Maple Sugar Pinwheels

April 24, 2008
1 Comment

Dsc02033 As you can probably imagine, I have a very large recipe file, or perhaps I should say set of files.  Separated into categories, according to courses or occasions, are hundred of magazine clippings, recipes from the Internet, and the occasional food-styled photo.  At the beginning of the month, I routinely flip through the files, and I select several recipes which I think I might want to try over the next few weeks.  Usually only about half of these actually ever get made, as I inevitably get distracted by a new idea from the latest Food and Wine issue or last night’s "Top Chef" quickfire challenge.  Some of what I end up preparing I make exactly as written, but most recipes just serve as inspiration for my own variation. 

One flaw that I have as a cook is that I don’t always read recipes completely through before I start.  I sometimes just stop at the end of the ingredient list and then dive in (I’m such a daredevil).  I know that reading the recipe from start to finish is something that they probably teach you on the first day of culinary school, but hey, I didn’t go to culinary school.  This flaw gets me in trouble when I have in my head that I am going to prepare a recipe for that same day, and then, there at the end of paragraph one are the words "refrigerate overnight."  Grrrrrrrrrrrr. 

This scenario happened to me the very first time that I attempted cinnamon rolls.  I could almost taste the warm spiced pastries covered with gooey icing when I realized that my taste buds would need to wait until the next day.  It would have been great to have this Maple Sugar Pinwheel recipe as a back-up.  They are really a cross between a biscuit and a cinnamon roll, but they come together and are warm out of the oven in about 45 minutes–almost instant gratification!  Here are just a few tips for these simple sweet biscuits:

  • Maple sugar can be both expensive and hard to find if you don’t live in a maple producing region of the country.   Sometimes it is available at places like Whole Foods, or you can purchase it on-line through the King Arthur Catalogue.  As a substitute for the maple sugar, combine 1 cup of sugar or brown sugar with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. 
  • To add an extra layer of sweetness, glaze the tops of the biscuits with a confectioner’s sugar glaze, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar mixed with a few tablespoons of milk.
  • The biscuits are best eaten straight out of the oven, but they can also be reheated, wrapped in foil, at 300F degrees, for 10-15 minutes.
  • As with pie crusts and scones, be sure to not overwork the dough, as this will result in tougher and not very flaky biscuits.

Maple Sugar Pinwheels

Makes 12

Ingredients:

For the dough

2 cups flourDsc02031

1 tablespoon maple sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup whole milk

For filling

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup maple sugar

Dsc02031_2 Prepare the dough:  Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse together the flour, maple sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture has crumbs the size of small peas.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the milk, and stir with a fork until a loose dough forms.  Gently knead the dough 8 to 10 times on a lightly floured surface.

Roll out and fill the dough:  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, into a 13 by 11-inch rectangle.  Spread softened butter evenly over the dough and sprinkle all over with the maple sugar.  Beginning with one long side, roll up the dough snugly, jelly-roll style.  Cut the roll crosswise into 12 slices with a sharp knife.  Arrange the slices, cut sides down, 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops with any excess maple sugar from the work surface.

Bake until the rolls are puffy and golden, 18-20 minutes.

[top]
One Response to Maple Sugar Pinwheels
  1. These look great – as good as, or maybe even better than, Pillsbury!


[top]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>