In an effort not to consume too many sweets, my roommates and I seem to have decided not to stock sugary goodies in our kitchen. In theory, this is a splendid arrangement – if there are no naughty foods, we cannot eat naughty foods. Right ?
I simply love sugar too much to let that happen (probably to everyone’s chagrin) and therefore in a moment of weakness, whipped up some cinnamon rolls for a Friday morning breakfast (and a Saturday…and a Sunday…you get the idea). I love these rolls because they do not require yeast and therefore a very simple to concoct. Traditionally, these pair well with a sweet glaze made from mascarpone cheese and a little powdered sugar…but I’m not really THAT fancy (yet) here in my little apartment so I skipped that part. Also noteworthy – the recipe calls for brown sugar but, again, I didn’t have any and therefore used turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw – thank you Trader Joe’s !). It turned out JUST FINE 🙂
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (or about 1 cup of raw sugar)
1/2 cup pecans (if available)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 stick butter, melted
This is the easiest part – combine all dry ingredients. Set aside.
3 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or regular milk)
8 tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 425F and butter an oven pan. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, making a little moat in the middle. I don’t know why you must make this little indentation, but my mother told me to do so when I was very small and I guess I never questioned her judgement until now…hmm….
In any case, heat the milk slightly so that it is warm to the touch. Pour the melted butter into the milk and stir.
Pour this buttermilk mixture into the moat and stir with a spoon.
Add flour to the dough until it is easy to knead. I recommend turning the dough out onto a floured surface and kneading a little bit – once you can fairly easily work with the dough – it has taken enough flour. Three cups should be enough, however.
When ready, begin to stretch the dough across a FLOURED countertop. I did mine right in the pan I was going to cook it in as I used a jellyroll pan. I also have limited counterspace…so this was my solution.
Once you’ve stretched it out to a large rectangle size, pour half the melted butter on top of the dough. Cover with an even coating of the sugar and spice mixture. Finish with a final butter bath. Mmm. Butter.
Starting at the edges, begin to roll the dough from the bottom up, being careful not to press too hard as if you do so, the filling will eek out the edges of the roll. No fun.
Once you’ve rolled it all the way up, pinch the sides a little to seal them up a bit and take out a long, serrated knife.
Cut the roll into sections, making a quick cut through the dough. I like to pull the knife towards me in a speedy, downward swoop ! However, I didn’t have a serrated knife…so mine were a little lumpy BUT they tasted great just the same.
Place these closely together on a large pan (I like the jelly roll pan but using a cake pan or a square brownie pan works great as well !) and place in the oven. Cook until the roll is just starting to brown, probably about 25 minutes.
Pour yourself a cuppa joe (or a spot of tea) and enjoy !
Bon appétit !