Saturday, September 5, 2015

Second-Stab Saturday: Caramel Rolls that didn't get burnt!

We at A Book of Cookrye have been contemplating a recipe that seemed really delicious but failed in execution. It's cinnamon rolls baked in the brown sugar-butter stuff you'd do a pineapple upside-down cake in. When we last tried to make them, we unfortunately burned the hell out of them because it turns out Marcus' oven runs some somewhere between fifty and a hundred degrees over what you set it to.
However, given how many spatters have landed on the original book's page in its lifetime, the recipe has got to be good if you don't turn your cinnamon rolls into charcoal, right?

Caramel Rolls
    for the pan:
 ¼ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
   for the dough:
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 c. flour (I used all-purpose and it came out fine)
¼ c. butter
¾ c. milk
   for the filling:
⅓ c. brown sugar*
Cinnamon to taste (be generous)

Heat oven to 450°. Set a round cake pan or skillet over medium heat and melt the brown sugar and butter together (If you're using a cake pan, you may want to do this in a pot and then pour it into the pan).
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or just use your hands- it should be a coarse meal. Add the milk and beat for a while. The dough will thicken and get firmer until it pulls away from the sides and you can make a really sticky but nonetheless firm ball. Set it on a floured surface and knead for about thirty seconds, reflouring as needed if it sticks.
Roll on a floured surface into a rectangle a little thinner than half an inch thick. Mix the brown sugar and a lot of cinnamon. Cover the dough with this, being sure to get all the way to the edge on three sides. Leave about half an inch of dough on one of the long edges bare, and wet this edge with a little water or milk. Roll the dough up from the opposite edge (so the bare one gets rolled up last). Press and pinch the seam closed.
Set the dough scroll seam side down- if the seam is on the side it's more liable to open when you're slicing. Slice it into half-inch pieces, pinching them back into shape if they get flattened by the knife. Set them into the pan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until nice and golden on top. Check the oven early.
Turn out onto a plate immediately if you're not serving them out of the pan.

*I used dark.

All Electric-Mix Recipes Prepared Specially for your Dormeyer Mixer, 1946

If nothing else, these things are really quick to make. Seriously, we went from a bowl of partially-mixed stuff to rolling dough out onto the counter in 15 minutes.

Most of the cinnamon roll recipes we've found that don't involve just buying a can of refrigerated ones use yeast. These use baking powder instead. We wondered if the dough would come out kind of bland, but then again we're covering it in craptons of brown sugar and butter.
We ran out of brown sugar and ended up using white sugar and molasses. We may have overdone it on the molasses.

The original recipe said to coat the dough in butter before you put the brown sugar on, but we usually skip that and just sprinkle the brown sugar on. Supposedly the butter helps the brown sugar stick either while rolling them or while baking, but ever since we forgot it in an incident that involved the phrase "too late, they're in the oven," we don't bother with it any more.
We had suspected the butter is there to melt while baking and keep the brown sugar from falling out into a powdery mess once you bit into one. The rolls came out just fine, and you couldn't taste the difference even before we slathered the icing on top. So, yeah, you can skip the butter. And if you think we're saying this in an attempt to dodge calories... uh, have you seen the recipe we're making?

While there was a satisfyingly deep layer of brown sugar stuff in the bottom of the pan, we wondered if it would be enough once the rolls expanded in the oven. Would they have a scant layer of stuff on top or would they be gloriously butterscotch-y on the bottom? Well, we figured, even if the topping turns out disappointingly thin, we could ice them and then have this awesome glaze-under-icing thing going. However, we didn't need to worry about forgetting to buy cream cheese for the icing.
Look at how sticky and divoon they turned out!

The bread part was deliciously buttery, and the recipe provides a lot of cinnamon sugar to roll up into them. I could go on about how delicious these were, but instead here's what the pan looked like 20 minutes later.

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