Happy Saturday, everyone! Now that Fall is underway (maybe not in NY, where we've had some freakishly spring-like weather for the past few days), all I want to do is bake anything that feels warm and cozy. Rolling my sleeves up, making a mess of flour and spices, and putting something in a hot oven to make my house smell amazing is just about all I want to do. Now that I'm baking on a more regular basis, this is happening much more often, and it's pretty awesome. Of course, just as I start to get back on the baking and blogging grind, my posting and time spent in the kitchen are going to be a little thrown off once again, but at least it's for a good (and exciting!) reason: I'm moving on out!
The timing is finally right for my long-time boyfriend (C.) and I to finally leave the nest and start a new adventure together. The apartment search went incredibly fast--we went from having no apartment to scheduling the lease signing in a matter of two days, and before we know it we'll be packing up the U-Haul and making the drive to Astoria. To say that we're incredibly excited would be the biggest understatement in the world; this move has been in the works since we graduated from college, and the fact that we're moving to a beautiful pre-war apartment in a prime location of a neighborhood as rich and diverse as Astoria has me completely giddy with excitement.
Since we're furniture shopping and packing every spare second we have, the time I can actually spend in the kitchen over the next few weeks has to be spent as efficiently as possible, so get ready for a bunch of short, fuss-free (but still amazingly delicious) recipe posts! All I want are comforting treats now that I'm leaving home and entering a crazy few weeks, and since it's time to bake all things warm and cozy, cinnamon rolls needed to come out of my oven (they're C.'s favorite and Fall=cinnamon roll season, in case you didn't know). They need to be easy, quick cinnamon rolls though, because I definitely do not have time for sit and wait for yeast rolls to rise. As much as I love traditional, fluffy yeast rolls, right now I just need some immediate gratification. These cinnamon rolls, from Claire Ptak's gorgeous Violet Bakery Cookbook, are exactly the type of cinnamon roll I need. They're definitely different from yeast rolls--they're almost like biscuits--so if you're after a soft, pillowy roll then this might not be the recipe for you (but this one may be up your alley!). Warm from the oven, this quick cinnamon roll was comforting, delicious and better than I could have imagined, since I went from having no cinnamon rolls to having a dozen in just under an hour.
A quick biscuit-like dough is made in your electric mixer by mixing flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom, for warmth. Cold butter and milk are mixed in, and the dough is ready (The ingredients are listed by weight in the recipe--I didn't bother to do conversions because baking by weight is much more accurate and is actually faster than measuring out ingredients with measuring cups, since you can weigh the ingredients directly into the bowl of your electric mixer). The dough is left to rest for ten minutes, and then it's rolled out into a large rectangle. Warm melted butter is brushed on and a thick layer of cinnamon and brown sugar is sprinkled on top. The dough is rolled up tightly, and then cut into twelve even pieces (bust out the measuring tape if you're a perfectionist). The outer edges of the rolls are peeled back and folded underneath to cover the exposed bottom spirals of sugar, and then all the rolls are placed into a buttered muffin tin. After 25 minutes in the oven, these cinnamon rolls will be puffed, golden brown, and ready for a quick dip in a bowl of sugar, and then they're ready for eating.
These cinnamon rolls need to be eaten straight away, while they're still warm from the oven. They're a little more dense than a traditional yeast cinnamon roll, but they're delicious all the same. I typically peel the cinnamon roll apart as I eat it, working my way in towards the soft inner cinnamon spiral, and I have to say that the interior was as soft and perfect as any traditional yeast roll. If you can't eat all the cinnamon rolls while they're still warm (as good as they are, I hope you're not eating them all in one sitting!), pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. I hate suggesting to reheat a baked good in the microwave, but it gets the cinnamon roll close to that warm from the oven state.
So whether you're short on time in the kitchen or are feeling impatient/in need of immediate satisfaction, these cinnamon rolls will provide a whole lot of warmth, comfort, and intoxicating aromas, all in less than an hour's time--they're the perfect solution to all of life's little dilemmas. Enjoy!
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls
recipe adapted from The Violet Bakery Cookbook
For the Buns
560 grams all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
240 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
300 grams cold milk
sugar, for dipping
For the Filling
75 grams (just over 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
250 g light brown sugar,
1 tablespoon cinnamon
In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients and stir on low speed to combine. Add the butter all at once, and mix on low speed until you have a coarse meal. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the milk until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let it rest for a few minutes (I left it alone for 3 minutes). Fold the dough gently over itself once or twice, bringing it together, and then let it rest a second time, for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 390 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Then, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, turn off the heat, and leave the saucepan on the stove to keep the butter warm and liquid. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Add some more flour to your work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a large rectangle that's about 1/8" thick. Brush the entire surface of the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. It should be a slightly thick layer of filling.
Roll the dough into a tight cigar, beginning with the long end. Tuck your fingers into the dough and towards you, to ensure that you have a tight roll. Once it's all rolled up, trim the ends of the roll and then slice into 12 equal pieces (this is easiest if to do if you cut the dough in half, then cut each half in half again, and so on). Take one of the pieces and peel back the about 2 inches of the dough from the loose end, and fold it under the roll to cover the exposed sugar spiral. Place the spiral in the prepared muffin tin, flap side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
Bake the cinnamon buns for 25 minutes, until they're golden brown and beautifully puffed. Turn the buns out of the pan immediately, and then dip into sugar. Let the cinnamon buns cool on a wire rack. Serve the buns while they're still warm from the oven!
\Makes 12 cinnamon buns