There is stress eating but I much rather practice stress baking. When the pressure heats up, so does my oven. In fact, you can gauge the reading of my stress-o-meter by looking at what kind of decadent dessert I churn out. Yesterday I baked up a batch of Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls complete with Cream Cheese Icing. So how stressful am I? Take a look at this photo and judge for yourself.
Cinnamon roll has the power to dissolve self-control with its sweet aroma of butter and spice. If you’ve ever come into sniffing-distance of any cinnamon roll stands, you know what I mean. Worse yet, at an airport. Where there’s no decent food available within walking distance. It’s hard to walk away from such encounters without a roll or two that I’m sure go directly from mouth to waistline. That’s just a long way to say, yes I am pretty stress out.
The source of my stress will be revealed in a few days as I am finalizing my plans. What I can say though is that when I read my Chinese zodiac forecast a week ago and there was mention of traveling, I just chalked it up to my typical inline speed skating race schedule to the US. Things are happening really quickly the last few days and I am on the verge of making a big commitment. I am scare and excited at the same time.
What’s not scary? These buttermilk cinnamon rolls. The very act of making these rich treats calmed me down with their blend of butter, sugar, spice, and everything nice. I stand firmly with Team Yeast Bread but I caved in to the convenience and instant gratification of buttermilk biscuit yesterday. The dough was not the easiest to work with but at least my cinnamon rolls were ready to eat within an hour of opening my copy of Cook's Illustrated Cookbook (recipe is also available online for limited time). The buttermilk reacted with baking soda to fluff up the dough. That’s a good thing for the tender texture of the cinnamon rolls but not so fun when I tried to stretch out the dough and filled the pinwheel with abundance of cinnamon sugar.
Like most pinwheels, it is best that you slice it using a length of flavourless dental floss. Be warned that it would get messy moving the unbaked rolls from work surface to baking pan. I did my best and carefully re-stuffed the gaps with half of the cinnamon sugar that fell out. The rolls emerged from the oven all golden. The aroma of cinnamon was so strong that I was sure my neighbours thought I was opening a Cinnabon right here at my house. But of course that is not enough. It’s all about the icing!
The icing was ridiculously easy to make. It was a simple mix of cream cheese, buttermilk, and icing sugar. The tang was perfect counterpoint to the sugary sweetness of the flaky buns. The recipe yielded quite a lot of icing but I did not hold back. I poured every last drop onto the pan of buns and never looked back. Judging by the enthusiastic response of my tasters, I made the right decision.
There’ll be more decadent dessert in the next few days as I grapple with my decision using more butter and sugar.