is the Recipe for Sweet Rolls from the Copper Hills.  It was created and originated by Lorene Asanovich in the very early 1960s.  When I was about as young as I could remember,  I would go to work with my dad on some mornings at the Copper Hills and run back to the bakery where “Lori” would be making sweet rolls and pies.  As a 3-4 year old,  it was an amazing place.  The noises from all the ovens and stoves,  the cooks and chef chopping, stirring, taking breakfast orders and that giant Hobart Mixer that was next to the Chef’s office.  The people going in and out of the Walk-In box.  I had no idea what was going on around me,  but it was a sweet cachophony of noises and smells and people smiling at me.  There was a step stool that I sat on, and everything went on around me.  Sometimes someone would ask me to stand when they used the step stool, and they would get a giant can off a shelf, and use this huge can opener to open it.  Sometimes they would let me turn the giant lever.  This was 60 years ago.  Lori was so wonderfully nice to me and my first crush.

This recipe was a big secret.  To replicate it perfectly has a lot to do with the implementation, and well, that’s on you.  If you use it and serve it to friends or if you’re a restaurant using it for customers,  DISCLAIMER: Please call it what it is, and don’t appropriate the recipe under your own name.  Someone, somewhere in the ether will know, and it will be nothing but bad juju for you.    Here is the recipe.  This is a truncated version so you won’t be sitting on 100 rolls, which is about what we used to sell daily.  These were seriously famous.  People from everywhere ate these.  Travelers going across the country would stop in at the Copper Hills just to get these on the annual journeys to the Southwest.  They are amazing.

I can’t thank  Rose Necoechea enough. This is her mom’s recipe.  The Copper Hills is long gone, but I hope, for those that remember what a wonderful place it was, this brings a smile.


Lorene’s Copper Hills Cinnamon Sweet Rolls


Lorene Asanovich

(Makes 24 Rolls)



1 Pkg              Dry Yeast (1/4 oz.)

¼ Cup             Warm Water (110 – 150 degrees)

4 Cups             All Purpose Flour

¼ Cup             Sugar

1 Tsp               Salt

1 Cup  Butter (softened)

1 Cup              Warm Milk

3                      Egg Yolks (slightly whipped)



3 Tbsp            Butter (softened)

½ Cup             Sugar

2 Tbsp            Cinnamon



1 ¾ Cup          Powdered Sugar

2 Tbsp            Butter (softened)

2 Tsp               Vanilla

3 Tbsp            Milk




  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly then add yeast mixture, milk and egg yolks.
  • Stir to form a soft dough then cover and let it rise to double.
  • After rising, divide dough in half. Roll out each half until it measures 10” x 12” and 2” thick.
  • Spread butter, sugar and cinnamon on each piece of dough. Roll dough from 10” side. Then cut into 12 even sections (about 1”).
  • Place on baking pan and let rise to double.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  • When cool, frost with glaze.
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