Monday, October 22, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

There's nothing better than a lazy morning of coffee and a good book, right? Throw in some homemade cinnamon rolls and you'll never want to change out of your pjs and get the day started.

For me the coffee flavor doesn't really matter (as long as it's black, no cream or sugar here). And if I'm entirely honest, the book (as long as it is captivating) doesn't really matter either. I've read a LOT of "for fun" books since I started my postdoc. Mostly because I gave up on them during grad school (and I don't have a very active social life). I tend to get sucked in and can't put the book resulting in perfect lazy mornings. As long as the coffee mug keeps refilling itself and the cinnamon rolls are tasty.

Oh. You want to know what books I've been enjoying lately? Thanks for asking. I'll tell you because you asked so very nicely. ;)

1. The Private series of books by James Patterson and cohorts. I actually read all three of these books in reverse order starting with Private Games during the Olympics (it is set during the London 2012 games) and thoroughly enjoyed them all. As with every Patterson book and affiliate, the short chapters and page-turning mysteries have me reading "just one more" for about 25 chapters before setting them down.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Like you, I'm sure, I've seen the movie trailer featuring the lovely Hermione Granger Emma Watson. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the book but I certainly didn't consider it the modern day "Breakfast Club" as the trailer led me to believe. It was one of those books, like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, that left me wondering who read it and thought, wow this would make a good movie. Not that it was a bad book... I'll leave it at that. Read it and let me know what you think.

3. The Vampire Academy series. Ok, ok. I'm a sucker for a vampire storyline. But these books, although targeted at teenage girls, are very well written; with just enough love, lust, action, and intrigue, they have pulled me into this fantasy world of good vs bad vampires, the bodyguards that protect them, and the alchemists that help guard the secrets. I highly recommend all of them.

4. Catch Me. Lisa Gardner has done it again. I don't know how she comes up with all of these crazy back stories about terrible childhoods that lead to serial killers but somehow it all works. A page turner for certain. Just make sure you lock your doors (especially if you live in Boston).

So enough about the books I've been reading, moving on to what you really want--- the cinnamon rolls. I've been wanting to make homemade cinnamon rolls for quite some time (they're on that bucket list), but they typically take a bit longer than I want to spend on Saturday morning. Especially for only me. If I'm going to put the effort it, I gotta be sharing it with someone else (or multiple people). When Brown Eyed Baker posted these biscuit cinnamon rolls that didn't require yeast and rising time, I knew they would totally be perfect for me. And they are. Simple and easy and to your tummy within 1 hour. I decided to go with a cream cheese frosting instead of her simple glaze and I think it was worth the extra ingredients. Delicious.

So cuddle up with your coffee and a good book and enjoy these cinnamon rolls!

Any books you recommend? 

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits
For biscuits (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker):
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 dash salt
1/2 cup (+ a little more) half and half
1 tbsp melted butter, unsalted
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

For cream cheese frosting:
3 tbsp softened low fat cream cheese
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp half and half

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the half and half until a dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds until smooth, adding more half and half or flour as necessary.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 5 X 12 inches. Brush half of the butter on the top of the dough. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough. Roll up the dough long way (start at the end of one of the 5 inch sides and roll along the 12 inches). Cut the dough into 6 pieces about 1-1 1/2 inches wide.

Brush the rest of the butter on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the pieces of the roll round side down on the buttered dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Make the cream cheese frosting, by mixing the cream cheese with a spoon until slightly fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and stir until completely incorporated and a soft and smooth texture is reached. Add the half and half and stir until smooth and slightly runny. Spoon the frosting over the rolls.

Eat while warm.

Serves 2-3.

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