Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cinnamon Crisps

I have a feeling if I keep this up I will personally be responsible for putting you into sugary, carb overload.  Between the brown butter banana muffinsovernight cinnamon rolls, and blueberry muffins I've recently posted, I could honestly put someone in a carb induced coma.  I think I have a slight obsession with breakfast pastries and as of late it seems like I am acting on that obsession and making Every. Single. Breakfast item I come across or can dream up.  If I keep this up for much longer I don't know how good it will be for any of us.  Of course we'll love the taste and deliciousness of each and every carb loaded breakfast goody, but our bodies will hate us. 
These cinnamon crisps seem like they could possibly be the love child of a cinnamon roll, with the warm gooey filling, and a crunchy cinnamon doughnut.  The base of this wonderful dessert breakfast item is a slightly sweet bread, that is a tad less light and fluffy than a cinnamon roll (just because of the mashing of the roll in the later part of the recipe).  The whole base, actually, utilizes the same process as cinnamon rolls do.  Roll the dough, evenly spread the filling, roll it up into a log and cut into equal portions.  The next step is where it differs; rather than allowing it to rise and become the light and fluffy roll we all know, the dough is smashed down to form a more flattened out version of a cinnamon roll.  The dough then rests for half an hour and then smashed again.  After that the flattening process, these sweet little beauties get to take a swim in melted butter and are then sprinkled with a sweet cinnamon-sugar topping.  I know these look good right now, practice patience, pop them in the oven and all the heat to do it's magic.  Once they are golden brown, allow them to cool slightly (or for as long as you can possibly stand), pour your coffee and enjoy.  These rolls are delicious, buttery and sweet.  They are full of flavor and they literally melt in your mouth.  Oh, and don't let an ounce of that sugary sweetness go to waste, that sugar that has fallen off the rolls onto the pan, cooled and become hard....don't throw it away.  No, no, no...that is a it alone, sprinkle it on a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Or even better, top one of these hot rolls with a scoop of ice cream and then top it with these hardened sugary treats!
These were a huge hit in my house.  My family not only enjoyed them fresh from the oven, but for a few days after as well.  This is the perfect weekend treat for you to serve up to your loved ones!

Cinnamon Crisps

For the roll-
4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Package (2 1/4 Tsp) active dry yeast
1 1/4 Cups warm milk
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tsp salt
1 Egg

For the filling-
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

For the topping-
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted


For the filling-

Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

For the topping-
Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, stir to combine. Set aside.

For the rolls-
Combine 2 cups flour and yeast in a large bowl and stir to combine.  In a separate bowl combine milk, butter, sugar and salt and stir to incorporate ingredients.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat, using an electric mixer on medium-high, for 1 minute.  Reduce mixer speed to low, add egg and beat for an additional minute.  Once incorporated, increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes.  Gradually add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed.

Turn dough onto a floured surface; kneading until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Liberally grease a large bowl, place dough in bowl, turning to coat, cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

After the dough has risen, punch down.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal portions.  Roll each piece into a 12 inch square.  Spread equal amounts of butter onto each square (3 tablespoons per square).  Spread each with half of the filling, roll up tightly, pinching the seems to seal.  Cut into 1 inch slices and place on prepared baking sheet.  Cover the rolls with waxed paper, using the palm of your hand flatten each roll into 3 inch circles.  Cover rolls with clean kitchen towel and allow to rise and additional 30 minutes, until doubled in size.  Remove towel, cover with wax paper and flatten again, this time in 5 inch circles. 

Brush the rolls with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar topping, top with wax paper and press the mixture into the rolls.  Discard waxed paper.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  Do not overbake.  Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly then serve.

Recipe source: Adapted from The Taste of Home Cookbook

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