and Easy Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Icing
Cinnamon is the star
ingredient, so try to use the best possible. I like Vietnamese Cinnamon - the
strongest, richest, and sweetest cinnamon around. I get mine from Penzey’s
(they have locations around the US or you can order online here - http://www.penzeys.com). This is a clever
recipe from Cooks Illustrated that is made without yeast, so they’re quick to
throw together on a Sunday morning for brunch. Melted butter is used in both
the filling and the dough and to grease the pan; it’s easiest to melt the total
amount (8 tablespoons) at once and measure it out as you need it.
tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for pan
cup dark brown sugar (packed, 5 1/4 ounces)
cup granulated sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
teaspoons ground Vietnamese cinnamon (or best available)
teaspoon ground cloves
teaspoon table salt
tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work
tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon table salt
1/4 cups buttermilk
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
tablespoons cream cheese, softened
cup confectioners' sugar (4 ounces)
make cinnamon-sugar filling:
sugars, spices, and salt in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir
with fork or fingers until mixture resembles wet sand; set filling mixture
oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1
tablespoon melted butter in 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat pan. Spray
wire rack with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
make biscuit dough:
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.
dough with hands into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons
melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with filling, leaving 1/2-inch border of plain
dough around edges. Press filling firmly into dough. Using bench scraper or metal
spatula, carefully loosen dough from work surface.
at long side, roll dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch seam to
seal. Roll log seam-side down and cut evenly into eight pieces. With hand,
slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal open edges and keep filling in
place. Place one roll in center of prepared nonstick pan, then place remaining
seven rolls around perimeter of pan.
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.
make icing and finish buns:
buns are cooling, line rimmed baking sheet with wax paper (for easy cleanup);
set rack with buns over baking sheet.
cream cheese and buttermilk in large nonreactive bowl until thick and smooth
(mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift confectioners’ sugar
over; whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon glaze evenly over
buns; serve immediately.