Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls


I waited way too long to finally give cinnamon rolls a try. These were fantastic!! They were sticky, sweet, cinnamony, fluffy and very addicting. If I didn't have a little more self control, I probably would have fallen into a sugar coma after devouring one too many. I was supposed to make a caramel glaze and pecan topping, but I skipped it because I didn't want these to be sickly sweet. These could have benefited from a little more goo so next time I'll make half the glaze.

It's so satisfying for me to see the transformation of cinnamon rolls...skinny to fat. If you ever make cinnamon rolls, don't forget to line the pan. I almost did and that would have been such a pain to scrub away after all that sugar caramelization.

cinnamonbuns (5)

These were so tempting, I almost couldn't resist digging into the ones I was photographing too. I like to unravel my cinnamon roll, how do you like to eat yours?

cinnamonbuns (3)

Sticky Buns with Pecans for Freezing (I baked the buns right away instead of freezing them. It took me 25 minutes to bake in total).
Cook's Illustrated

Makes twelve 3 1/2-inch buns.

This recipe has four components: the dough that is shaped into buns, the filling that creates the swirl in the shaped buns, the caramel glaze that bakes in the bottom of the baking dish along with the buns, and the pecan topping that garnishes the buns once baked. Although the ingredient list may look long, note that many ingredients are repeated.


3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (21 1/4 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled until warm

Caramel Glaze
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
3 tablespoons corn syrup , light or dark
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch table salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted

Pecan Topping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
3 tablespoons corn syrup , light or dark
Pinch table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecans (3 ounces), toasted in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant and browned, about 5 minutes, then cooled and coarsely chopped

1. For the dough: In bowl of standing mixer, whisk eggs to combine; add buttermilk and whisk to combine. Whisk in sugar, salt, and yeast. Add about 2 cups flour and butter; stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until evenly moistened and combined. Add all but about 1/4 cup remaining flour and knead with dough hook at low speed 5 minutes. Check consistency of dough (dough should feel soft and moist but should not be wet and sticky; add more flour, if necessary); knead at low speed 5 minutes longer (dough should clear sides of bowl but stick to bottom). Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 1 minute to ensure that dough is uniform (dough should not stick to work surface during hand kneading; if it does stick, knead in additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time).
2. Lightly spray large bowl or plastic container with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl, spray dough lightly with cooking spray, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set in warm, draft free spot until doubled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
3. For the glaze: Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for glaze in small saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into nonstick metal 13- by 9-inch baking dish; using rubber spatula, spread mixture to cover surface of baking dish. Set baking dish aside.
4. To assemble, store, and reheat buns: For filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined, using fingers to break up sugar lumps; set aside. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Gently shape dough into rough rectangle with long side nearest you. Lightly flour dough and roll to 16 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along top edge; with butter remaining on brush, brush sides of baking dish. Sprinkle filling mixture over dough, leaving 3/4-inch border along top edge; smooth filling in even layer with hand, then gently press mixture into dough to adhere. Beginning with long edge nearest you, roll dough into taut cylinder. Firmly pinch seam to seal and roll cylinder seam side down. Very gently stretch to cylinder of even diameter and 18-inch length; push ends in to create even thickness. Using serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, slice cylinder in half, then slice each half in half again to create evenly sized quarters. Slice each quarter evenly into thirds, yielding 12 buns (end pieces may be slightly smaller).
5. Arrange buns cut side down in prepared baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in warm, draft-free spot until puffy and pressed against one another, about 1 1/2 hours. Place baking dish in freezer; store for up to 1 month.
6. To bake, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove buns from freezer, remove plastic wrap, wrap dish tightly with foil, and set on baking sheet. Bake buns for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown and center of dough registers about 180 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert onto rimmed baking sheet, large rectangular platter, or cutting board. With rubber spatula, scrape any glaze remaining in baking dish onto buns; let cool while making pecan topping.
7. For the topping: Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally to thoroughly combine. Off heat, stir in vanilla and pecans until pecans are evenly coated. Using soupspoon, spoon heaping tablespoon nuts and topping over center of each sticky bun. Continue to cool until sticky buns are warm, 15 to 20 minutes. Pull apart or use serrated knife to cut apart sticky buns; serve.


  1. Fantastic ...they are sooooo delicious!

  2. Gorgeous, these look fantastic. I have been using Pioneer womans cinnamon rolls, but I am looking to try a new one soon. Love the caramel glaze.

  3. Your cinnamon rolls look SO perfect..mine never come out as pretty! Just means I need to practice more :-) Yum!

  4. I just love it when something you wait a long time to try comes out so well! And it's great that these are designed for freezing, because I love the idea of cinnamon rolls on say, Christmas morning, but I would never manage to get up early enough to make them! They look delicious, Steph!

  5. ok seriously I don't think it's possible for a cinnamon roll to look more perfect!! they look amazing!

  6. Oh my. These look SO much better than my oatmeal. Awesome job!

  7. I swear I can smell the lovely cinnamon aroma of these. They are beautiful!

  8. Nice, I also unravel my cinnamon rolls. They look fantastic! I prefer them with light goo, myself.

  9. Wow! That picture is literally jumping out of the screen at me! Mmmmm yum!

  10. I've always wanted to make cinnamon rolls but have never got around to doing it. I am bookmarking these now! Thank you!

  11. Oh these look fantastic! I have an irrational fear of making cinnamon rolls, but I know homemade is so much better than shop bought. I also unravel mine, and then start with the sticky middle! Gorgeous :)

  12. Gorgeous! I've never made cinnamon rolls before, but you've convinced me that I need too!

  13. They look perfect - so nice and neat.

  14. Wow! Beautiful cinnamon rolls, and fantastic photos throughout your blog. Very nice indeed!

  15. Gorgeous. Now I really want to make them, but I'll have to knead it by hand, though O_o

  16. Oh I loooove cinnamon rolls. One of my all time favourite indulgences! Yours look perfect Steph. I like to eat them by unrolling them too!

  17. I'm attempting to master the art of yeast and cinnamon rolls so that my three kiddos can munch on them as they excitedly open Christmas gifts.

    Yours look great though I admit no way would I have left off that yummy sticky sweet glaze. :)

  18. These are absolute beauties! I am salivating!

  19. Look at that front one glistening! They turned out great! I unravel as I go too --- tearing off the outer-most piece as I go. Unless it's super gooey - then it's whatever strategy keeps my hands the cleanest (I don't like having sticky fingers).

  20. unrolling is the only way to go, then you get to finish with the best part - the ooey gooey super cinnamony middle!

    I HAVE to make these soon - they look kick-butt!

  21. Wow. Those are the most perfectly shaped cinnamon rolls I've ever laid eyes on. They are beautiful.


  22. These look amazing. I LOVE cinnamon rolls, heaven on earth. Glad you tried and liked them.

  23. the unbaked rolls look so perfect!



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