“… fat bottom girls make the cinnamon bun world go round…”
I will be absolutely honest with you. I don’t know why I am making these insanely delicious cinnamon buns, because I know that they are going to go right to my hips and right to BigBear’s knees. Or maybe I’m getting mixed up; they will bring Big Bear to his knees. Yes. That’s right. Because cinnamon buns are probably one of his most favourite things in the world, and since he was just turning 39 …
(turn the 9 upside down and follow it with the number you get when you minus the 1 from the 3. You didn’t hear this from me. shhhhhhh)
… this past weekend, I thought I’d make him his most favourite cinnamony thing in the world. Phew. That was a mouthful. You see, the problem is that when you make these crazy good buns, you have to make sure that you get in at least an extra hour workout the day of. You know, Jazzercise, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, step aerobics, a 25 mile marathon. Whatever floats your boat. Because I promise you. If you don’t, you might as well just tape them onto the back of your thighs and call it a day.
Baking these puffy bad boys should not be an intimidating process. Please. Just trust me on this. There’s this magical thing now called instant yeast and it takes all of the guess work out of making anything that requires yeast. Just add it to your flour mixture, and it will do it’s job without you having to worry your pretty little head about foaming yeast mixtures and 111 degree milk and all that great stuff. Truly. It is so easy.
Ok, so maybe I embellished a teensy little bit. The milk should be heated on your stove top. Just heat it up, bring it to a quick bubbly boil, and quickly turn it off and remove from the burner. Just be sure that it is still warm when you add it to your flour mixture. See? Easy yeah?
Now if you notice this fabulous snap shot below, you’ll see that the dough looks kind of tacky and separated and if I were to stick my finger in it, I’d pull it back with four yards of sticky doughy goo. No. You do not want this. Just keep mixing and adding a bit more flour until it gets nice and smooth and not sticky. It should come away from your mixing bowl cleanly.
Kneading dough is a great workout on it’s own. Form the dough into a ball. Then push with the heels of your hands…..
…. flip it over and repeat. About 70 times is good.
Ahhhh. A thing of beauty. Isn’t it beautiful? I think it ‘s beautiful. It’s a beautiful ball of dough. I just want to hug it.
Let it rest in a nice warm quiet spot. Ok, it doesn’t matter if it’s quiet or noisy, it just sounded good. And I think I need to go rest in a nice warm quiet spot too. Sigh.
While your treasure is resting, prepare the brown sugar filling for the buns. Heat up the butter, cream cheese and brown sugar over medium heat and stir stir stir until well combined.
After which you will crank up the heat and bring the concoction to a boil. Be careful, if you are thinking of dipping you finger in for a quick taste, it’s super hot. Let it boil for a good thirty seconds then remove from the heat and let it cool. Then dip your pinky in for a quickie taste. It’s the best frickin’ thing I’ve ever tasted. Ever.
Look it’s grown! An hour and a half later, it’s like opening a Christmas present. Couldn’t wait to take the tea towel off! It’s so fluffy and puffy; it reminds of the song ‘Fat Bottom Girls’. It’s an awesome piece of dough.
The best part is putting your hand Right. In. The. Middle. It’s like that commercial with the Pillsbury Dough Boy – remember him getting poked in his tummy? Yup. But this is better.
So now you’ve got this bad girl rolled out into a big rectangle. Spread the butter on it from corner to corner and edge to edge. Don’t leave any spot out, you want nice, soft cinnamon buns. Then sprinkle with as much cinnamon as you desire. I am a bit of a crazy for cinnamon and probably used a good 1/4 of a cup, but hey. To each his own. If you want less, do it! If you want more, I bow to you Oh Cinnamon Lover.
Remember that buttery brown sugar stuff sitting on your stove top cooling? It’s moment to shine has arrived. Spread it evenly across the top of the butter/cinnamon covered dough. Leave about an inch around the whole perimeter of the rectangle though, because I guarantee it will come squirting out the ends when you roll it up. Just a heads up.
See? Take any excess and spread it along the top of the roll. Cut up in nine to ten one inch segments and place in a baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and and your trusty tea towel, and let rest again for another hour.
This is before their rest….
This is after their rest. Do they not just look so well rested? I’m so excited for them.
Now here’s the secret for a nice soft cinnamon bun. Fold up some tin foil and make a wall to wrap around the inside edge of dish. This will ensure that the buns, as they bake will not get direct heat coming at them from all sides which in turn will give them a hard crust. The foil will protect them, making them soft and moist and lovable. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top, all across, cover loosely with foil and pop into your preheated oven.
Drizzle your cream cheese icing all over everywhere…. and either 1) chow down, or 2) go for a run, THEN chow down. Your choice. Now before WE chow down, I’m off to find that Queen song on my iTunes, ‘Fat Bottom Girls’. I can’t seem to get it out of my head. ♥
- 2½ cups all purpose flour and a bit more incase of excessive stickiness
- 1 cup all purpose flour - sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top before baking
- FOR THE CINNAMON SPRINKLE
- ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
- FOR THE FILLING
- ½ cup butter
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- FOR THE ICING
- ½ cup cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ½ cup icing sugar
- In the bowl of your stand up mixer, using a whisk or fork, quickly whisk the two and a half cups of flour, salt, sugar and yeast until well combined.
- Add your egg, warm milk, and vegetable oil and with the flat mixer attachment, mix well. Slowly add the cup of sifted flour and continue mixing until a smooth dough forms. If the dough is sticky, and it probably will be, continue to add a couple of extra tablespoons of flour at a time until it is of a smooth consistency. Continue mixing for a good minute or two.
- Flop your dough onto a lightly floured surface. It should come out of your bowl easily and not be a tacky sticky dough.
- Hand knead your dough 75 times. (Press down with the palms of your hands, fold the front part in half to the back part and repeat.) When completed, form into a lovely ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover with your favourite tea towel, place in a warm area, and let rise for 90 minutes.
- While your dough is rising, create your brown sugar filling. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, cream cheese and brown sugar. Be sure to keep stirring until the cream cheese has broken down and is incorporated into the butter and sugar. Once it has all combined and is broken down, increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about thirty seconds, always stirring. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Your dough after 90 minutes should be about doubled in half.
- Plop dough on a lightly floured surface again and knead for about thirty seconds. Then form into a rectangular shape and with your rolling pin, roll it out into a 13" x 19" form.
- Spread the four tablespoons of softened butter from corner to corner, edge to edge.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon as liberally or un-liberally as you like, corner to corner, edge to edge.
- Spread the brown sugar filling evenly across the dough rectangle, but this time, just spread it up to an inch of the edge all around the perimeter of the rectangle.
- Roll the dough like a giant yoga mat or cigar, starting with the longest side furthest away from you, and roll towards you. You will probably have filling squirting out of the ends. Don't waste it! Take it and spread it evenly on top of your roll.
- With a sharp knife, cut one inch segments. You should end up with nine pieces. If you have more, yay for you.
- Place segments evenly into a buttered 9"x15" baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and your favourite tea towel again and let rest for another hour. After they have rested, sprinkle the walnuts on top of the buns.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Create a 'wall' of tinfoil to protect your buns. Take a piece of 35 inch tinfoil and horizontally fold it up a couple of times so that the dimensions are about 3" wide by 35" long. Place the 'wall' around the perimeter of the baking dish so that it is standing up, gently tucking it between the baking dish and the cinnamon buns that are sitting around the perimeter.
- Loosely cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and let bake for another 5 minutes.
- While your buns are cooling, prepare the cream cheese icing.
- In your mixer with your whisk attachment, or with a hand held mixer, cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and icing sugar. Continue to beat for a good minute or two.
- Transfer the icing to a glass bowl and pop into the microwave for 40 seconds or until the icing becomes runny.
- Drizzle the icing on top of the cinnamon buns, being sure to reach all of the crevices.
- Serve warm then go for a run.