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Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

If you even remotely like baking, beautiful cookbooks, cats or fantastically addicting podcasts, you’re likely quite familiar with the blog, Joy the Baker. Created by Los Angeles-based Joy Wilson, the blog features classics recipes like Old Fashioned Doughnuts or Angel Food Cake and innovative and inspired ideas like Breakfast Nachos or Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie. Joy’s photography has a style like no other, and she develops gluten-free and vegan recipes, too, so all bakers (and eaters) will find something to get excited about. This particular recipe is one that even a beginning baker can tackle. Unlike traditional cinnamon rolls that call for kneading and rising, Joy’s are made with a simple buttermilk biscuit dough. Everything a cinnamon roll should be, without the stress or long kitchen time.

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Ingredients

For the biscuits

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into cubes (if you don’t have shortening you can certainly substitute unsalted butter)

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (optional)

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus a bit more for topping the biscuits before baking

Directions

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan with butter and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, make the filling by mixing together the 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, spices and salt. Set aside. Set melted butter aside as well.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Use your hands to break the fat cubes into the dry ingredients. Some of the fat bits will be the size of peas and some fat bits will be the size of oat flakes.

4. In another bowl, combine egg, milk and vanilla, and beat lightly with a fork. Add the liquid to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.

5. Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times. If the butter has warmed too much in the making of the dough, shape the batter into a dish, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. If the butter is still cool, shape the dough into a disk and, on a well floured surface, roll dough to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness. The dough will be rolled much thinner than a biscuit dough that you would cut biscuits from.

6. Brush biscuit dough with melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar filling. Begin to carefully roll one vertical side into a fairly tight roll. Continue rolling until you have a biscuit cylinder.

7. Using a sharp, floured knife, slice into a log, about 1-inch thick. Place rolls, in prepared pan. Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top. These biscuit cinnamon rolls are best served warm the day they’re made. They’re also good reheated with butter and jam.

Makes 8 to 9 biscuits

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