Friday, January 16, 2009

Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze
Home Cooking

Most of my Summer holidays have been happily spent lounging around and relaxing - i.e. doing nothing much at all. One day not too long ago, we discovered that my laptop could actually receive wireless internet from the router upstairs! That certainly changed things up a bit. Instead of mindlessly watching TV and reading myself to sleep every 10 minutes, I instead found myself killing hour after hour online. Doing what? Online shopping, watching old cycles of America's Next Top Model on Youtube and of course, searching up recipes.

I guess you could say that my days were passing 'slightly' more productively.

On the subject of searching for recipes online, it is an absolute wonder why it is that I bother to do this AS WELL as purchasing every cookbook of every in-vogue TV chef on the market. I guess you can't get enough of a good thing.

In any case on this particular day, I was searching for a recipe with the purpose of using up my left over cream-cheese (bought a while back to make cheesecake). I didn't want to make another cheesecake so I started dreaming up all these strange (and probably disastrous) concoctions by mentally pairing up cream cheese with whatever I had in my fridge and pantry. Things that crossed my mind included a very fanciful: cream cheese and maple-candied pecan bread. Yes... indeed.

I think for the time being, it's best that I follow other people's recipes. Finally, I stumbled across a recipe on Epicurious that mentioned 'cinnamon' and 'cream cheese' in the title. Thus, I started searching up various cinnamon bun recipes and viola! A decision was reached. Having cinnamon ready in the house was also a bonus because it saved me a trip to the grocery store.

The recipe I used is a bit of a combination of the one from March 08 Bon Appetit, as shown here and also one that I found on another food blog (here). The ingredients for the bread base and cinnamon spread is essentially the same but there are a few differences in the steps. The glaze they use is slightly different too. I followed the instructions for the bun as per Bon Appetit but modified the glaze using the Culinary Sherpas recipe as a guide.

Note: I used fat-free soy milk and reduced butter in the bun and also, didn't use butter at all in the cream cheese frosting. I simply used MORE cream cheese (wanted to use up the whole packet rather than have 1/2 a blog remaining) and added evaporated milk and a bit of lemon juice till it was runny. I wanted to be able to drizzle the icing on, rather than dollop or spread it on. I also halved the entire recipe when I made this.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
Makes 9

Ingredients:

Dough
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter (I reduced the amount of butter but added some evaporated milk to balance the moisture content)
  • 1.75 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour (I used wholemeal flour and ended up using less than 1.75 cups)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 large egg (just beat 1 egg and use 1/2 of the liquid)
  • Bit more than 1 tsp dried yeast (1/2 sachet for me)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Non-stick vegetable spray
Filling
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Approx 40g butter (enough butter to spread on dough), melted
Glaze
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Approx 1 tbsp of evaporated milk/butter

Preparation:

1. Combine milk and butter in a cup and microwave on high till the butter melts (around 30 sec)
2. In an electric mixer bowl, add together the milk/butter mixture, sugar (for the dough), egg, yeast, salt and 1/2 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for around 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure incorporation of all ingredients
3. Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed until all the flour is absorbed and the dough is sticky (remember to scrape the sides of the bowl)
4. If dough is very sticky, add more flour gradually until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl
5. Turn flour out onto lightly floured bench and knead until smooth and elastic - takes around 8min
6. Form into a ball and place inside large bowl
7. Coat with light spray of vegetable oil and then cover the bowl with kitchen wrap and a tea towel
8. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot for around 1 and 1/2 hrs or until the dough doubles in size

Meanwhile...

1. Mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon - set aside2. Make the glaze by first beating together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add evaporated milk bit by bit until the desired consistency is achieved (runny/gooey).Do a taste check to make sure the mix isn't too sweet/not sweet enough. You can mix in a bit of melted butter instead of evaporated milk if you like.

After the dough has risen...

1. Punch down the dough (to make it compact again)
2. Transfer onto a floured work surface and roll into a rectangular shape3. Spread molten butter over the dough on one surface, leaving a 1cm border
4. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter5. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into a log (pinch gently to keep it rolled up)
6. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise to create 9 equal slices
7. Note: I rolled my log too thin so I combined 2 logs to create a giant superlog before cutting into slices - this is why my buns have a cute butterfly effect
8. Line a square baking pan with non-stick paper and arrange the 9 slices on the pan.
9. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and kitchen towel and once again leave in a warm, draft-free place for it to rise (approx 30min). There should be no space between buns on the pan
Close-up below
And finally...

1. Once the dough has risen again, preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius
2. Place the tray with the buns onto a middle rack
3. Bake until the tops are golden (around 20min
4. Immediately turn the buns onto a wire rack and cool for 10min
5. Drizzle the glaze on and serve warm or at room temperatureIn hindsight, there was too much cinnamon sugar and cream cheese glaze so I recommend you reduce the quantities for those.

Voila! Cinnamon buns
I'm not sure how well these 'keep' or what the best storage conditions are but if you don't manage to munch them down in the first day, I recommend you keep them sealed in air-tight containers in your refrigerator. I wouldn't leave them for much longer than 2-3 days with icing but perhaps they'll last longer without. Microwave on high for 15sec before serving to make them soft again.

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