Cinnamon rolls are an instant gratification kind of food. Wake up, crave cinnamon rolls. No time for letting yeasty dough rise. That's why we've eaten the Pillsbury ones that pop out of the can more times than we can count—they're an on-the-spot, Saturday morning sugar high.
Faith's recipe for Spicy, Sticky Cinnamon Rolls is great if you have time to make proper dough. But if you don't, we highly recommend these quick buns.
The dough has cottage cheese and buttermilk, which keep it tender, and it's the brainchild of a former bakery owner who was experimenting with biscuit dough to make a faster cinnamon bun. It comes together in a food processor in mere seconds, and rolling it out is pretty easy; it's forgiving and not too sticky.
We expected the finished rolls (we call them rolls, even though the recipe calls them buns...) to be chewier and more dense than typical yeast rolls. But they were actually pretty fluffy and totally delicious. We really expected them to be duds the next day, but warmed up in the microwave, they were still good. We're now thinking of more ways to use this sweet, easy dough.
• No need for a springform pan. As you can see, we used a 9-inch cake pan. While we didn't try plating the whole bunch at once, we think we could have muscled them out of there without too many casualties. And for digging them out individually, the cake pan was fine.
• Don't stress over the 12x15 rectangle. Ours was quite lopsided. Once we rolled up the dough, we just trimmed the ragged parts on each end that didn't have a ton of filling. FYI, the raw dough is a treat in itself.
• Chop the nuts into tiny pieces. We used walnuts instead of pecans, just because we had them. They worked well, but whatever nuts you use, chop them very fine. You want them to meld with the brown sugar filling and stick to each layer you peel off, rather than fall out on the plate in a big chunk.
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)