Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Icing

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

After making those delicious roasted eggplants with buttermilk sauce last week, I was left with a lot of leftover buttermilk. During a brainstorming session of what to do with buttermilk (fried chicken? ranch dressing? chicken gravy? blueberry pancakes?) my brain and my stomach remembered these delicious cinnamon rolls that I made once upon a time from Cook's Illustrated.

Growing up, cinnamon rolls were a special treat when we were at the mall (I mean really, who can't resist the smell of Cinnabon?) or behaving particularly well at the grocery store. It never occurred to my family to make them from scratch, mostly because the best recipes for cinnamon rolls had yeast in them, which would require lots of cooking time.

A few years ago, I came across a cinnamon roll recipe from Cook's Illustrated that could be ready to eat in 45 minutes. Hooray! Leave it up to the geniuses at Cook's Illustrated to make cinnamon rolls an achievable regular breakfast staple.

The results are absolutely delicious. Warm gooey cinnamon rolls topped with buttermilk icing--it's a match made in heaven with your morning coffee. I brought in my extra cinnamon rolls to work and they disappeared within three minutes. You can be a work superhero too and bring these in for your next early morning meeting.

Zach, take note: I fully expect these as part of a regular breakfast in bed routine.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Icing

From Cook's Illustrated
Makes 8 rolls

1 tablespoon melted butter, for the pan
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Biscuit Dough:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus additional flour for your work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter into a round 9-inch cake pan, and brush to coat evenly. Spray a wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

For the filling, combine sugars, spices, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with a fork or fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside. 

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter together in a small bowl. Add liquid to the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed and the dough looks shaggy (about 30 seconds).

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is just smooth and no longer shaggy.

Pat dough with hands into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Press filling firmly into the dough.

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls
Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Using a metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Starting at the long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch seam to seal. 

Roll the log so the seam-side is down. Cut evenly into eight pieces. Using your hands, slightly flatten each roll to seal open edges and keep filling in place. 

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Place one roll in the middle of the prepared pan, and then place remaining seven rolls around the pan. Brush the rolls with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. 

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Bake until edges are golden brown, about 23 to 25 minutes. Use offset spatula to loosen buns from the pan. Without separating the buns, move them to the wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. 

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set rack of buns over baking sheet. Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk together until thick and smooth (it will look like cottage cheese at first!). Sift confectioner's sugar into the bowl, then whisk together until a smooth glaze forms. Spoon glaze over buns and eat immediately.




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