Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holiday Spiced Cinna-Buns

These little darlings were a bit of a surprise. I made them in celebration of the birth of a dear friend's second son. Fresh cinnamon rolls are always amazing so I made the rolls the night before to let them sit in the fridge overnight. I got a late start so you can image my shock when I realized I was missing a key ingredient for CINNAbun.


Things got pretty creative. We had a few cinnamon sticks in the house. I tried grinding them with a zester while the husband tried the coffee grinder. Unfortunately, the grinder didn't produce a fine-powder and instead served as a tiny woodchiper. We took turns with the zester and had to tap out after producing a whole ONE TABLESPOON of cinnamon powder. It was entirely too late to drive to the grocery store.

On to Plan B!

Though not quite the same, there was plenty of pumpkin spice in the pantry! It's a mix of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg powder. What's not to love?

I'm not a fan of super sweet so went for a lighter cream cheese topping, adding only as much sugar as needed to balance the blood orange zest.

The end result is a classic cinnamon bun with a hint of the holidays!

Holiday Spiced Cinna-Buns
makes 12 Cinna-Buns

follow the recipe and instructions from King Arthur Flour
*substitute with filling and frosting below

Cinna-Bun Filling
3 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped and softened (optional)**

Mix the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, brown sugar, and dried cranberries (optional) in  a bowl; set-aside. Spread softened butter on rolled out cinna-bun dough after first rise and sprinkle with spice mix. Roll from short-end and cut into 12 even slices.

**to soften cranberries, place in heat proof bowl and cover with boiling hot water. .Let steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and then strain the fruit and discard the water. The fruit will be plumper, juicier, and softer. To give the fruit some extra flavor, swap the water for fruit juice or a liquor, like rum, bourbon, or brandy.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2-1 teaspoon blood orange (or orange) zest  (to taste)
splash of milk if needed to thin

Mix the cream cheese and butter together until smooth; add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to taste. Add the blood orange zest, to taste.