Christmas Morning Cinnamon Buns
Note: These are delicious - the only problem with them is that they cannot be made ahead of time. You've got to make them right before you serve them. They'll keep for about 2 hours after making them but don't bother trying to freeze the unbaked buns because they won't turn out. I make them on Christmas morning.
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, cloves, salt and butter. Whisk or mix with a fork until you reach a crumbly, even consistency.
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (or just regular all purpose flour is fine too), plus extra for rolling the dough out
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until blended. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and 2 tbsp butter and whisk until blended. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until liquid is just absorbed (about 45 seconds) and the dough is shaggy. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead gently until smooth. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a 12" by 9" rectangle (the dough will be able 1/2" thick). Brush dough with 2 tbsp butter. Pat the cinnamon-sugar mixture into the dough, leaving a 1/2" border. Starting at the 12"-end, gently roll the dough into a tight log. You may need the assistance of a spatula to unstick the dough from the work surface. Smooth and seal the seams. Roll the log so that it is seam-side-down and slice into 8 even pieces with a sharp knife. Place the buns into the pan (start with one bun in the center, and the rest surrounding it in a circle), so that they are all very snug. Slightly flatten each bun so that the filling won't seep out. Brush buns generously with remaining butter.
BAKING THE BUNS:
Move oven rack to center position in the oven. Preheat oven to 425. Spray a 9-inch ceramic pan (or Pyrex) with PAM. Bake buns for about 23-25 minutes (this may vary depending the heat consistency of your oven - watch them after about 20 minutes). Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Place each bun on individual plates and drizzle generously with the icing. Serve warm.
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup powdered sugar
In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, buttermilk and powdered sugar with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
Makes 8 buns.
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