Effervescent. Scintillating. Bauble. Exuberant. Tantalizing.
I love words almost as much as I love food (which is why writing about food is so appealing to me, I suppose). Words are fascinating – not only how they carry the power of communication, but also how we learn them, use them, study them, roll them around on our tongue, spit them out, let them slide, choose them wisely or fling them without thought. There are an estimated 1,025,109.8 words in the English language at our disposal to be used in countless ways (which is why it baffles me that the only word people seem to be able to pull out begins with an “f”). They can be mixed, stretched, flattened, spread, chopped, sprinkled, rolled, cut, squished, and formed to make what we want. Kind of like cinnamon buns. Cinnamon buns that can be described in such a way that you’re going to want to make them immediately (and will be able to, as they take less than an hour from start to finish). Rich, decadent cinnamon buns oozing with a deep, dark caramel filling, a smattering of crunchy pecans, and a drizzle of vanilla glaze.
Wheaties may be the breakfast of champions, but if I can start my day with a cinnamon roll, a mug of good steaming coffee, and a few minutes of reading a good book or magazine, well, that’s a winning breakfast for me.
What are your favorite words?
Quick Cinnamon Buns with Pecans
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Quick Cinnamon Buns
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. molasses (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (or milk)
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9-inch nonstick round cake pan. Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Whisk 2-1/2 cups of the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and 2 Tbsp. of the melted butter together. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough forms, about 30 seconds. If dough is still too sticky, add more flour until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Press the dough into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle and brush the dough with 2 more Tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle the filling over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge. Press on the filling to adhere it to the dough.
- Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper (or metal spatula), and roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log seam side down. If necessary, gentily reshape the log to be 12 inches in length with an even diameter. Pat the ends of the cylinder to even them.
- Slice the cylinder into 8 evenly sized rolls (about 1-1/2 inches wide) with a serrated knife. Arrange the rolls, cut side up, in the prepared baking pan, and brush with the remaining melted butter. Bake the rolls until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Flip the rolls out onto a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, softened cream cheese, milk, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until smooth (add more sugar if too thin). Flip the rolls upright, drizzle with the glaze, and serve.