Cinnamon Buns / by lee tilghman

"Someone who places a warm cinnamon bun in your hand is an instant friend."

Christmas, to me, means food, family, friends and .... more food. Each year, I come back to Connecticut to spend the holiday with extended family and old friends. We spend 3 days eating, attending parties, giving gifts and going for long hikes. But this year was different. I have a sick relative, so there was a lot of commotion and stress surrounding the holiday. It made me remember that the holidays definitely aren't always easy.

Whether it be family drama, stress, too busy a schedule, food anxiety, whatever it may be, the holidays bring a lot of stuff up. It makes me happy to know that there is a new year coming in just a few days.

This year, because of all of the craziness going on, I turned to the kitchen, naturally.  I felt like starting a new tradition with cinnamon buns. Inspired by one of my favorite restaurants in LA, Ostrich Farm.

These cinnamon buns are fairly easy and are sure crowd pleaser. Your home will smell like the best thing ever as the cinnamon buns bake. Also, the glaze is one of my favorite things to date- I think I'll pour the extras over panakes, oatmeal, and maybe even some banana ice cream. 

Cinnamon buns are kind of having a hot moment right now. My parents were like, "These are great, but why cinnamon buns?" And I explained how they were, to me, the epitome of comfort food. You can make these vegan by using Earth Balance. They aren't gluten free though. But they are sticky, sweet, salty and absolutely divine. So enjoy them. And Happy Holidays!

 

Adopted from The Minimalist Baker

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Buns

  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/2 cup butter or vegan butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, simmer the almond milk and 3 tbsp butter until simmering. Make sure not to boil! Remove from heat and let the temperature drop to 110 degrees.
  2. Transfer the milk and butter to a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast.  Let sit for 10 minutes. Then add salt and 1 tbsp sugar.
  3. Add flour in 1/2 cup at a time. Stir as you go. When it is too thick to stir, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. Clean out your mixing bowl and add  1 tbsp avocado oil to the bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 1 hour for dough to rise.
  4. Once dough is risen, preheat oven to 350.
  5. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, form the dough into a long thin triangle. Brush the top of the dough with a layer of butter. Add cinnamon and the rest of the sugar.
  6. Tightly roll the dough starting at the long end. Cut the dough into 9-10 pieces using a serrated knife or dental floss. Grease an 8x8 square or round pan with butter. Brush the tops with the remaining butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes before popping in the oven.
  7. Once it's in the oven, prep your glaze. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then let simmer for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let sit.
  8. After 25 minutes, your cinnamon buns should be nearly done. 
  9. Pour glaze over the buns. Add pecans and pom seeds if you wish. Serve immediately! Bring to a friend. Make for a family member. Enjoy!