It's time-consuming but not all that difficult to bake a tray of sweet rolls. It's not that expensive, either, especially if you have the ingredients on hand. A box of Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix, the easiest way to make "from scratch" sweet rolls and cinnamon rolls, retails for about $2 a box.
But nothing's easier, insists a really lazy friend of mine, than baking the rolls inside one of those cardboard tubes of refrigerated pastry dough, like Pillsbury Orange Rolls.
The cost of eight of those rolls -- which include the little tub of orange frosting -- is about $2.50 a tube, depending on where you shop. That's roughly the price of one sweet roll at most local bakeries.
Here's a round-up of selected sweet-roll prices in the metro:
Judi's Bakery & Cafe (1250 Burlington Avenue, 816-221-1004) sells iced Danish in assorted flavors for $1.65 each.
McClain's Bakery (7422 Wornall) sells almost all of its heavily iced Danish pastries for $1.75 each.
Panera Bread Company (many locations in the metro) sells a fantastic iced cinnamon roll for $1.99 each.
Mema's Bakery (1211 Main, 816-283-3939) sells sweet rolls for $1.89 each; iced cinnamon rolls go for $2.29, and a giant cinnamon roll sells for $3.99.
Dolce Bakery Company, located in the Prairie Village Shopping Center and voted this year's "Best Bakery" in the Pitch "Best of Kansas City" issue, actually sells orange rolls, but much more delicious than the Pillsbury version. But not cheap. A single orange roll goes for $3.
Yes, this list leaves out some local favorites, including Chacko's Eatery in Mission and the Boulevard Bakery on Independence Avenue, but like many locally owned pastry shops, these businesses are closed for the holiday until January 4.