Joy the Baker

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

March 8, 2012

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‘Big Picture’ life thoughts:

Be kind.  Be kinder than you think yourself possible.  Be passionate.  Live fully, wholly, and unapologetically. Apologize when you’re a bonehead… for real.  Show gratitude.  Express joy.  Feel pain.  Empathize… with eye contact.  Slow down, breathe deeply.  Love hard… always.  Celebrate big and small.  Gather and  share.  Be brave.  Show praise.

‘Small Picture’ thoughts:

Where the heck are my car keys?  Why does this sweater look stupid?  Do I really need a set of matching towels in my bathroom, or are these hand-me-downs cool?  Wait… did I pay that bill?   I know you’re scared, Joy… do it anyway.  Don’t forget to feed the cat.  Don’t forget to write that email.  Don’t forget to write that other email, and send that picture, and write up that recipe.  Don’t forget to try and write it all down on that long list of other things you’re trying to forget. Don’t forget to sleep some.  Set your TV recorder?  Can’t.  Hopeless. Wait… slow down.  Chill out.  Try to think more ‘big picture’ life thoughts.  Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

‘Big picture and Small picture’ thought:

How many more things can I make with biscuit dough… like, now!

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I’ve been caught up in the day to day stress-bits lately.  It’s hard to see big when small tasks are so present and demanding.

Butter.  Biscuit dough.  Buttermilk.  These are all worry-tamers in my book.

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Shaggy and cold dough will be formed into a loose, lightly floured disk.

It’s the beginning of very good things.

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This is how you’d roll biscuits.  Big and thick.

For biscuit cinnamon rolls, we’ll roll the dough much thinner.

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Dough is topped with melted butter and cinnamon sugar filling.

Come on… you know this is when things get bonkers.

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Rolled and sliced.

Cinnamon rolls.  Extra butter.  No rise time.

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I will never not love this sort of image.

Never not.

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Let’s talk about these little darlings.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls are like no other cinnamon roll I’ve ever had.  There’s hardly any kneading.  There’s no rise time.  There is warm, tender-centered, cinnamon flavored dough bites.  These pastries bake up with biscuit flakiness and rich cinnamon swirl.  They’re a bit more dense than your standard cinnamon roll… because they’re biscuits.

I think these rolls are best served warm, the day they’re made.  I quite like them with extra butter (duh) and a bit of strawberry jam.

Think of the ‘big picture’.  Think of the ‘grand scheme’.  Think of how much better those two would be with these rolls in them.

aaaand…. I love you.

Know what else is bonkers!?

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread.  aaaaand Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

makes 8 or 9 rolls

Print this Recipe!

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

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

In a small bowl, make the filling by mixing together sugars, spices, and salt.  Set aside.  Set melted butter aside as well.

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 cutes 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.    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.

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.  My dough was about 12-inches long and 10-inches tall.  The dough will be rolled much thinner than a biscuit dough that you would cut biscuits from.

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.  Using a sharp, floured knife, slice into log, about 1-inch thick.  Place rolls, in prepared pan.  Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 13-15 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.  


213 Comments Add A Comment

  • No yeast and no rise time, this is just for me. I always wanted to bake cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so you can imagine it’s impossible with a regular recipe, I don’t want to wake up very early in the morning just to give dough the time to rise.

  • I was already to make your blueberry orange almond pancakes for Saturday morning and then you post this! Decisions, decisions! Love, love, love your cookbook. And so do my daughters (6, 7, and 9). They have already picked all the things they want to bake. They did a great job with your granola bars – next on the list Single Lady melted Chocolate cakes. As my 7 year old noted, they are single ladies.

  • No kneading? No rise time? THANK YOU!!! And my husband and this weekend’s weekend guests thank you as well…

  • I think you might be my older sister? No, but seriously… I’m realizing you sound just like her. Even on the podcast! Crazy sauce right? I wouldn’t ever eat her food though. But anyways.
    Doing this. Saturday. For reals. Next cookbook is 100 things to do with biscuit dough?

  • These sound so homey–especially warm out of the oven. :)

    Baking is what helps me focus on the big-picture stuff, too. How can anyone be stressed when they’re making biscuit cinnamon rolls?!

  • I can’t tell you how excited I am about this recipe. One, because I love to make buttermilk biscuits, they are so easy, and, two, because I crave cinnamon buns but they are just too much work to make it worth it, especially in the morning. You have come to my rescue! These are brilliant.

  • They looks wonderful and must taste the same :) I also did cinnamon rolls some weeks ago, the recipe is a bit different, I will try yours :)

  • This recipe rocks in so many ways. Mostly because now I can’t use the time consuming/rising excuse to not make cinnamon rolls!
    This is definitely big picture meets small picture :)

  • These are meant for those days when you call in sick to work but aren’t really sick, you just need a day to yourself to pad around the kitchen in fuzzy socks making cinnamon-y treats to eat while curled up on the couch watching TV or reading a good book.

  • Lovely words, cool thoughts, all wrapped around a quick recipe. You are brilliant. And we love you back. ((hugs)) ~ K

  • Biscuit dough is what dreams are made of. And now cinnamon rolls. I’m so glad! <3

  • Brilliant and beautiful! I love cinnamon rolls but hate the rise time.

  • OMG – I love you, I love you, I love you. These are getting made on Saturday. For reals. They look amazing… and no rise time? I’m sold!!!!

    BTW – I can’t stop looking at your book. It’s so beautiful. And I want to eat everything in it. Maybe instead of Julie and Julia, I can do a Kelly and Joy blog! Hahahaha ;)

  • I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, but a trick my mom taught me when slicing cinnamon roll logs is to use floss. Just shimmy it underneath the cylinder, pull the two loose ends up, cross them, and pull down. Works like a charm. (did that description even make sense?)

  • Oh this is bad. Very, very bad. You described why I never make cinnamon buns – the kneading, the rising, the time. This looks WAY too easy to make. AND it combines two of my favourite baked things – biscuits and cinnamon buns. As always, you rock.

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