Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

It's 12:39 at night and I'm about to eat a biscuit cinnamon roll. It was perhaps insane to make them so late, but I've been thinking about them for a week and there was no one in the kitchen. Plus tomorrow I'm going to Florence, Oregon - land of blackberries, sand dunes, pie, sun tans, family and greatness - which means I'm way too excited to sleep and that I need a snack for the plane. (Treats for snacks are the greatest things about plane rides.)

Mmmm! The first bite: the biscuit is perfect, very light and buttery, moist. A slight crunch of sugar and dark jeweled raisins. We're two bites in now. Oh so good! Warm right out of the oven, crumbling apart in my hand, sweet and an excellently honest cinnamon taste. Third bite, fourth bite, fifth bite, and she's gone. I'm left with my tongue searching for every last morsel and licking my lips, a sticky keyboard and a cake pan FULL! of buns for tomorrow. Perhaps I will share?

I first experienced biscuit cinnamon buns with my sister Katherine about a year ago exactly. I took a (much needed) vacation from tree-planting and joined my family for five days in Lake Tahoe where my uncle lives. Kath and I hadn't seen each other in a long time and didn't want to put up with the usual family shenanigans where someone suggests an activity and then everyone takes four hours to decide if they want to participate in it or not, and then no one really ends up doing what they suggested in the first place. A lengthily breakfast project seemed like a great escape. Immediately upon my arrival I started talking incessantly about cinnamon buns. This is a common occurance where I get an idea and then berate others around me until they give in and participate. But cinnamon buns take a while and Katherine really needed some convincing. All that yeast and letting things rise can be intimidating. So we opened up the copy of The New Best Recipe by Cooks Illustrated that was lying around (an excellent reference by the way) and discovered that they suggest making a biscuit dough, rolling it out flat and slathering it with cinnamon, sugar and raisins (but don't quote me on the raisin part, I can't remember if the recipe calls for them or not). This is exactly what we did and an hour later we had beautiful, delicious biscuits wrapped around a delectable layer of your token cinnamon bun filling. A pot of coffee? Good company? We were just recalling on the phone this evening that it was one of the better four hour-long breakfasts that we've both ever had.

Here is my adapted (by memory) version of the recipe.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

Oven: 450 F

Make your favourite biscuit recipe (not drop). I doubled the Joy of Cooking's Buttermilk Biscuits. If you add the liquid in parts, flicking it with a fork to incoporate wet with dry, you'll discover that you may not need as much. This depends largely on your flour. I know the dough is right when I give it a pat and it's soft and springy, still moist, but not sticky, and the flour almost all mixed in.

NOTE: I DID add a TBS of sugar to this recipe. Usually I leave it out, but considering we're going for a sweeter affair here, I think it's kosher. Also, you might not want to add salt if you're using salted butter, or at least use less.


Mix together two TBS brown sugar and 1 TBS cinnamon. Chop up a good cup full of raisins (Depending on their size. I had very plump ones.)

Roll or pat out the dough on a clean, floured surface. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over top. Cover with the raisins and kinda pat them into the dough.

Starting along the longer length of the dough, roll until there is nothing left to roll. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces, put into a cake pan. I made more than one 9 inch cake pan's worth, so I just stuck the remainders on a baking sheet. However you wish to cook them is fine.

NOTE: I started these at 450 and then immediately feared that they would over cook. I thought I turned the oven down to 400 but I guess I actually turned it off. They finished fine and were delicious, but I recommend just cooking them at 450. It will be much shorter (mine took half an hour!) and they are biscuits after all.

The time? Is now 1:24. WAY TOO LATE. I can't help it, I'm an enthusiast. At least Kelsey slept enough for the two of us.

PS Good sweet plums! I almost forgot to suggest the addition of nuts, or whatever else your little heart desires. Chocolate chips!

Good night my dears.


  1. lordy! These look marvelous. Can't wait to try them.

    Have a fabulous vaca. When you get back, there should be a little love from me in the mailbox.


  2. P.S. SUPER JEALOUS about Oregon. Especially black berries.


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