Thursday, January 21, 2010

I think that last storm was my fault

Apparently, LA, too, has sinned*, and the wrath of the Lord hath brought down four storms in a row upon us. And we were sore afraid, and did quail in the face of the mud.

And lo, our repentance was great and genuine, and we did offer to bake up a batch of warm and gooey cinnamon rolls as a sign of our willingness to stay home and eat and be lazy instead of joining the foolish heathens going forth into the streets of brown and slushy water.

And the Lord was most pleased, and did cause a break in the deluge such that we could take the dog out to go pee.

But alas, we are imperfect mortals, and didst forget to saveth a cinnamon roll for the Lord.

And the Lord did cancel school**, so great was his fury.

Sacrificial Sinful Sticky Cinnamon Buns

Of all the things I learned to make in my Pro Chef class, these were far and away my family's favorite. Mine, too. I've included the yeast dough method, which you need to decide to make the day before, and the quick dough method, which you can whip up within an hour of deciding you are in need of redemption.

Follow these steps to make your rolls:

1. Make your dough, and set it aside.
2. Make the cinnamon filling and set it aside.
3. Get out a 13x9 rectangular pan, or two smaller round baking pans.

4. Make the caramel glaze. Pour it into the bottom of your baking pan, or if you are using two round pans, divide it between the two. Set the pans aside and preheat the oven to 375.

5. Roll out your dough on a well floured board into a rectangle about 16" by 13" and 1/3" thick. Trim edges if you need to in order to have a neat rectangle.

6. Spread the cinnamon filling over the dough using a knife or small spatula. Filling should go right to the edge on all but one short (13") side of the dough. This is the edge that will seal up the roll.

7. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting at the other short end. Pinch the dough lightly to seal, and turn so the seal is on the bottom of the roll.

8. Using a well floured, sharp serrated knife, cut into 12 slices, slightly more than an inch thick.

9. Place the rolls, cut side down, in the pan(s) on top of the caramel glaze.
10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
11. While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, so the glaze will set. Carefully invert onto a serving platter. Glaze will be very hot and will dribble over the sides.

Don't worry if they don't come out in a perfect little formation...they're sticky buns and looks are the least of your worries!

13. To cement your goodliness in the sight of the Lord, drizzle vanilla icing over the rolls, and serve.

Sweet Roll Dough (yeast method)

1 pkg. dry yeast
3 Tbs. warm water (about 105 degrees)
1/2 c. whole milk, warmed to about 105 degrees
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg and 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 c. all purpose flour

Mix the warm water with 2 tsp. of the sugar in a small bowl, and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir gently and let stand about a minute to dissolve. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm milk, the rest of the sugar, the salt, the melted butter, the egg and the egg yolk. Beat well and add the yeast mixture. Add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth and well blended. Add another 1 1/4 c. of flour and beat until dough holds together in a rough mass. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a minute or two. Rest 10 minutes. Resume kneading for 8-10 more minutes, gradually sprinkling on additional flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky. Place in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down. Dough is now ready to be shaped and baked.

Buttermilk Sweet Roll Dough (quick method)

3 c. flour
3 Tbs. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, at room temperature, in small pieces
1 c. plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl, or in the food processor, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in butter so mixture resembles coarse flour-y crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and combine until mixture forms a soft dough.

Turn onto lightly floured board and knead gently just until dough is no longer sticky.

Cinnamon Filling

1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixer or food processor until creamy and well blended.

Caramel Glaze

1/4 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt

Boil all ingredients in small saucepan until thick, about 5 minutes. Do not allow mixture to caramelize.

Vanilla icing

1 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbs. milk or cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine in small bowl until smooth. Adjust consistency by adding milk or sugar until it is in a state where you can use a spoon to drizzle it in thick ribbons over the rolls.

Variations and options:
  1. Grate a little almond paste into the filling. Really good idea!!
  2. Skip the caramel glaze. If you do this, butter the pans really well before baking, and stop reading this blog. We can't be friends anymore.
  3. Add raisins and/or nuts by sprinkling them onto the filling before you roll the dough up. Again, I will miss you.
  4. Forget the vanilla icing, it's just too much. Fine. I'll let you get away with that one.

* But not as much, as we were not being universally oppressed by the French.
** The Lord also arranged that the selection of kid friendly movies at the local theater that day did suck.


  1. Was there much rejoicing and eating of breakfast cereals? (To mix movies, ask Brian even if he isn't the messiah)

  2. He's not the messiah, he's just a very naughty boy. There was, however, much rejoicing because of all the sugar.