Rockin' Rolls

Judith Fertig's 'I Love Cinnamon Rolls!' delights

Rockin' Rolls

It's awfully hard to screw up cinnamon rolls.

But in her latest book, I Love Cinnamon Rolls!, BBQ Queen Judith Fertig proves that while there may not be a single way to do cinnamon rolls wrong, there's a helluva lot more ways to do them right than you might have thought.

This deceptively small cookbook (Andrews McMeel, 112 pp., $19.99) packs a huge punch, not only in its big, bold, mouthwatering pictures, but also in the remarkable depth of resources it offers. An intro covers the basics (the importance of a pan sauce, for example, or the difference between glaze, frosting, and icing), and then there's a whole chapter of base doughs for use in the rest of the recipes.

And oh, those recipes! Sure, there are the old standbys (more on that in a moment), but there's also a more exotic selection, including flavors such as coffee, chocolate, orange, toffee, rose, and more. Szechuan Pepper Cinnamon Rolls with Fresh Ginger Glaze certainly caught my eye. And for those with dietary restrictions: You're covered too! There are plenty of vegan, whole-wheat, and gluten-free recipes.

I recently tackled two classic choices from this lovely little hardback (which hit shelves yesterday) – Cinnamon Rugelach and Big-as-a-Plate Cinnamon Rolls with Gooey Frosting – and I'm delighted to report they're as satisfying as they are straightforward. My only quibble was that both base doughs required a good bit of extra flour to keep from sticking to my Kitchenaid, but they're quite forgiving and easy to roll out.

Even if you just wanted to buy this book for the food porn, it'd be worth it, but I bet it won't last a week on your coffee table before curiosity gets the better of you and you're off to delicious adventures. I'm already plotting next Sunday's breakfast.

Monica Riese blogs about baking at The Yeast I Can Do. Judith Fertig offers a "virtual #MondayMorningCinnamonRoll" on Twitter: @JudithFertig.

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