Best morning ever: Quick cinnamon buns from ‘Cook’s Illustrated’

Cinnamon rolls recipe cook’s illustrated

Video Cinnamon rolls recipe cook’s illustrated

Food porn. It’s not the first thing you think of when you imagine a team of cooks led by a man dressed in bow ties (not in an elegant and ironic way). I’m talking about America’s Test Kitchen, the intrepid team led by Christopher Kimball. They are the people behind Cook’s Illustrated magazine and the spectacular cookbook Baking Illustrated: The Practical Kitchen Companion For The Home Baker.

The cover of the book features a voluptuous whisk with a creamy spoonful of whipped cream. Mmmm. . . It’s pretty suggestive, come to think of it. There are more images of food to thrill you in the central folds, but you get a sense of the cheeky but scientific minds behind this book just by reading the title page. The subtitle reads: “with 350 recipes you can trust. Fallen cakes, crumbly cookies, soaked crusts. We’ve made these mistakes (and more) so you don’t have to.” They test their recipes obsessively.

They are as

dedicated to food as they are to the science behind it. Actually, what differentiates anything created by America’s Test Kitchen from your average cookbook is its passion for correctness and being the absolute best. Their test kitchen will produce dozens of iterations of any given recipe until they find the ideal one in both flavor and loyalty to what that food is traditionally supposed to be. Then, they test dozens of food brands used in this “best recipe” to make sure they’re using the highest quality ingredients.

That said, sometimes they shake the ship. Traditionally, cinnamon rolls are a hyphen show. The test kitchen wanted to stay true to what a traditional cinnamon roll is, but find a way to produce buns with a cookie-like dough that doesn’t involve the long waiting period that yeast-raised rolls require.

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Here’s what they look like (and no, I couldn’t wait to grab a bite, or two, or three): They’re

great. And much tastier than those of Grands. Not to hit Pillsbury and its product, which is certainly faster to do than these. But this will blow your mind. Those cheeky buns! That sweet and sweet cream cheese glaze!

Do you have buns, hun? Sorrysorry. The cook in the book never knew a joke that she didn’t like. Just do this and see if you don’t fall in love.

Cinnamon Quick Buns with Whey Icing adapted from Baking Illustrated by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

1/2 cup

  • melted unsalted butter (you’ll use it for different elements of this recipe, so have a tablespoon on hand to split it


To fill

: 3/4 cup

  • dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
  • 1/

  • 4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8

  • teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon
  • salt

For dough:

2 1/2 cups

  • all-purpose unbleached flour, plus kneading and work surface
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (

  • used 5 tablespoons
  • whey powder + 1 1/4 cups water) For icing 2 tablespoons cream cheese (used a low-fat version) 2 tablespoons whey (or 1 1

  • /2 teaspoons
  • whey powder
  • plus

  • 2
  • tablespoons
  • H2O)
  • 1 cup

powdered sugar

Place the oven rack in the upper middle section of your oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a 9-inch round skillet and use 1 tablespoon of melted butter to grease it. They say I also sprayed a cooling grid with nonstick spray, but I skipped it and it worked.

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Make the filling: Mix the brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add 1 tablespoon of melted butter and stir with a fork until it is like wet sand.

Make your dough: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you’re using whey powder, stir it here as well. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk (or water if you are using a powder) with 2 tablespoons. of melted butter. Add the liquid ingredients to dry and stir until the flour is absorbed. This dough is tremendously sticky. Flour a work surface generously and turn the dough over it. If necessary, sprinkle with more flour and knead just a little to smooth the dough.

Then pat him on a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the filling over this, leaving a 1/2-inch edge around it, and pat it a little. Roll up starting on the long side. You may need to use a bench scraper to get the dough rolled up. Once rolled, pinch to seal, then place the seam down to cut it into eight slices. Rotate them sideways as you place them on the 9-inch round tray. If you were like me and rolled too loose, you may need to push and crush a little so that they stick together.

Place in the

pan by placing the first one in the middle, then the other seven surrounding it. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake until golden brown. It will take about 22 minutes, give or take. Use a spatula to loosen the buns from the edge of the pan. Using baking gloves, place a plate over the pan, then turn them so that the buns fall on the plate. Then place your cooling grid over the buns on the plate and rotate again so that the buns are on the rack, face up. Be careful, the pan is hot!

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While cooling for about five minutes, combine the cream cheese and buttermilk (if used as a powder, stir well in the water before adding cream cheese) until smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into it and mix well. Be sure to put some wax paper or something under the bun rack to catch the drops, then pour that lovely frosting on top and spread it out. Now tear those buns and eat.

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