How could they be bad? Whiskey – good. Salted caramel – good. Cinnamon – good. They’re all good by themselves, never mind together.
Well they were pretty damn delicious, but they were a pain in the ass to make and they’re quite time consuming, let me tell you! The recipe is from Food52 and can be found HERE.
I beat the eggs and added the warm water and active dry yeast. I have never had any success with any recipe that included active dry yeast. I don’t know if it was the water temperature or the temperature of the yeast before, but I was a little wary. After they were combined, the bowl sat in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes.
Then, in a separate bowl, I combined the dry ingredients: salt, flour and sugar. I didn’t have a pastry cutter or food processor capable of cutting the butter into those ingredients, so I did it the old fashioned way — with a fork. I poured the liquid ingredients into the dry, just combined them and turned it on to the lightly floured counter to knead the dough. After that, covered the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit on the counter until it had doubled in size. It ended up sitting there for close to 2 hours.
The real issue I had with this recipe was in making the salted caramel. I’d never made salted caramel before and knew it could be difficult. The recipe starts with melting the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Once it has melted, the recipe says to take the saucepan off the heat and CAREFULLY pour in the milk or cream. I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me to carefully pour something, I take that as don’t spill it…which…obviously!!
However, when I poured the cream into the melted sugar, it did little more than turn the sugar into an amber blob and never actually combined. Then, I had a nice amber blob floating in some whiskey, kosher salt, butter and cream. Great. I ended up googling a recipe for salted caramel from a different blog which said that the butter should be added first, then the cream should be added slowly to better combine it. To rescue the sugar blob island, I put the saucepan back on medium heat until it had melted again. At that time, I added a touch more cream to better combine the ingredients, while constantly stirring the sugar. I don’t know if that’s correct, but it worked! Magic!
After that hassle, I rolled out the dough into a sort of rectangle, spread the remaining butter and topped it with sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon. I topped it off with the cooled salted caramel and began rolling the dough lengthwise. Then, I sliced the dough into about ten would-be cinnamon rolls and placed them into a well-greased pan. They’re supposed to sit for a further 30 minutes before baking, but I was already annoyed with them and went out, so they sat for a little bit longer than that.
Then the fun began! The rolls were supposed to cook for 24 minutes at 350F. After about 15 minutes in the oven, my kitchen began to fill with smoke. I turned the light on in the oven, but couldn’t see anything from the smoke. The smoke alarm went off, the cat bolted for the basement knocking over everything in her path, my eyes were burning, and I had to open almost every window in the kitchen and living room in an attempt to clear the room. Also it was -9C outside, so it became quite cold in the house quite quickly. When I opened the oven door, it was clear that the salted caramel had bubbled over the edges of the pan and was in the process of burning on the bottom of the oven. Kyle was kind of freaking out over the smoke and made me take them out 4 minutes early. It ended up working out for the best, because they seemed to be done anyway. And the smoke cleared after 5-10 minutes, no big deal. After that, the frosting was just a quick 1 cup of icing sugar with 2 tbsp of milk mixed in a small bowl and spread over the cooling rolls.
Apparently, I only took the one photo of the finished product, so you’ll have to see the previous post to see how they looked. A better photo would have been one of my kitchen looking like a post-cinnamon roll disaster zone.
Overall, the recipe had some shortcomings. I’m not a pro, but the website isn’t geared to only the experienced cook/baker or whatever, so the instructions could have been more detailed. Googling other recipes to make up for its shortcomings was annoying. However, they turned out great. If I ever have another free 4 hours, I might consider making them. Then again, I might just go buy a box of already made cinnamon rolls.