Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday breakfast

Someday, my kids will both sleep past dawn.  Gillian didn't even make it that long this morning.  I tried to ignore her for a bit, but at about 6:30, gave it up as a lost cause and got up.  On the bright side, I got an early start on this morning's breakfast.

I actually had a plan before I got up.  When we were shopping Friday night, I picked up some cottage cheese.  (Of course, I got sidetracked by that and forgot to buy more cream cheese, but fortunately I still had a little in the fridge.)  A while back, Fine Cooking had an article on making cinnamon buns with a biscuit-type dough that uses cottage cheese to keep the dough moist.  Quick, since it relies on baking powder and baking soda for leavening rather than yeast.  I've made them a couple of times, and decided to make a variation of my own today.  Brianna doesn't care for nuts, so I substituted raisins.  Of course, she waited until she was eating one of the rolls to tell me that she doesn't like the raisins in there either.  Since I've been playing around with spices lately, I also made some changes in the filling.  The original calls for cinnamon, allspice and cloves.  I reduced the cinnamon and used cardamom and ginger in place of the allspice.  Finally, I used a cream cheese icing (the same as I used on the Coffeecake Muffins) instead of the original glaze.  It turned out that I made more icing than I needed for the rolls.  But somehow, the remainder left in the bowl mysteriously disappeared...

Cinnamon Buns with Raisins and Cream Cheese Icing
(adapted from Fine Cooking)

For the filling:
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup raisins

Place the sugar and spices in a medium bowl.  Stir them together with a fork until evenly mixed.  Stir in the raisins.  Set the mixture aside while you make the dough.

For the dough:
3/4 cup cottage cheese (4% milkfat)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
9 oz (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.  (I actually cover the bottom of my springform pan with non-stick foil, wrapping the excess under the bottom of the pan before putting the ring on.  Then I put non-stick baking spray on the sides.)

In your food processor (fitted with the metal blade), combine the cottage cheese, buttermilk, melted butter, sugar and vanilla.  Process until smooth, about 10 seconds.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pulse until the dough just starts to come together in clumps (don't over-process).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead it 4 or 5 times until smooth.  Roll the dough out into a 12" by 15" rectangle, with the longer side facing you.  Brush the dough with the additional melted butter, leaving a 1/2" border.  Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the dough.  Roll up the dough like a jelly roll, starting with the long side.  Pinch the seam to seal, but leave the ends open.  Cut the dough into 12 even pieces (I use a serrated knife).  Place the pieces cut-side up into the springform pan (8-9 around the outside and 3-4 in the middle).

Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20-28 minutes (mine took 23 min).  Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.  Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and remove the ring.  Transfer the rolls to a serving plate (I just pick up the edges of the foil I used to cover the bottom of the pan and transfer the whole thing to a plate, foil and all).  

For the icing:

2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
4 oz (1 cup) powdered sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla and milk.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

Drizzle the icing over the warm rolls and serve.  

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