45 minute cinnamon buns

Today was a flipping home run. There was snow, there were cinnamon buns, there were good deeds and there was a grilled cheese for lunch. The long and the short of it is that I had friends coming over for breakfast and it had just snowed like a foot. The only solution was clearly to make some cinnamon buns that would bake while I was shoveling the driveway. If the driveway was filled with snow, where would my guests park? Who would eat all the cinnamon buns?

This cinnamon bun recipe comes together real quick. I'm not just saying that. It is the truth. You can start mixing ingredients and then be eating 45 minutes later. I think this is completely feasible even if you haven't just organized your spice cabinet. A few other quick notes:
  • Flavor // I'm a pretty big fan of this recipe and love the subtle chocolate flavor. It still tastes like breakfast but the hint of cocoa powder makes it great - and kind of conceals any flavor that might be missing from it only taking 45 minutes. I also added cocoa powder to the glaze because I was feeling pretty wild. It was another good decision.
  • Nuts // In hindsight, I wish I had added some chopped nuts in there. 
  • Roll Tight // I rolled the dough up nicely - but it could have been better. Your dough will not break in half if you get a little aggressive with it. 
  • Muffin Tin // I highly recommend using a muffin tin to bake your buns. It makes individual presentation real strong. That being said, if you were bringing them to a party or brunch or something then putting them in a tin would be better. I ran out of muffin tins so a few sad ones ended up in a pan.
While these babes were cooking in the oven, I was giving it a go shoveling the driveway. Like many suburban activities, I grossly underestimated the time this would require. Thankfully, after 15 minutes of shoveling... a very nice guy pulled up and randomly offered to help out. I really try to say hi and wave to everyone when I'm out walking... and I think it is paying off. Also, people might think I'm crazy but whatever. 
Also the rest of the day was great. While I will always love Summer the most, nature does look pretty amazing with a fresh coat of snow. I am working on a little project compiling all the nearby trails. Double crossies that we get another batch of snow so I can head more into the woods. Either way, here's how the recipe goes:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly mixed. 
  2. In a microwavable bowl, heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted. 
  3. Add the butter mixture into the flour mixture. And give it a bit of a mixture just to distribute the hot liquids, then add the egg and knead with the stand mixer. It'll take about 3 minutes for the dough to not be sticky anymore. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rest for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and turn off after 10 minutes or just before placing rolls in oven.
  5. While the dough is resting, you can make the filling. Blend the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder. After the dough has rested for 5 minutes, roll it out into a large rectangle (like 15x9). Spread the softened butter mixture on top. 
  6. Roll up the dough tightly and cut into pieces. If you go with about 2 inches a slice, you'll get some good sizes rolls in the end. 
  7. Arrange the cut rolls into lightly greased muffin tins or a square pan. 
  8. Lightly cover the rolls with tin foil and TURN OFF the oven. Place the cinnamon buns in the oven to rise for 20 minutes. 
  9. Remove the tin foil, set the oven to 375F and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  10. While the buns are baking, you can make the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and 2 Tablespoons milk together until smooth and lump free. Drizzle over warm rolls.
Shopping List
2¾ cups flour
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and ¼ teaspoons)
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 large egg

Filling:
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

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