America's Test Kitchen Cinnamon Buns


I'm not going to play coy... this is another post about Cinnamon Buns. Surprise? The saga continues as I hunt for my favorite rendition! I wanted to make these for Mike's parents as a teensy show of thanks for their continuous wedding planning support.  When I asked him what I should make- I already knew the answer. One of Mike's fondest memories is his mom bringing home Cinnabuns from the airport after a business trip. He and his pops would fight to claim the heavenly smelling white and blue box. All right cinny buns, time to pull out the big guns: American's Test Kitchen.


Before I delve into describing the rolls, I have to give a warning. I ended up making these rolls TWICE. I made the dough the night before, let it rise, formed the rolls, and let them sit in the fridge over night. The intent was to save time in the  morning and have oven fresh cinnamon buns ready to go!


The issue arose the next day when the rolls refused to reach room temperature. The directions states "let sit at room temperature for about an hour." Well they sat there for 2 hours and still did not rise fully. I touched the pan and it was still chilled. In retrospect, I should have heated the oven a bit and let them rise in there like I usually do when making rolls. Being a shmuck, I put them in the oven anyways (not fully risen) and hoped for the best.


Well. As we say in Portuguese, toma! The result was a stiff and tough cinnamon bun. The flavor was still there at least! We cheated and zapped them in the microwave for a few seconds to lighten them up before serving. It was frustrating but hey- I KNEW the rolls had not doubled in size the second time. Learn from my mistakes! So make sure the bread has fully risen! If it hasn't, either your yeast has gone bad or there's not enough heat. 


And yet... that left the lingering question... what was their real potential? You know... sans screwing up and being impatient. 

The next day, the ever stubborn self went at it again- this time sticking around for the entire process. I am happy to report a delicious cinnamon bun! The rolls were tight and bread had a soft but solid texture. Honestly, we were content without the frosting! They were slowly addicting. You thought after the initial bite, "oh well that's nice." Then suddenly you realized half the pan was missing. Woopsy!


I did make two teensy itty bitty adjustments to the second rolls. I nearly doubled the amount of filling (go hard or go home) and added a bit of lemon zest to the cream cheese frosting. Trust, that touch of zest makes a big difference.

For the full recipe, check out the America's Test Kitchen Feed!