I'm back home in Boston for Thanksgiving break and it's great to see family, friends, and my old stompin' ground. One of the best parts, for me, in coming home is cooking with my family. So this morning my sister and I woke up rully early and, feeling ambitious, baked these cinnamon buns for the household. It was so delightful to be back in the kitchen with my little sis, baking the most amazing cinnamon buns east of the island of Manhattan. Sometimes cooking with loved ones makes food taste like a thousand times better :)
For the dough:
1/3 cup sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
For the filling:
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For the glaze:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the icing:
Sprinkling of salt
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
In a large bowl, integrate the sugar, yeast, salt, and flour. In a separate bowl, mix together butter, milk, and egg. Pour wet ingredients into dry and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for about 1 minute. Continue to pound the dough with your hands, until the mixture is just incorporated in the bowl.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, until dough is elastic. Place dough in a well-oiled glass bowl. Cover with dish towel (or the equivalent) and let rise for 1-2 hours.
To make the icing, mix confectioner’s sugar, salt, vanilla, butter, and milk in a small bowl on medium-low speed for about a minute. Set aside.
To make the filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in another small bowl. Using a for, stir in 6 tablespoons of butter until incorporated. Set aside
Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough out on a floured surface to an 12”x18” rectangle. Using a pastry brush, brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough. Then, spread cinnamon brown sugar filling evenly on top. Tightly wind the dough width-wise, pinching the ends to seal dough in place. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut dough into round slices 1 1/4- 1 1/2 inches thick.
To make the glaze, melt butter in small saucepan over low to moderate heat. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Once melted, add the sugar and honey. Stir almost constantly until mixture blends together and turns a dark caramel color. This may take 10 or more minutes. When in doubt, it's better to keep it cooking or the sugar and butter will not congeal. Take it off when you see smoke rising off the bottom of the pan when you are mixing it. Dump entire contents of pan into a greased 9”x13” baking dish.
Working quickly, transfer dough into baking dish. Let bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is completely baked and, when touched with a spoon, dough bounces back. Be careful because the glaze will be HOT. Let cool for 10 minutes, then flip the buns over so the glazed side is up. This will allow the honey glaze to seep down into the buns. Bon appétit!