Hi hi! Happy Saturday! I am SO EXCITED to share this post and to make a wee announcement about a year long special project I am going to be working on - I’ve been busting at the seams to tell you all this and now it’s FINALLY TIME!!
I started this blog about four years ago as a way to combat homesickness in the big, scary city that is New York. I moved here only knowing rich, and we started our design business shortly after, which was (and still is), a huge amount of work, so I didn’t have a huge amount of time to go out and about and do things, or much time to socialise and make new friends. Turns out making new friends is really hard and scary as an adult, moving to a new city when you don’t really know anyone is really hard, winter in NYC sucks, and all of those things are a recipe for a solid dose of homesickness. I started baking recipes from home as a way to overcome the homesickness. Spoiler alert - it didn’t really work and I was still homesick, but along the way I managed to carve out my own wee corner of the internet that I love so much and am so lucky to have to call mine.
Where I am going with this is that as much as making recipes from home helped to alleviate the homesickness a little bit, it just wasn’t the same without the ingredients from home. I’ve spoken lots before on here about how amazing New Zealand ingredients are - the quality is great and the companies behind them are often amazing. Every time I went home I would come back with a suitcase jammed full of ingredients to work with - little jars of things, peanut butter, good vanilla, etc.
Slowly the rest of the world has realised how amazing these ingredients are too, and they have slowly started to creep their way into the American Market. Which brings me to my wee announcement - I am teaming up with Taste of New Zealand of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to bring you a monthly baking segment, showcasing some of the amazing, amazing products that New Zealand has to offer. This still seems like some sort of dream to me - I get to bake with all the things that I miss about home, AND I get to include everyone along the way! Each month there will be a new baking project showcasing a New Zealand ingredient, and I honestly CANNOT WAIT to bring you along on the ride with me and show you all the amazing things that my country has to offer.
We decided to frame it as each month there would be a weekend baking project, and our first one is Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls with a Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. These are so, so delicious, and made SO much better by the use of an incredible butter from Lewis Road Creamery. I don’t think that I have enough words to explain just how excited that Lewis Road is starting to be available here in the States - there’s nothing like New Zealand butter, and Lewis Road makes some of the most delicious butter. The cream comes from Grass Fed cows, and is the most beautiful yellow colour, and tastes so, so amazing. I used the butter to make a silky, puffy brioche, and then amped it up a notch by browning a bunch to use in the filling and also in the Cream Cheese Frosting. If you haven’t had browned New Zealand butter before, you are in for a treat. Lewis Road is available in selected retailers throughout the States, and will hopefully be showing up in other groceries soon! If you see it in your local, make sure you grab some, because you’re in for a full amazing butter experience. I used Unsalted Lewis Road butter in these rolls, but their Salted is so, so amazing on bread, or for use in savoury applications. You’re going to love it - promise.
These are cinnamon rolls, but taken up a notch. Adding in the browned butter to the filling adds a huge dimension of flavour which plays off against the cinnamon so well. I cooled the butter to a spreadable temperature and then mixed it with some cinnamon, dark brown sugar and vanilla bean paste, then slathered it all over the dough before rolling it up in to a tight spiral and cutting it into perfect swirly buns. I then doubled up on the brown butter flavour with a brown butter cream cheese frosting, which is the sleeper hit in my opinion - brown butter and cream cheese is the most perfect combo, and is so, so amazing spread all over the brown butter cinnamon rolls. Browning the butter is a teeny bit more work, but you get a huge amount of pay off for just a little more effort.
I hope you try these as a wee weekend baking project, and I can’t wait for the next installment to show off all the amazing things from NZ! x
A few wee tips:
To get the flavour of the brown butter into the rolls but still have the structure of softened butter, I browned the butter, then poured it into a bowl and froze it to solidify it. I then brought it back to room temperature, stirring often, until it was soft and spreadable for using in the filling of the rolls and again for the frosting. Make sure you allow time for this - I would brown the butter before you start making the dough just to make sure there’s enough time to chill. This can also be done ahead of time - store the brown butter in a container in the fridge and bring to room temperature when you need.
I’m going to get you to brown all of the butter at once and then it can just easily be divided up for the filling and the frosting. Saves browning two sets of butter.
The brioche can have the first rise done overnight in the fridge if you like - this splits up the task a little and also makes it a little easier to roll out.
Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- Makes about 12 -
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
220g whole milk, lukewarm
4 Tbsp (50g) sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g Lewis Road Creamery unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g Lewis Road Creamery Unsalted Butter
250g Browned Lewis Road Creamery Unsalted Butter, spreadable texture, at room temperature (see notes)
375g dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp Cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
100g Browned Lewis Road Creamery Unsalted Butter
200g cream cheese, at room temperature
250g powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- PROCESS -
Place the lukewarm milk, 1 Tbsp of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the flour, salt, and remaining sugar, and mix briefly to combine.
Add the milk mixture, egg and vanilla to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the Lewis Road Creamery butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour. Alternatively you can do the first rise overnight in the fridge.
BROWN BUTTER FOR FILLING AND FROSTING
Place the butter in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, and then continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter foams and turns golden brown and nutty - this should take 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, allow to cool slightly, then transfer the bowl to the freezer and chill the butter until solid. Remove from the freezer and bring to room temperature, stirring often, until soft and spreadable.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
Line a quarter sheet pan or baking dish (9”x13” or 23cm x 33cm) with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the browned Lewis Road Creamery Butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Mix to combine.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle that is 24” x 16” (60cm x 40cm), squaring off the edges often as you roll. Spread with the brown butter filling mixture, ensuring the filling is spread evenly over the surface.
Starting with a long side, roll up into a tight spiral. Cut the log into two pieces and place them side by side on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly cover the dough logs with plastic wrap, and transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes in order to firm up slightly (this helps give a neater cut).
Once the dough logs have chilled, remove from the fridge. Using a sharp knife, slice each log into 6 equal pieces (I like to use a ruler), and arrange on the prepared baking sheet or baking dish, evenly spacing between.
Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until puffy, and a small indentation is left when poked gently with your finger.
While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.
Bake the rolls for 35 to 40 minutes, or until deeply golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes or so before icing with the Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.
BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Place the chilled spreadable browned Lewis Road Creamery Butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste, and whip until light and fluffy.
Spread onto the cinnamon rolls while they are still slightly warm.
Store leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature. Rewarm in the microwave before serving.