When spring comes around (not that the weather is particularly June-esque in Boston at the moment) and all the delightful seasonal produce goes on sale, I get a little giddy.
I’m a fruitaholic, and eat multiple servings of fruit a day, so being able to add berries back into the winter rotation of selected citrus, bananas, pears and occasional apples is a relief. I also have a weird compulsion about freezing those precious berries, thinking I’ll thaw them out in the depths of winter, brightening my kitchen with their luscious colors and flavors for a time.
And then I completely forget about them, opting instead to use the produce I can get for cheap all year long. What is wrong with me?
Now, I do often freeze overripe bananas-they actually have their very own tupperware in my freezer, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too guilty about pushing those baggies of blueberries and cherries aside.
Is anyone else really grossed out by thawed, previously frozen bananas? They look like they’re falling out of a cocoon or something, it’s super bizarre. But, they do lend themselves well to baking, as they mash up easier, making that banana flavor easier to disperse evenly throughout your baked goodies.
These banana laced cinnamon rolls were a real hit with the husband (he loves banana bread, so I figured as much). I know they take a while to make, but come on, how cool is it to serve homemade cinnamon rolls?!? The husband also loves cream cheese frosting, so yeah, you can guess who got the majority of these guys. It’s ok though because I have these muffins all to myself! Have a wonderful weekend!
One Year Ago: Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Cashews (my favorite soup!!)
- FOR THE BANANA CINNAMON ROLLS:
- 3 medium overripe bananas (or previously frozen, thawed bananas)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2/3 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 ½ cups bread flour, divided use (you can also use all-purpose)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 - 3 tsp milk
- Puree the bananas in a food processor along with 1 tsp lemon juice until mixture is smooth and no chunks remain. Set aside and cover with plastic wrap to keep the bananas from oxidizing (turning brown).
- Heat milk and the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large bowl. Whisk in vegetable oil and let the mixture to cool to 110 degrees, or until it’s just warm to the touch. Whisk in yeast, stirring until dissolved and let the mixture rest for an additional 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy and bubbly. Mix in the sugar, salt, egg yolk, 2 cups bread flour and pureed bananas. Add in another 1 1/2 cups bread flour and cornstarch, and mix until a ragged dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary, for 3 minutes. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small bowl whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside.
- Once the dough has doubled in bulk, turn in back out onto the floured surface and knead for another minute, adding flour only if absolutely necessary (adding too much will make tough buns). Roll dough out to a 16 x 20” rectangle. Using the back of a spoon, spread the 2 Tbsp melted butter evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle top evenly with brown sugar mixture and spread into an even layer, coming within a 1/2 inch of all edges. Starting on a short side, snugly roll dough up lengthwise to the opposite end.
- Cut rolled dough into 12 equal pieces and arrange in a greased 13 x 9” baking dish Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F during the last 10 minutes of rising, and bake for 22-24 minutes until golden.
- While the buns are baking, make the frosting. Whip together cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Pour in milk and mix until well blended, and no lumps remain.
- Let the buns cool slightly then serve all slathered with cream cheese frosting!
Adapted from Cooking Classy