Saturday, March 17, 2012

Better, with Butter: Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

Good news:  I'm beginning to feel human again.  For the better part of the last ten days I've been knocked out by this horrendous flu making the rounds.  You know the one.  Starts innocently enough with a little tickle in the back of the throat, then progresses to incessant coughing, followed by the chills and the sweats, and a trip to the drugstore to stare blankly in front of the cold and flu meds, only to plead with the pharmacist please, please tell me which one will let me sleep at night.  When none of that helps, you find your bad self in your doctor's office, only to be told you have a chest infection and to take it easy.  Prescription in hand, you drive home in a daytime-decongestant-daze, propel yourself onto the couch and miss almost a week's worth of work.  Throw in a heavy dose of self pity, and you've got my life, lately.

Oh, but I'm on the mend now, feeling a million times better.  Good thing, as I couldn't stand one more day of my pity party, or daytime TV.  It's terrible stuff.  All that post-Bachelor run down just made me feel even more foggy-headed.  And why does everyone on the View have to shout?  And I don't really care that much about Spring trends for home interiors.  And why does Mario Batali wear Crocs?  I don't know any cooks that wear Crocs.  I did kind of miss Oprah's 3:00 pm time slot though - that was always the highlight of previous sick days:  cuddle up with Kleenex and tea and The Mighty Opes and hope it was an episode with fashion and/or food and/or movie stars.  Oh Oprah.  Hope you are well.

Thank God my eyeballs still worked while I was sick, because they spied this most delicious-looking cinnamon roll recipe from Joy the Baker.  You know Joy, right?  If you don't, go to her site (after you linger here for a bit, of course) and check it out.  Gorgeous food, and wit to boot.  I like Joy.  I wish she was my friend.  And no, I'm not stalking her.  Yet.

One of the sick days, when I had enough mobility to get off the couch, I got out the butter and cinnamon and decided to bake, dammit.  Sure I was coughing up a lung and a half, but I was only going to share these with my Mom, and she's always immune to my sicky, so what the hell.  Let me tell you, if I can totally pull these off with Kleenex tucked up my sleeves, then you can do this too.  The dough is easy enough to pull together, it's soft and supple and the best part is it doesn't require any yeast.  So you can roll these out and twenty minutes later, you have warm, gorgeous cinnamon rolls.  Perfect for days when you are having brunch guests,

or breakfast in bed with the paper and coffee,

or days when you just need something sweet to pick your spirits off the floor, and your eyes away from the depths of hell, otherwise known as daytime TV.  Here's wishing all of your immune systems stay strong!

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk, cold
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 tbsp melted butter, for brushing

Preheat oven to 375*F.  Place rack in centre of oven.  Grease an 8x8inch square baking pan with butter and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the sugars, salt and cinnamon for filling and set aside.  Melt your 3 tbsp of butter too, and set it aside.
To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Some of the fat should be the size of peas, and some the size of large flake oats.  In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, vanilla and beat it slightly with a fork.  Add this to the flour mixture and stir until it makes a soft dough.  If too dry, gently stir in more buttermilk.

Lightly flour your counter top and turn dough out, kneading about 15 times.  Shape into a disk and roll dough out so it's about 1/2 inch thick, and roughly 12 inches by 10 inches, with the longer edge closest to you.  Don't worry if it's a little bigger.  It's only biscuits!  Brush your rolled out dough with the melted butter, saving a bit to brush the tops with.  Sprinkle with your cinnamon/sugar combo.  Begin rolling from the longer side, into a fairly tight roll/log.  Use a sharp knife and cut the roll into 1 inch pieces.  I had about 11 rolls.  Place the rolls into your pan, packed fairly close together and brush the tops with melted butter.  Bake for 20-25  minutes, until golden on top.  Serve warm the day they are made, but they do reheat very well, in a low oven for a few minutes. Even on the third day, still delicious.  Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.


  1. Happy to hear you are feeling better - I don't want what you had! I do want some of these rolls though - they look SO GOOD!

  2. I love your recipe! I am keeping it! I want to try it!!
    Also very good photographs!!

  3. These look delicious. I'm picturing myself having one of these rolls with a cup of Chai tea. Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Hope you feel better soon.

    "why does everyone on the View have to shout? " and "I did kind of miss Oprah's 3:00 pm time slot" - My thoughts exactly:)

  4. Beautiful cinnamon rolls and a beautiful blue plate! Sorry you were so ill but glad that you are coming around and up to baking...that's always a good sign ;)

  5. Glad to hear you are on the mend and cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

  6. I'm so glad you are better, Renee! Being sick is the worst, but cinnamon roles are the best. Yum.

  7. So sorry to hear you've been under the weather. Glad you're feeling better. Oh my, those rolls look good! Are they from Joy's new book? I just received a review and giveaway copy and have been eager to start cooking from her book. Love Joy too- I wish she were my friend too. She writes just like a great girlfriend would!

  8. You all are so sweet! I am feeling a million times better - thank goodness for that. Shelley, not sure if Joy has the cinnamon rolls in her book - I'd love to get my hands on it!

  9. I've been in the same boat as you lately... Just starting to feel normal today. But these look so good. Been craving cinnamon rolls but didn't feel like doing yeast dough. This would be the perfect solution. Glad you're feeling better now!

  10. Renee, So sorry to hear about your flu. It is so depressing to be knocked out like that. But how you could whip up these gorgeous rolls while you were down-for-the-count....... I am amazed. Those photos were perfection and I'm sure the taste was too:)
    Stay healthy,

  11. I made Joy's biscuit cinnamon rolls too but haven't posted about them yet on my blog. They are super, super delicious!

  12. The rolls keep the cinnamon flavor all intact and more explosive when you take a bite. Can't wait...

  13. I'm going to have to agree with you on that one. Everything is better with butter. Yum. And these biscuit cinnamon rolls look scrumptious! I am definitely giving these guys a try.

  14. Hi Renee, saw this on, this looks delicious! Beautiful food photography!


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