Cinnamon Roll Blondies

One of the most dangerous things I’ve ever done is to “join” baking groups on Facebook. The beautiful baked goods that are shared make me feel compelled to bake and to try cookbooks that are raved about.

This recipe is from 100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, and More by Sarah Kieffer. This book has a major fan base online. I’m only one recipe in and am already a huge fan. 🙂

Baked goods that involve cinnamon-sugar are a crowd-pleaser in my house so selecting cinnamon roll blondies out of this book was an obvious choice. These blondies had the added bonus of incorporating nutty brown butter too. I weighed the ingredients when possible. Fabulous!

Yield: One 9×13-inch pan, about 24 small blondies

For the Brown Butter Blondie Base:

  • 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 T pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt (I used coarse salt)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

For the Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 4 oz (113g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt (I used coarse salt)

For the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl:

  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt (I used coarse salt)
  • 1 T ground cinnamon

To Make the Brown Butter Blondie Base:

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  2. Grease a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking pan and line with a parchment sling. (I used a metal baking pan.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 12 tablespoons (170g) of the butter. Brown the butter until it is dark golden brown and smells nutty, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (57g) butter to the pot, swirling the pot until the butter stops foaming.
  6. Add the granulated and brown sugars, vanilla, and salt, and stir to combine. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  7. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until combined.
  8. Transfer the butter-egg mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  9. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and smooth into an even layer. Set aside while you make the toppings.

To Make the Cream Cheese Filling:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix on medium speed until well combined.

To Make the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl:

  1. In a small saucepan or skillet, melt the brown sugar, butter, and salt together over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon until combined.

To Assemble:

  1. Dollop the cream cheese and cinnamon sugar over the top of the brown butter blondie batter base in the prepared pan, alternating between the two.
  2. Drag the tip of a butter knife through the batter, creating swirls. (I created swirls parallel to the length and the width of the pan.)
  3. Bake for 25 to 29 minutes, or until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the blondies comes out with only a couple of crumbs. (The testing spot should be in a central location that does not have the toppings because they will appear wet when the base is fully baked.)
  4. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. Use the parchment sling to gently lift the blondies from the pan. Cut into bars.

Note: Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. (We placed a few in the refrigerator and they were also absolutely fabulous chilled.)

Giant Cinnamon Apple Roll

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This recipe was adapted from a Giant Caramel Apple Scroll on The Sugar Hit, contributed by Sarah Coates. When I saw the post- I had to have it! I have a soft spot for special breakfasts that involve giant baked goods. 🙂 I woke up HOURS before the rest of my family (WAY too early….) and realized I had the perfect opportunity to make it.

I substituted cinnamon sugar for dulce de leche. Sarah used 2/3 cup of dulce de leche in the original recipe, and I used 1/4 cup of cinnamon sugar– the 2/3 cup seemed like A LOT. Unfortunately, my family of sweet-tooths wished our giant roll had been sweeter! I would probably add up to 1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar to the filling next time and/or drizzle the top with a confectioners’ sugar glaze. It was still GORGEOUS and DELICIOUS!!

Yield: Serves 6 for Breakfast

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 tsp (7g) dried instant yeast
  • 1 cup (250ml) 1 percent milk
  • 3 1/4 cups (485g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25g) butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup (55g) granulated sugar, plus a pinch for the yeast
  • 1 egg

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For the Filling:

  • 2 small tart apples (I used Honey-Crisp), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp cornmeal
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (depending upon desired sweetness)
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon

For the Optional Icing:

  • confectioners’ sugar, as desired for added sweetness
  • milk, to achieve drizzling consistency
  1. Make the dough: Place the milk in a microwave safe measuring cup, and heat for about 40 seconds, until just warm. Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar to the milk, and set aside for 10 minutes to activate. Once the yeast is foamy and activated, place the flour, butter, sugar and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, before adding the yeast mixture, and mixing on low speed until everything is combined. Then add the yeast mixture. Once the dough comes together, change to the dough hook, turn the speed up to medium, and continue to mix for about 3-5 minutes, or until the dough cleans the bowl and starts to look silky. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 T at a time until it cleans the sides of the mixing bowl.
  2. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and set it aside in a warm place (I used my proofing oven- for an hour) for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, and toss them with the cornmeal to coat. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and place it onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 9 inches (22cm) wide, and 24 inches (60cm) wide.
  3. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough, leaving a border of about an inch all round. Spread the apples evenly over the top.
  4. Roll the dough up starting from the long edge, and then curl it around into a spiral shape. Transfer the dough spiral to a greased 9 inch (22cm) springform pan. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes (on convection) to 45 minutes. The roll should rise up and turn golden brown, and sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes. IMG_5889
  5. Make the optional icing: Combine confectioners’ sugar and milk to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cooled roll before slicing and serving.

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