Monday, January 09, 2012
Cream Cheese Cinnamon Buns
This is the 15th year we've invited people in our neighborhood to casual coffee-and-doughnut hours on Saturday mornings in January. We have pots of coffee, juices for the little ones, and platters of doughnuts. I usually make something homemade in addition to the doughnuts, and last Saturday it was these cinnamon rolls, courtesy of King Arthur's web site.
The cream cheese isn't added to the dough, and it's not in the frosting. Instead, it's layered on the rolled-out dough (letting it soften at room temperature for at least two hours is an excellent idea).
Then it's folded, business-letter style, and rolled out again. This process is repeated again until the cream cheese is more or less absorbed into the dough. (I thought it could have used another turn because I could still see a layer of cream cheese, but I was afraid it would toughen the dough).
Here comes the filling. Either something called Baker's Cinnamon Filling, which King Arthur will be happy to sell you, or your own mixture of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. (The Baker's Cinnamon Filling has shortening instead of butter). I used butter. Finally, sprinkle both chopped walnuts AND pecans over the filling, and roll 'er up.
The recipe is supposed to make nine rolls, which you place in a 9" x 9" baking dish. I put nine in an 8" x 10" pan, which, if my math skills are at all accurate, is almost exactly the same area. I don't think it gave them enough room to expand properly because they looked a little squinched when they came out of the oven.
I still had three left over, and I put those in a little round casserole.
A basic powdered sugar/milk glaze is not really very exciting, but it added just the right touch of sweetness. Despite all the brown sugar in the filling, the rolls were not very sweet, and needed just a touch of the frosting that can sometimes be cloyingly sweet. Just a drizzle is enough.
The rolls were still just the slightest bit doughy in the middle, meaning they should have either had more room to spread or I could have baked them just two minutes more. The most heavenly part about these rolls is the crusty corners, which are flaky and tender at the same time. With the nuts, extravagant amounts of butter and cream cheese, and brown sugar, these are like the best parts of both sticky buns and cinnamon buns, rolled (literally) into one delicious treat. And the nice thing is that you can make them at night and simply take them out of the refrigerator, let them warm up a bit, and bake them in the morning. When guests open your front door, they'll be hit with the welcoming scent of cinnamon rolls. They'll be your slaves.
Posted by Marie at 8:04 PM