Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Day Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Winter Storm Jonas hit the east coast yesterday. I'm not sure who decided to start naming winter storms. Seems pretty dumb... anyway, it hit us this weekend and so we were snowed in for the weekend. The snow started on Friday night, and I went for my weekly grocery shop on Wednesday. It was crazy! I've never seen that many people at the grocery store before. I mean, yes, we were due for almost 2 feet of snow, but it wasn't like we were going to be snowed in for weeks at a time. Who doesn't have enough food in their house that in an emergency situation would actually starve to death? I mean, I was there for groceries, but we ALWAYS have food in the pantry from dry cereal to canned beans. We have all sorts of things frozen as well from frozen vegetables to a bag of chopped walnuts.

view from my kitchen window
Delaware is one of those places that goes totally nutso in the weather. Coming from living in places such as Chicago and Minneapolis, this amount of snow doesn't really phase me.

Making cinnamon buns was a risky plan since yeast and I have a history of not working well together. I've discovered that the jarred yeast tends to work a lot better for me than the little individual packets. It seems like a lot of yeast to have on hand especially when you have no intention of making bread. But I have started making pizza dough fairly frequently so I'm working my way through the jar.
A view of our backyard. Most of the snow against the window was blown by wind... but still

This recipe is based primarily off of Paula Dean's, but I make a couple of substitutions and a cream cheese frosting.

Cinnamon Buns


1 tsp yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm butter milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour + additional for dusting

 1/2 cup melted butter
1 Cup brown sugar  + extra for pan
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins (optional, I used walnuts)


Mix together yeast, tsp of sugar, and warm water in a bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes to let the yeast activate. It should get sort of frothy.

In a larger bowl or mixer, combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, and egg. Add the yeast mixture. Mix in the flour and knead dough until easy to handle and not sticky. Place in an oiled bowl and cover the top with a clean kitchen cloth. I like to place the bowl inside my oven since it's not drafty. Since our house was chilly, I actually turned the oven on for about 2 minutes to warm up a bit before I put the bowl in. If you want to try this, make sure that you remember to turn off the oven! Warm is good, hot is not.

Let the dough rise for about an hour to an hour and half. It should about double in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out on a floured surface to about at 15x9" rectangle. Mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread the mixture evenly across the dough and sprinkle with nuts. Starting on the 15" side, roll up. Cut into about 12 evenly width slices.

Butter a pan and sprinkled the additional brown sugar (about 1/8 cup) in the bottom. Place the sliced rolls in the pan. Cover the pan, and let the rolls rise again for half an hour (yeah, this recipe takes forever guys, but it's so worth it!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for half an hour until golden brown.
golden brown

Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz cream cheese softened
1/2 cup softened butter
3 Cups powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

While your buns are cooking, mix together milk, butter, milk and vanilla. Whisk in the powdered sugar to create your frosting.

Remove your buns from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Apply half the icing to the buns (save the rest to dollop on at serving time).

Eat them warm! Microwave a room temperature bun for 15-20 seconds to reheat and make delicious again.

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