The cure for a cold winter morning: coffee and a Tower Cinnamon Roll

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OKARCHE, OKLAHOMA -- It was one of those cold mornings where the sun seemed like a distant star for all the warmth it offered.

Nothing moved fast but the north wind.

Smart people around Okarche stayed in their cars or pulled into someplace warm.

"We're pretty fortunate to live in a small town," says Tower Cafe owner/baker Craig Hubbard, "and be able to make a living."

If staying warm is a barometer for intelligence then Craig Hubbard and his baking crew ought to be geniuses.

Describing part of the baking process, Hubbard says, "These guys will pound this dough out, roll it with a rolling-pin, and cut it into strips."

They took over this building behind the Tower Cafe 25 years ago to continue making a family recipe that outgrew the restaurant Craig's parents took over in 1968, the cinnamon roll.

"Flour, sugar, water, salt, yeast," are of few of the ingredients Hubbard lists off. "It's real basic and I think that's part of what makes ours unique."

Craig and his sister Dana Pfaff remember their dad's stories about his wife's cinnamon rolls from way before they operated The Tower.

"When they were farming and milking cows dad would come in and mom would have these cinnamon rolls made," he recalls.

Cinnamon rolls were just another item on the menu before a steady customer took a pan of them to a potluck.

She came back with a suggestion to sell these things outside the cafe, and, boy, did they.

Craig says, "We might make 100 cases a day and some of them have 5 dozen and others have 12 dozen."

The family recipe found its way to grocery stores first, then to school fund-raisers, and the state fair.

People from all over the U.S. know to stop in whenever they're close.

Fresh out of the oven, the morning's last batch gets a good coat of butter and home-made glaze.

If you time it right that roll can partner with a mug of steaming hot coffee and then find its way to a table where you might be still shivering.

They're a good combo on a cold morning.

Ask anybody who's ever found this kind of warmth beneath Okarche's Tower.

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