Supreme cinnamon buns with bittersweet chocolate

Best cinnamon buns EVER

I LOVE cinnamon buns. Love and love and love them. Is there anything more fun to eat than a pastry that you can unfold to find more and more cinnamon-y goodness the farther you go?

But I have to tell you, I frequently find myself disappointed by the bun part of the cinnamon bun. Often it’s just white bread dough. It’s the thing you set aside to get to the tasty insides.

So I decided to make a cinnamon bun with a pastry element you’d like to eat by itself. And I decided to add bittersweet chocolate chips, because everything is better with chocolate chips. Especially on a cold and rainy day, such as we’ve had lately.

The sugar and cinnamon and chocolate got all melty together in the best possible way.

The reviews are in…little Isaac said he felt like it was so good that he would ask for another as soon as he had finished the first one. And my husband said that we could be nailed into our house the whole winter as long as we had supplies of these cinnamon buns. Malcolm liked them so much he helped me name them.

For the record, I think these would be good with some orange zest in the crust, but I haven’t tried that…yet.

Here’s the Stone Roses with Sally Cinnamon

DOUGH

1/2 cup milk, warmed to body temperature
1 t. sugar
dash of salt
1 t. yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 T butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Dissolve the yeast, teaspoon of sugar and dash of salt in the warm milk. Leave to get a bit foamy.

Cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla

Add the egg and beat until well-mixed

Add the yeast and milk mixture, mix well

Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir till you can’t stir anymore and then mix with your hands. You’ll have a dense sticky dough, but when you turn it out to knead it for a few minutes, it shouldn’t stick to the counter. (Though if it does add a sprinkle of flour)

Knead for 4 or 5 minutes till it’s all incorporated and smooth.

Set aside in a warm place for an hour or an hour and a half. It won’t double in bulk or anything, so don’t place any unrealistic expectations on the poor dough!! It will just get soft and squishy.

Roll it out into a big rectangle about 1 foot by 2 1/2 feet. Or however big it needs to be to be about 1/4 inch thick.

FILLING

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 T butter melted.

Brush the melted butter on the rolled-out pastry.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips together, and then scatter them all over the butter-coated pastry. Try to keep it even and try to reach the edges of the dough.

Roll it all up lengthwise, keeping it pretty tight, but not squishing the heck out of it.

Cut it into inch-long segments. You should have 12. (Right? Do the math!) If the chocolate chips fall out like unruly hooligans, just tuck them into the folds.

BUtter an 8 or 9 inch cake tin. Set the pinwheels inside, spacing them fairly evenly.

Let them sit for 10 or 15 minutes while your oven preheats to 350 degrees.

Cook them for 40 to 45 minutes till they’re molten and the pastry starts to turn golden brown.

Let it cool for a minute, and then run a knife around the side of the pan. Give it a little shake. Invert it onto a plate. The sugar (and a bit of chocolate) should have formed a nice caramel-y coating on the top. (I really think it’s so sweet you don’t need a glaze, but that’s up to you.)

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