Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Guys, it’s no secret that I’ve been slammed lately, especially with the upcoming holiday ebook. My friends have been helping me out by offering to do guest posts for this blog and I’m incredibly lucky to have friends who are, in addition to being generally awesome, talented bakers.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by my friend Noah. Noah is probably just as passionate about baking as I am, and, realistically, is probably a more talented baker. While I’m intimidated by things like potato breads and pie crusts, he’s fearless in the kitchen and readily tackles the things that I frequently avoid. After all — it was Noah who taught me how to stop worrying and love the pie crust.

In today’s post, Noah walks us through the wonders of cinnamon rolls, and why it’s worth it to wake up in the so-called "hour of the wolf" to churn these beautiful babies out:

PS — In case you’re wondering where the other three cinnamon rolls went, we ate them. Yep. No shame.

Without further ado, Noah:

It’s a funny thing. There’s a food truck in my hometown, located in the parking lot of a sporting goods store, that’s known for their excellent cinnamon rolls. It’s a symbiotic relationship wherein people come for a bun, feel guilty, and leave with new running shoes. And it’s working because both businesses have been going strong for as long as I’ve been a seeing, thinking human being.

I don’t have much to say about cinnamon rolls other than a good one is a wonderful thing, while a bad one fills you with regret. I still shudder when I think about the cinnamon roll that I had in Snowville, Utah. It came with a slab of BUTTER on top of the icing. There’s some pretty country in remote parts of Utah, but you might consider bringing your own food.

I like this particular recipe for cinnamon rolls because it has more going on other than just lots of sugar and butter. The acidity of the buttermilk helps produce a light and moist roll that is good on its own. But it’s really the glaze that makes it; the cream cheese buffers the sweetness of the icing and makes the texture silky and enticing. The only real challenge is that if you want to make these for brunch, you’re going to have to set your alarm clock for the hour of the wolf (that is to say, predawn).

Here’s the thing, though — waking up before dawn to bake things from scratch can be a major bummer if your attitude isn’t right. Recently I’ve found a way to make it work with my own symbiotic relationship of sorts; that is, watching soccer as I bake. Here on the west coast, games in the English Premier League kick off pretty early in the morning, which for me is the perfect diversion from waiting around for dough to rise. Baking is improved by soccer and soccer is improved by baked goods (although goals also greatly improve soccer, sigh). What I’m saying is waking up at ungodly hours to mix dough is unpleasant, and yes, waiting for dough to rise is like being chained to your kitchen. But if you can find a way to make it part of your schedule it’s undeniably rewarding.
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