Monday, March 16, 2015

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Whenever there is a short-cut recipe for bread, I am very skeptical. It's like one of those old timey grifter scams. The recipe proclaims amazing results and tantalizes you with tempting photos. An accomplice comments on the wonder of the bread to provoke enthusiasm. Then, just like a grifter, it leaves you with half-baked results and you realize that you have been cheated. I've made "quick and dirty" cinnamon rolls in the past and was burnt. Within the hour, they had turned into hockey pucks that could break a window.

For these reasons, I make it a rule not to use quick yeast breads and unreliable sources. It may be limiting, but I am often reluctant to step away from my go-to books and bloggers (all hail Smitten Kitchen and America's Test Kitchen). That's how I knew that I was in safe hands when I saw these Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls from Joy the Baker. I decided not to live in the past (insert Buddhist "Om") and give these kids another shot.

Oh Joy, you never lead me astray!

What makes them "quick and dirty?" The rising time. Generally speaking, cinnamon rolls need two round of rising, each at least an hour. These are done in half that time with only ten minutes to rise the first round and then an additional 30. By the time you're done cleaning up the kitchen, they're ready to go in the oven. What black magic is this?

Sure. Chocolate and Espresso are an overpowering combination of delicious. You could slather the two on a brick and I would probably still try to eat it... well at least lick of what I could. It goes without saying that the filling of this cinnamon roll is delicious. I used extra dark chocolate chips and added just a touch more espresso. The dry mix alone had the entire kitchen smelling lovely.

The real test was going to be how the rolls stood the test of time.
Would they be soft and luscious?
Or would I be able to skip them over a lake?

These cinnamon buns could be used as a pillow up to three days out of the oven. That's right- THREE whole days (per storage in an air-tight container). They pulled apart smoothly and warmed in the oven beautifully the next day. Served with a cup of a coffee, these chocolate espresso cinnamon buns had the husband and I on cloud 9.

What I really love about this recipe is the quantity. Most rolls make two pans worth of bread - way too much for our simple home and too heavy to serve as a side at brunch with friends. This is makes six large buns in a 8x8 pan - a solid amount for two over the weekend and enough to share with others on a Saturday night.

The glaze is optional - we didn't feel it was necessary! Yes, that's how good they are - they don't need glaze. The filling is sweet enough as it is.

PS. Mike is over here cracking up because I used the word "grifter" in this post. Apparently this makes me a literary nerd. 

The recipe for these awesome Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls can be found on Joy The Baker!