Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quick Cinnamon Buns

I have loved this quick cinnamon roll recipe for a good 10 years now. It is from the book The New Best Recipe but I have also seen it on the Cooks Illustrated website. I can't believe that the cinnamon roll gods can be cheated with this fast recipe. No yeast, no rising, no delay to cinnamon roll happiness. Give yourself 45 minutes, start to finish, to get these made and baked. I would say the texture of these buns are a cross between a muffin and a biscuit. So good.


My family of five can devour all 8 in one sitting so I made these last night and again today. My high school kiddos run track so they eat a lot these days! Especially my son Nathan who is 18. He ate 2 or 3 last night!


They are similar to these canned cinnamon rolls but a thousand times better. Okay I've never actually tasted these, just assuming that homemade is always better.



You start out by making the biscuit dough. Once stirred together you'll knead it a few times on the counter and then pat it out to a 9"x12" rectangle. I always keep a ruler in my baking drawer for this sort of thing.




Dump the cinnamon sugar mixture on the dough and press firmly into dough. I love this part--you really smell that scant 1/8 teaspoon of cloves in the mix. 


It is kind of sticky so you'll want to use a bench scraper or a spatula to help you scrape and roll the dough. Flouring the counter does help but the dough is really tender unlike a yeast dough that is stronger.

Use plain (not mint!) dental floss and cut up the dough into eight pieces. First cut in half, then cut each half in half to have 4 pieces. Then cut those 4 pieces in half again to have 8 uniformly sized rolls. I keep dental floss in my baking drawer as well. My motto is to always be prepared to make cinnamon rolls. You can use a serrated knife if you want to but floss works way better.



Place in buttered pan and bake. Drizzle with icing and eat while warm.









QUICK CINNAMON BUNS
Melt one stick of butter and then just measure out what you need for each step.

CINNAMON-SUGAR FILLING
¾ cup dark brown sugar (packed, 5 ¼ ounces)
¼ cup granulated sugar (1 ¾ ounces)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

BISCUIT DOUGH
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 ½ ounces), plus additional flour for work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

ICING
2 T. cream cheese, softened OR 2 T. sour cream can be substituted
2 T. buttermilk
1 cup powdered sugar


INSTRUCTIONS
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter in 9-inch nonstick cake pan or comparable oval pan; brush to coat pan.

2. To make cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine sugars, spices, and salt in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with fork or fingers.

3. To make biscuit dough: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in measuring cup or small bowl. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed (dough will look very shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.

4. Pat dough with hands into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Dump sugar mixture onto dough and press into dough. Cut with dental floss into 8 rolls, and arrange buns in buttered cake pan. Brush with 2 tablespoons remaining melted butter. Bake until edges are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Use offset metal spatula to loosen buns from pan; without separating, slide buns out of pan onto greased cooling rack. Cool about 5 minutes before icing.

5. To make icing and finish buns: While buns are cooling, line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup); set rack with buns over baking sheet. Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk bowl until thick and smooth (mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift powdered sugar over; whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon glaze evenly over buns; serve immediately.

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