Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting


 
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.

Breakfast time is the part of my birthday that I look forward to the most. I almost always end up awake before everyone else (which is predictable when you wake up at 6am every morning anyway), and I like to take a little second with just me before everyone else gets up.

This year I popped out for a quick walk on the beach, then woke Rich up and made him come for a walk into Montauk Town to buy a rolling pin, because cinnamon rolls were the first order of the day. An hour later the house was filled with the amazing smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, which I loaded up with cream cheese frosting as soon as they came out of the oven. We ate them straight out of the tray, as soon as they were cool enough to touch. It was an awesome start to what would be an epic birthday. 

The best part about these rolls were that the dough was made the night before and left to rise in the fridge overnight, meaning that the working time in the morning was kept to a minimum. The house we were staying at didn't have a mixer, so I mixed these by hand - it took a little longer, but still worked just as well! Once they had gone to bed with the rest of us, the next morning I rolled them out, then I filled them with a simple mix, melted butter, cinnamon sugar, and a solid dose of pecans. They then have a quick rest in the pan while the oven is preheating, before being baked until they are golden brown. Total time from waking up to cinnamon rolls in your belly is only about an hour and a half. More than ideal. The dough is light and fluffy, the filling sweet and flavoursome, with a little crunch from the pecans, and the cream cheese frosting can't be skipped. 

A few wee notes:

  • I used an overnight brioche recipe here, but if you really can't wait and you need cinnamon buns immediately, you can use this dough recipe here (which does make more, so increase your pan size a little)
  • A stand mixer comes in handy, but you absolutely don't need one, plus you get a solid arm workout to boot
  • Leave out the pecans if that isn't your jam.
  • The frosting makes enough for a generous layer, and it is quite sweet, so feel free to cut back a little on it if you don't want it as intense (it's good though, you should keep it all on there)
 

 

Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Makes about 8 -

Brioche dough adapted slightly from The Brick Kitchen

Brioche Dough
1 cup (250ml) whole milk, lukewarm
1/4 cup (50g) sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter
500g (17.6oz) bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Filling
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups (250g) powdered sugar, sifted
1 8oz (200g) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

 

- PROCESS -

BRIOCHE DOUGH

Place the warm milk, 2 Tbsp sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, melt the butter either in increments in the microwave, or in a small pot. Set aside to cool.

Place the flour, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix briefly to combine. Add the milk and yeast mixture, melted cooled butter, and the eggs. Mix 8-10 minutes on low speed, until it becomes smooth and glossy, and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If you are doing this by hand, mix vigorously with a wooden spoon for 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The mixture will be very wet, but do not worry!

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to prove overnight.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

The next day, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line a 9" or 10" springform pan with parchment paper. Melt the butter, and set aside to cool slightly. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle 16" x 24" (40cm x 60cm), flipping once or twice and lightly dusting with more flour as needed. Place with the long side facing you. 

Brush the surface of the dough all over with the melted butter, then evenly sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the dough, patting down with your hands to make sure that it sticks. Sprinkle the pecans over the sugar mixture, then drizzle the remaining butter over evenly. 

Starting with the long side of the dough, roll up into a tight spiral log. Using a serrated knife, cut into 8 evenly sized pieces, and arrange in the prepared tin. 

Cover the buns lightly with plastic wrap and allow them to sit in a warm place while the oven finishes preheating - about 15 minutes, or until slightly puffy. 

Brush the surface of the buns all over with egg wash. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown, and the middle bun is holding up on its own. While the buns are baking, make the frosting.

Remove from the oven and stand for 10 minutes before frosting with the cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Place the powdered sugar and cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or into a large bowl. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well until combined. Spread generously over the warm rolls.

Serve immediately. Leftovers are best served warmed slightly in the microwave before eating.

 

Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting - Pillowy brioche that is prepared the night before, then rolled out the next morning, stuffed with cinnamon sugar and toasted peanuts, then smothered in cream cheese frosting while still warm. The perfect treat to please a crowd.

Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos


 
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos
Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos

Word on the street is that it's almost Football Season! Despite my Poppa's incredibly enthusiastic attempts to explain the rules of American Football to me every time I go and stay, I don't think I will ever quite grasp the rules. There are just so many people, so much swapping, flag throwing, and weird lines on the field for someone like me who grew up in a rugby mad country. We went to a game when we first moved to NYC and it's even more confusing watching it in real life than it is on TV. 

The part I like the best about watching it though, or any game in general, are the snacks. I can always get behind some good game snacks. I come from a sports-mad family who are willing to get up at any hour to watch New Zealand play. While I've never been particularly interested in the game itself (have you ever watched a full game of cricket on TV? I wouldn't recommend, sometimes it goes for FIVE DAYS), I have always been all about the food that goes alongside whatever sport happens to be on. Back home, gatherings are often centered around watching the rugby - people will get together for dinner, then cram themselves into a room to yell at the TV for a few hours. With snacks. Always with snacks. If I have anything to do with it anyway. 

This month I have teamed up with Blue Moose of Boulder to share with you the perfect game snack idea! I decided to go with a simple riff on Nachos and use a base of home made pita chips, loaded up with Roasted Red pepper hummus, red onion, red pepper, tomato, and feta. The dish goes for a quick spin in the oven, then is finished with cucumber and parsley when it comes out. If you are an olive person (which I am not), you could add some of those too! This dish comes together quickly, and is perfect to serve a crowd. The components can easily be prepared ahead of time, then assembled when you are ready. It would also be perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or light weekend lunch! Who doesn't love Nachos?

 

 

Greek Style Pita Bread Nachos
- Serves 3-4 people -

6 - 8 medium pita breads (the thin ones are the best), or 1-2 bags pita chips
Olive oil to brush pita breads
Flaky sea salt
1 container Blue Moose of Boulder Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1/2 medium red onion, very finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 medium tomato, finely diced
6 oz (170g) feta, crumbled
1 small cucumber, chopped into cubes
Chopped parsley to garnish
 

- PROCESS -

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 180˚c. Brush each side of the pita breads with olive oil, and cut into 8-10 wedges. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a 9" x 13" baking dish. 

Dollop the container of hummus evenly over the pita chips, then evenly layer the onion, red pepper, tomato and feta over the top. 

Bake in the oven for 9-10 minutes, until the hummus and toppings are warmed through. 

Top with the cucumber, and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

 

Thank you so much to Blue Moose of Boulder for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

S'mores Tart


 
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow
S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow

Tomorrow marks the start of a crazy few months. My best friend flies in from the UK. We have 5 days here in NYC eating and baking all of the things (she has requested lemon meringue pie pops which I am MORE than happy to make for her), then next Wednesday we hire a campervan and drive up to Rhode Island for our friend's wedding!! Ooooohhh I am so excited! We are arriving a few days early to help set up etc, plus I am making the wedding cake! This is only the third wedding cake I have ever made, but seeing as my first was for my own wedding, I feel as if anything after that will be a lot less stressful when I only have to worry about the cake. I will be doing a little testing over the next week or so, and will hopefully get all of the recipes that I use up on here! The flavours are all cakes I have made before so it should be just fine - I think we are going with Chocolate and Salted Caramel on the bottom, a vanilla and raspberry situation for the second tier, and then earl grey on top (my fave!) Cake will be dessert, so I am also going to do a few side cakes just to make sure there is enough, and something gluten free for those who are that way inclined too. 

After the wedding we are holding onto the camper for a few days, sending Richie back to the city, and a few of us are going camping in Cape Cod for a few days! I have never been there but the internet tells me it looks beautiful, so if you have any recommendations, please please send them my way! Then there is a quick trip to Colorado once I get back, then off to Charleston for the Blog awards (!!! please remember you can still vote!). A few days after we get back from Charleston there is a sneaky trip to San Francisco planned which I can talk about a little more closer to the time (very exciting though and i'm defs buying some clogs), then not long after we get back from SF we are off to Amsterdam and Paris! For somebody who doesn't leave the house much, that sure is a lot of traveling. I feel like there is SO much to organise before all the crazy times start, that I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I've been semi preparing by trying to make a load of stuff over the last two weeks or so, so that I will still have recipes to share! 

All the recipes I have been making have been patiently lining up to get shared, and then yesterday I made this s'mores tart, and immediately got so excited by it I let it jump to the front of the line. I was surprised at how quickly it came together - there is a little waiting for the base to cook, and again for the ganache to cool, but because there's no fiddly pastry case to make, the whole thing happens pretty easily. 

It starts with a graham cracker crust - crushed graham crackers, salt, a little sugar, and butter (which I decided to brown, and I am so glad I did because it was a game changer), quickly mixed together and pressed into a removable bottom tart tin. The crust is then quickly baked, allowed to cool, then filled with a silky ganache which sets up into fudgy deliciousness after a few hours in the fridge. You could totally stop here and top it with some salt, or caramel, or both, and have a bomb chocolate tart on your hands (I'm totally infusing the cream with earl grey next just to see how it goes), but I took it a step further and added a big dollop of marshmallow on the top, which then got blasted with a blow torch to toasty perfection. 

Trust me when I tell you that you need to make it. Even if you skip the marshmallow part. It's insanely easy, and crazy rich, so will serve a lot of people. The crust can be made and filled with the ganache ahead of time, and you could even add the marshmallow and torch just before serving. It is a delicious balance of salty crumbly crust, rich filling, and sweet marshmallow. Everything that's good about a s'more, but in a tart. Or is it a Pie? Either way, it's good, and you need it.

A few wee notes:

  • Some recipes have you make a 'marshmallow' frosting that you can torch, which is more of an italian meringue than a marshmallow. I went for an actual marshmallow topping to keep it as similar to s'mores as I could (plus home made marshmallow is super yum). Because of this, the marshmallow sets up. I found it was easier to take it off and eat it alongside the tart, as it can be a little sticky (but tastes AMAZING).
  • If you don't want to add the marshmallow, you can keep this as a chocolate tart - it would be perfect finished with a little flaky sea salt, or salted caramel
  • I used a 9" removable bottom tart tin for this, which meant that it was super easy to just lift out once I was done - I placed a bowl upside down and put the tin on top, which meant that the outer ring could be easily removed without awkwardly having to try and hold it at the same time as taking it off.
  • I got my blow torch from home depot! I find it way better than a small kitchen torch - it's just a gas canister with a blow torch fitting.
  • If you can't find graham crackers you can use digestive biscuits, or you can make your own using this recipe - just skip the coffee and up the cinnamon a little!
 

 

S'mores Tart
- Makes one 9" Tart, serves 8-10 -

Graham Cracker Crust
2 Sleeves / 290g graham crackers
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp salt (taste once the crust is mixed and add more if necessary)
1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter

Chocolate Ganache Filling
550g (19.4oz) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (a bread knife works best for chopping finely)
6 Tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream

Marshmallow Topping
14g (2 packets) gelatine
80g (2.8 oz, 80ml) cold water
100g (3.5oz) light corn syrup or glucose
80g (2.8 oz, 80ml) water
270 (9.5oz) sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean

 

- PROCESS -

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. 

Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the crackers are broken down into crumbs. Transfer to a medium sized bowl.

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once it has melted, continue to cook, stirring occasionally and watching very carefully, until it turns golden brown in colour, and begins to smell toasty. Pour into the graham cracker mixture, and stir well with a spatula. 

Press the crust mixture into a 9" removable bottom tart pan, pressing onto the sides, and then the bottom. Use a straight sided measuring cup or drinking glass to help you press the crust in tightly. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, or until beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING

Place the chocolate and butter into a large heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan, and warm over low heat until just shy of a simmer - you should see movement around the edges of the cream. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter, and cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes, then whisk vigorously to combine the chocolate and the cream. The mixture will look like it has split to begin with but keep whisking - it will come together and go glossy eventually! 

Pour the chocolate filling into the cooled crust. Place in the fridge for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the filling has set completely.

MARSHMALLOW TOPPING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cold water and gelatine. Mix well with a fork, and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup. 

In a medium pot, combine the water, corn syrup, sugar and vanilla. Heat over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the syrup reaches 240˚f / 120˚c, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to 210˚f / 100˚c.

Turn the mixer on to medium, and mix for a few seconds to help break up the bloomed gelatin. With the mixer running, VERY carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer. Turn the speed up to high, and whip for 5-7 minutes, until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, has turned white, and holds somewhat of a peak when you stop the mixer and lift out the whisk. 

Pile the marshmallow on top of the tart. Torch with a blow torch before serving.

Cut into slices with a knife that has been run under hot water and dried before each cut is made. Store leftovers in the fridge. 

S'mores tart - brown butter graham cracker crust, silky chocolate ganache filling, and toasty vanilla bean marshmallow