Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Makes eight – adapted from Cook's
Illustrated, May/June 2002 issue

These are best served warm but can be also be reheated in the microwave the next day if there are any leftovers. Make sure to read the recipe before you begin: the six tablespoons of butter called for in the dough gets added in increments, so be careful not to add it all in step two.
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for rolling out dough
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 Tablespoons melted butter
1 ounce cream cheese, softened (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
½ cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.  Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork until blended.  Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to begin making the dough.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.

3. Add the flour mixture to the bowl of your Cuisinart Stand Mixer.  Using the dough hook attachment, turn on your mixer to medium-low speed and slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture.  Mix just until the liquid and dry ingredients have combined (dough will appear lumpy).  Turn the mixer speed to high and beat until the dough comes together in a ball (about 30 seconds).

4. On a generously floured surface, knead the dough about 15 seconds until smooth.  Roll out into a 16" x 12" rectangle.  Brush with two tablespoons of melted butter.  Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling over the dough, leaving a ½ inch border plain on the top and bottom.  Press filling into dough with fingertips.

5. Roll dough into a log starting from the longest (16-inch) side nearest you, as pictured above.  Pinch ends and seam closed.  Cut into eight equal pieces*.  Place one piece in center and fill in pan with rest of the pieces.  Press down each roll with your hand to flatten slightly.  Brush tops with remaining tablespoon of melted butter.  Bake for 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from cake pan, being careful to keep rolls together, onto a wire cooling rack or serving dish.  Let cool for five minutes.

6. While rolls are cooling, make the icing.  Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk together in a small bowl until smooth (mixture may have small lumps).  Add sifted confectioner's sugar and meat with a whisk until smooth and there are no more lumps.  Drizzle over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.

* For slightly smaller rolls, perfect for brunches, cut the formed log into 12 equal pieces and gently press into a 12-cup muffin tin, as pictured above. Reduce cooking time to 17 to 19 minutes, or until golden. Let rest in pan for one minute, then transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with icing.

Nutty Sticky Buns
Add one cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the baking pan before putting in the cut rolls.  Follow directions as listed in original recipe.  When the rolls are done, turn the pan upside down and invert the buns onto a wire cooling rack or serving dish.  The top will be gooey and covered with the melted filling and the nuts.
Cinnamon Raisin Buns
Add one cup of raisins to the filling mixture. Follow the rest of the directions as listed.