Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ok. I'm not perfect.

Brunch is my ABSOLUTE favorite meal to host. The range of possibilities is endless! Sweet? Salty? Savory? YES PLEASE!

So when two of my oldest friends agreed to come over for sunday brunch, I was in menu planning heaven. I settled on a delicious swiss chard & mushroom frittata, simple sweet potato home fries, and an INCREDIBLE veggie side dish of roasted cauliflower with raisins and toasted pumpkin seeds.

But a brunch without a pastry is just breakfast... or worse..lunch.  So CLEARLY I needed to find something sweet to add to my menu. 

I was on my very favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, and I came across a mouth-watering recipe for Cinnamon Buns. While I was reading through it I made several mental notes about all the ways I could alter the recipe so that I wouldn't have to loosen my pants to eat one. Low fat milk, less butter, egg whites, whole wheat flower - yadayadayada.

But sometimes when a recipe calls for butter, I just use butter. And I wear spandex.

Totally Worth it Cinnamon Swirl Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Barely adapted at all from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen)

1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or 1 packet of instant yeast 
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons low-fat milk

  • Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F.
  • Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. 
  • Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. 
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (I used my KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process and it took me about 3 minutes) Form into ball.
  • Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, this took about 1.5 hours

  • Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.
  • Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. 
  • Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. 
  • Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. 
  • Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter.  Be sure not to get more filling in the center.
  • Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up.  
  • Pretend that you are rolling a big sleeping bag that you will ultimately have to get into a very tiny duffle.
  • With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven. GENTLY cut remaining dough crosswise with a good serrated worked well here) into equal  slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

  • Spray two  8 or 9-inch square glass or metal baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there should be almost no space between rolls). 
  • Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

  • Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth -Add milk only if the glaze is too thick for your preferences. 
  • Spread glaze on rolls. 
  • Try your hardest not to eat more than one. 
  • Don't feel bad if you do. We all did.

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