Christmas morning in our house is pretty typical. The kids are awake long before adult eyes can even consider opening and the excitement level builds until is through the roof – I love this and I personally hope that my kids never outgrow this. We are able to put a pot of coffee on before we get down to the business of gift opening, but there is no way that we are sitting down to eat beforehand.
I like breakfast. I think special days deserve a leisurely breakfast. The only caveat is that some special breakfasts require quite a bit of preparation or forethought. This recipe really doesn’t require much, other than gathering the ingredients.
We like cinnamon buns and this recipe didn’t disappoint. I feel pretty good about the ingredients that go into them, but the best part is that they take less than one hour from start to finish. Having a food processor is crucial - I don’t know what the results would be like without it. We made some scrambled eggs and some applewood smoked bacon on the side and found it to be a really special Christmas breakfast – we hope that you enjoy it as well. (p.s. they taste great with mimosas!)
From our home to yours – wishing you a Christmas surrounded by the love of family and friends. May you always be blessed with enough!
Fastest Cinnamon Buns
(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine)
For the dough:
¾ cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for rolling
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
For the filling:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each: ground allspice, ground cloves, ground nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped pecans
For the glaze:
scant 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 - 3 Tablespoons cold milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan, or round cake pan with butter.
To make the dough: in a food processor, combine the yogurt, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and vanilla; process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (don’t over-process). The dough will be soft and moist.
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4-5 times until smooth. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12x15-inch rectangle.
To make the filling: Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a ½-inch border unbuttered around the edges. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and pat gently into the surface. Sprinkle the nuts over the sugar mixture.
Starting at long end, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal and leave the ends open. With a sharp knife, trim off the shaggy ends, then slice the roll crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry if there are small gaps.
Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20-28 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pan and release the spring-form ring. Transfer the rolls to a serving plate.
Make the glaze: in a small bowl, mix the sugar, milk and vanilla to make a smooth glaze. It should be thick but pourable, add up to 1 Tablespoon more milk to thin, if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.