Wednesday, April 10, 2013

cinnamon rolls from america's test kitchen

easy cinnamon rolls
saturday morning...getting ready to bake some scones and the little one requests cinnamon rolls :)  how can you say no?  of course you can' go to the fridge, the freezer, the pantry and dig around....what do you have that you can make into cinnamon frozen puff pastry....have to go full blown...find that good america's test kitchen has been years since i made these...but they really are easy and very delicious.  at first glance it might look long and complicated but it is pretty easy just go step by step.  the recipe warns these are best warm but hold reasonably well for 2 hours...well i did also make the 3 of us could not eat all of them for breakfast....karen had one before supper and there were two for breakfast the next day and they were still good! i made just a few modifications to the recipe...i used mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese and added lemon zest and raisins...i love the crunchy puffed raisins in cinnamon rolls.
recipe after the jump
1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted for the pan

cinnamon-sugar filling
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves ( or a tiny bit more for spice)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

biscuit dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus additional flour for the work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
7 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
1/4 cup golden raisins 

2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1. preheat oven to 425  if you don't have a convection oven adjust the oven rack to upper middle position. put a tablespoon of melted butter into a 9 inch non stick cake pan.  using a pastry brush spread the butter all over the sides and bottom of the pan.
2. to make the cinnamon-sugar filling combine sugars, spices, and salt in a small bowl.  add a tablespoon of melted unsalted butter and stir with a fork or fingers until mixture resembles wet sand. set aside.
3. to make biscuit dough: whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bow.   whisk buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in measuring cup or small bowl then add the liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed into the dough.  the dough will look very shaggy...then put a sheet of parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle on some flour, then i use my hands to kneed the dough in the bowl a few times then dump the shaggy dough onto it and knead the dough until it is fancy work just bring the dough together. so it looks smooth takes a couple of minutes. 
4.  pat the dough with hands into 12 by 9 inch rectangle.  i used a rolling pin too.  spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the rectangle of dough leaving about an inch all around the edge without any cinnamon-sugar. sprinkle on the raisins. then drizzle 4 tablespoons of melted butter over the cinnamon sugar mixture
in process

ready to roll!
roll it up...starting with the short edge...into a log...cut the log into 8 even pieces.  place cut roll as shown below in the cake pan.  once they are all in use the pastry brush and brush the tops with the last tablespoon of melted butter.  then put it in the oven and suffer while the wonderful aroma fills the might even wake up the sleeping kid who went back to bed after making the request for cinnamon rolls. 
brush with butter and in the oven!
bake at 425 until edges are golden brown 23 to 25 minutes.  the recipe calls for all kinds of steps like spraying the cooling rack...i go simple...i put a piece of parchment paper on the cooling rack and invert  it on top of the hot buns fresh from the oven then flip.  i let them cool there a bit then flip them again onto a pretty dish.  ( cool them for five minutes before icing)
5. to make the icing and finish the buns: while the buns are cooling whisk the mascarpone cheese and buttermilk in a small-medium glass or ceramic bowl then sift confectioners sugar over the cheese mixture and whisk together....add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest and whisk again. spread the glaze over buns with a small offset spatula and enjoy the reward.

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