We don’t have air conditioning in our rather intimate 520 sq. ft. condo and we’re experiencing sunny, hot weather. You might think it odd to be baking with an oven cranked to the maximum 500F (250C) limit.
As the beads of sweat formed across my brow, well before I had even started to make the biscuit dough, I wondered if I had breached my own limits of sheer lunacy. However, after eating several (ok, a half dozen) of these delicious rolls, I know it was worth risking heat stroke.
Although it’s not a terribly unique idea, I’ve wanted to make biscuit cinnamon rolls for quite some time. Over a year ago, I received some piece of marketing literature and it included a handful of assorted recipe cards. One of them was for a biscuit-based cinnamon bun and I kept the recipe posted on my desk ever since.
I never got around to making the recipe and when we moved earlier this year, I decided it was time to throw out the recipe.
However, the recipe haunted me ever since and my urge recently returned.
Fortunately, I had plenty of buttermilk on hand and I decided to use a recipe for fluffy buttermilk biscuits which I had bookmarked some time ago. The recipe comes from Nicole of Pinch My Salt and not only does she provide an excellent recipe, she includes the most comprehensive list of biscuit making do’s and don’ts.
Based on the weather, I knew that working quickly would be the key to my success. The chilled butter warmed quickly on the counter, turning from a solid into a rich pudding. I knew the directions for the biscuits were explicit about keeping all of the ingredients properly cold until mixed, so I worked more fervently than normal (and followed directions more precisely than normal as well).
The biscuit dough comes together within minutes and rolled easily into a 1/4″ sheet. Try to keep it as rectangular as possible, roughly 9″ by 16″.
Cinnamon Roll Filling
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
Next, spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with filling mixture. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough away from you. Keep the roll tight as you go.
When fully rolled, pinch the seam together so that it doesn’t unroll. Cut across the roll into 1.5″ sections. Place each roll on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. I positioned the rolls so all of the seams faced inward for fear they might unroll during baking.
Bake in a 500F (250C) oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and the sugar is bubbling on top of each roll.
The rolls turned out gorgeous and filled the kitchen with the most delicious smell. I decided to take the cinnamon rolls one step further by slathering with a buttermilk glaze.
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Beat the ingredients together until a stiff glaze forms. It will be similar to a soft frosting. Place a bit of frosting on top of each roll once they are still slightly warm. The last remaining warmth will heat the glaze to make sure it seeps into every crack and crevice.
The edges of the rolls are dry so after frosting, place the rolls into a sealed container for storage. Within a few hours, the moisture in the rolls and frosting equalizes, making any dry surfaces properly moist.
Did I mention that these rolls are fricken’ delicious? Seriously good. Flakey, soft and rich. And unlike traditional cinnamon rolls involving yeast-based doughs which need to rise, you can whip up these in about 30 minutes or so.
In retrospect, these turned out much better than the recipe I had tucked away on desk for so long. Sometimes it’s not about the recipe, but instead about the inspiration a recipe gives you.