Almond buns (small batch)...with an almond paste filling

Calling all almond lovers - this one's for us!
Soft almond buns/rolls - filled with almond paste, toasted slivered almonds & a little dark chocolate
Ever since I had that atypical craving for cinnamon rolls early last year and made some from scratch, I've been hooked!  I've made those chocolate and orange cinnamon rolls several times and now, I have some amazing almond buns (or call them "almond rolls" or "almond cinnamon rolls") to share with you! 

I've now discovered yet another great use for almond paste, and I'm so excited because I'll jump on any excuse to eat more almond paste and almond-based pastries!  The idea for these almond buns came from Sweet Paul's Eat and Make.  In the book, he has a recipe for almond buns that featured grated marzipan and slivered almonds as part of the filling.  That got my attention!
Main ingredients for filling: toasted slivered almonds, grated almond paste, and finely chopped chocolate
I took that amazing-sounding idea and adapted it to suit me.  I used the small batch cinnamon roll recipe I've been using, which makes 4 beautifully soft and pillowy rolls, and instead of marzipan, I used almond paste.  Marzipan is sweeter than almond paste.  I've never used marzipan for baking, and knowing what I do about almond paste (it is sweet enough for me), I was pretty confident it would work just as well - if not better - for this purpose.  I was intrigued at the idea of how the almond paste (or marzipan if you go that route) would melt into the dough while baking to create this gooey almond filling for the buns.  After eating it, I can tell you it is divine!    
I also added a bit of chocolate.  Honestly, I showed restraint here.  I added a mere 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate in total to these 4 rolls.  I wanted the look and taste of some chocolate without overpowering the almond flavor.  And almond is most definitely the headliner here.

To amp up the almond flavor even more, there are crunchy almonds in the form of toasted slivered almonds in the filling.  Other than that, I have a little bit of butter, sugar, and a touch of cinnamon to pull it all together.  It's hard to describe properly in words but...fresh from the oven, it's basically biting into a warm pillowy mound of gooey almond bun.  It's literally oozing with almond flavor and especially tasty with a drizzle or two of the super simple almond glaze I made for them.  
I tasted the buns without a glaze and they are good even without it because there's enough sweetness and moisture from the almond filling.  But in the end, I'm glad I whipped up a quick glaze.  I simply whisked some powdered sugar together with milk (or use almond milk if you have it) and a few drops of almond extract - heavenly!  I think I'll stick with the glaze going forward because it just makes for a more tactile, more memorable experience.  And if you're going to have a sweet bun or roll like this, you might as well go all out and fully immerse yourself in it!


For my small-batch recipe that makes 4 almond buns/rolls, I used 3 ounces of almond paste.  I freeze the almond paste for about half an hour (to make it a little easier to grate) and then grate it finely using a box grater.  The grated almond paste looks like a fluffy mound of mashed potatoes and you want it in fine pieces because it helps with even distribution and allows the paste to melt while baking in a short amount of time. All in, it looks like quite a lot of filling to lay on top of the dough, but it works.
So the finely grated almond paste essentially breaks down, softens, "melts" during baking and becomes the centerpiece - making a gloriously melty, almond filling for your buns.  The crunch from the toasted almonds, a bit of dark chocolate and taste of cinnamon spice in the background makes for a very delicious mouthful, in my opinion!
I prep these buns the night before to have them fresh for breakfast (you just gotta eat them fresh from the oven if you're going to the trouble of making them!).  They need a final rise in the morning that takes about an hour, before baking.  They are done in under 15 minutes and as you can see from the baked buns above, they don't brown very much after baking.  If you forego a glaze, you could brush a little egg wash over them before baking so they brown a bit more for visual appeal.
I snuck one of the buns onto my plate to try sans glaze but ended up drizzling (more and more) glaze on mine as I went along.  
I usually prefer savory for breakfast with a few exceptions; this is one of them!


Recipe:

Almond Buns
Filling idea adapted from this recipe in Eat and Make by Paul Lowe; small batch dough recipe based on Oh, Ladycakes (see this post)

- Makes a small-batch of 4 cinnamon rolls - 

For dough:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, between 105-108 degrees Fahrenheit
1 tablespoon butter, melted (and warm)
2 tablespoons milk
4 teaspoon sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For filling:
4 teaspoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ounces almond paste, finely grated (freeze almond paste for about half hour before grating using a box grater)
Scant 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 ounce dark chocolate (I use 60% cacao), finely chopped
Ground cinnamon, to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)

For glaze:
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon or so, milk (or almond milk)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Lightly oil a medium size mixing bowl and butter a 6-inch cake pan; set aside.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, lightly stir yeast into the warm water.  Add a pinch of sugar, cover, and set aside until foamy, about 10-15 minutes.  If the mixture does not foam after that time, you will need to start over.

In another small bowl, stir the warm melted butter together with the sugar until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Mix in milk and set aside.  

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and add both the yeast and butter mixtures.  Stir with a wood spoon until dough comes together, then remove from the bowl and knead with your hands for 4-5 minutes. Transfer the kneaded dough to the prepared mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 minutes (or more).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat/press the dough into a 5x10 inch rectangle (I rolled the soft, pliable dough out between parchment paper and plastic wrap).  Spread the softened butter over the dough, top with grated almond paste, sugar, almonds, dark chocolate, and cinnamon.

Starting at the short end, tightly roll the dough, trim off the ends, and slice into 4 even pieces.  Place rolls into the prepared cake pan and place in a warm spot to rise again until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes (60 minutes being optimal).  [Do ahead: Once the rolls have been sliced and placed in the pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator, set it in a warm place to rise again - this may take a bit more than an hour - and bake.] Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  The rolls will look fairly pale even after baking - for a more golden color, you can lightly brush the tops with egg wash before baking.   

Let rolls cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  In the meantime, whisk 1 tablespoon of milk and the almond extract into the confectioners' sugar.  Add additional milk (or confectioners' sugar), as needed, to reach a thick yet spreadable consistency.  Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve immediately, while it's still warm.



54 comments:

  1. I am not a fan of almond, but your buns look delicious! I love the idea of baking in small batch as well. We can't always eat a dozen every time, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we all like different things and that's what makes the world turn. You could totally use another filling like I usually do with the chocolate and orange zest. I'm glad you still think they look tasty despite not being a fan of almonds. : ) A small batch of 4 is great for my family. You have to eat cinnamon rolls fresh and warm!

      Delete
  2. I love that you made almond buns, the almond paste in the filling sounds incredible! I can just imagine how amazing these tasted fresh out of the oven! A small batch is perfect too because I would be so tempted to eat the entire batch in one sitting! Seriously - so yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly, this was just an excuse to eat warm almond paste for me! Oh my - I love the stuff! So, so good! : )

      Delete
  3. Your almond buns look sensational, Monica! And a small batch is a perfect size for a big temptation like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! When I first decided to make cinnamon rolls, I went searching for a small batch recipe. I cannot have a dozen around and I really wanted a recipe I can make the night before and bake fresh in the morning for the 3 of us to eat warm. This recipe does the trick for me. : )

      Delete
  4. Oh heck, I could have polished off that small batch of almond buns in one sitting! Love the addition of crunchy nuts and chocolate. I sure wish I was enjoying a batch with my morning tea. Wishing you a super day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - small batches are definitely wiser. The crunchy nuts and the gooey sweet almond paste is divine. The chocolate is just gilding the lily. : )

      Delete
  5. What a great idea! And these are so pretty! :)

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thanks! These rolls are so soft, it's hard to take them out without smooshing them!

      Delete
  6. Totally love those beauties...lots of almonds..exactly what I love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Angie. Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  7. Yum yum yum! I looove almond flavors and these look so soft and decadent. Love it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am definitely a big fan of them myself! Glad you like it.

      Delete
  8. WOW! I am definitely going to try these - I want one right now!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay - so happy you like them, too, Marie! They are so good!!

      Delete
  9. wow, simply damn delicious!!!!
    lovin almond all the way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - they really are tasty. : )

      Delete
  10. I got so excited when I read the title of this post! I love almond flavored anything. Love that this recipe makes a small batch. The last cinnamon roll recipe I tried could have fed an army!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yay! I am so happy you share my excitement about this! I remember your love of almonds. : ) It was so nice to have a small batch recipe and I will be holding onto this technique for a while. I'm sure your last cinnamon rolls were amazing but a big batch is just dangerous. ; )

      Delete
  11. I love everything about these almond rolls! LOVE!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for the big love! Thanks, Amanda!

      Delete
  12. Monica, I know you are very humble about this sort of thing, but I learn new and interesting things in every one of your posts! I love the way you share the methods and flavors you discover in the books, blogs, and magazines you read. Plus, you have a way of describing the process and the results that make all of your recipes accessible. Thank you! Though I can't eat almonds, they are the only nut that I am ok baking with for others. So, I was intrigued by the differences between marzipan and almond paste and the grating method you used to integrate the almond paste. Next stop after I type this, is my library website to see if they have the Eat and Make cookbook. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You call it humble but I call it being honest! : ) But Wendy...in all seriousness, thank you so much for such incredibly kind words and high praise. I'm so happy to think that you enjoy some of my ramblings. Thank *you* for reading and being an inspiration to me as well.

      Delete
  13. I am seriously want to reach into my computer and grab one of these! They look so good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww...thanks, Cathleen. The thing about these small batches - you keep craving more. This one with the almond paste is so wonderful! :)

      Delete
  14. oh wow! Looks like heaven! I totally adore your idea! Can I have one, please?:)

    btw. I'd be so happy if you could join my chocolate contest :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The almond paste worked so nicely; I'm really happy at the discovery. Good luck with your contest. I love chocolate above most things but I have to admit I rarely enter contests - I know own limits and frankly, I'm just not very creative!

      Delete
  15. What a fantastic version of the cinnamon bun! I bet I could use other nuts too :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your suggestions, Lorraine! Thanks - I think other nuts would be awesome, too.

      Delete
  16. Eeeee! I am definitely an almond lover (I could sniff almond extract all day! haha) and these have my name written all over them! Love that they are small batch too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I baked with almond extract again today and I always find myself sniffing that bottle! How weird are we?! Those of us who love it understand the insanity but it's quite a visual image. haha

      Delete
  17. Oh you did it again! I have been thinking about cinnamon rolls but was looking for a way to incorporate almond paste - I swear! These look wonderful - you hit a home run in my book. The dough looks so soft - I bet they are tasty - good thing you didn't make a big pan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - no way! I have been wanting to do something like this in the back of my mind, too. I vaguely thought I'd need to make a frangipane or something a bit wetter as a filling but grating it finely totally works. I want some more right now. : )

      Delete
  18. Oh hell yes! Pretty similar to my first home-baked dessert in months, I didn't have any almond paste, though, or we would have been near twinsies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehe - Hi, Emma! How are you? I will be off to check your dessert soon - first home-baked in months? I know there's a story there. I wish we could be twinsies but I'm way too old to qualify. : (

      Delete
  19. If I had these for breakfast, I could never have my regular ol' oatmeal ever again. Also love the idea of a bit of almond in the glaze!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love oatmeal...oddly enough, I eat it often at dinner (with other things). I generally prefer savory for breakfast but this has become one of those exceptions...I am glad it's not something you can whip up in minutes or I'd be in trouble. : ) Glad you like the bit of almond in the glaze!

      Delete
  20. OMG Monica! I want these. What an amazing recipe you have come up with! Those 4 servings will be too less for my family as they will never make it outside my kitchen. This is a treat for almond lovers indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to believe but I'm not tempted by many sweet things in the morning (just the morning) but these were so crazy good. I would definitely have devoured a few on my own a few years back. haha. I'm so glad you like it, Sonali. : )

      Delete
  21. Mr. Eats would marry me all over again if I made these for him - They might just be his Valentine's Day breakfast treat this year! I love that the recipe is only for four so we don't feel as bad when we finish off the the whole pan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How awesome is that! And I think this pan of 4 squishy little almond buns is just perfect for 2 on Valentine's Day! ; ) I really adored these babies and totally need to make them again very soon! And hey, no orange zest here! haha

      Delete
  22. love your version of this from the Sweet Paul recipe! I actually tried this recipe when it came out...and sorta failed: things got SUUUUPER sweet and it seemed like overkill. I love your substitution here: almond paste is certainly sweet, but i imagine the end result is much more balanced than with the marzipan. totally re-trying this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so good to know, Shannon! Thank you. I got really lucky...these worked out beautifully and we loved it at my house. I'll be making them again soon and hopefully, often.

      Delete
  23. These are glorious! I'm not familiar with almond paste, I don't know if you can get it here but I am familiar with marzipan as an addition (to muffins). Love the toasted almonds too. Superb. Love the photos too Monica. I hope you are having a good week 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - I'm doing well. Hope you are having a good week, too! I think almond paste is essentially the same as marzipan but with less sugar. I generally see the 1st ingredient as almonds, then sugar for the paste whereas it's reversed for marzipan. In some cases, I imagine you can dial down the sugar in your recipe if you go with marzipan instead. These were definitely sweet enough with the almond paste. I need to figure out a recipe to use them in muffins! :)

      Delete
  24. Oh my gosh I love it! The small batch, the almond paste...I need these!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am currently in the grip of a MAJOR almond paste obsession so these are perfect for me! I might try swapping in a gluten-free flour mix and see how it goes....but I'm sure they'll be delicious either way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have 3-4 cans of almond paste in my pantry right now. My obsession is serious. : ) I'd love to know how a gluten-free flour mix works. It's amazing how far that's come and what great products are available these days. : )

      Delete
  26. Wow! Almond buns with marzipan and slivered almond filling? Delish! I'm totally making this the next time I get a chance. I bet the crunch of almond would be super satisfying as well (: Wonderful recipe, Monica!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Monica - I used almond paste instead of marzipan (which is sweeter). I totally loved this and I can't wait to make/eat it again. : )

      Delete
  27. oh my god, these look so good, Monica! And you know how much I love almond flavor ;) Perfect that it's a small recipe since I would inevitably eat a whole huge pan otherwise...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah - Amy, I remember our shared love of almond things! This was so good - I can't wait to make them again and I surely will soon! Small batch is really necessary for me when it comes to my newfound love of cinnamon rolls/buns! ; )

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...