This is Manface. Recently, some people have been giving me “constructive criticism” about my penchant to only post nummy baked goods on this “healthy” food blog. To those poor, misguided souls, I say, “Fuck you*.” Righteously, I declare that psychological health is just as important as physical health, and apple-cardamom sweet rolls make us happy. The moist, fluffy dough; the sticky brown sugar salt caramel; the subtle, mysterious, oaky tang of the cardamom; the anticipatory rush of saliva as you smell them emerging from the oven all make for one of the most joyous, sensual and life-affirming moments of the week.
These rolls, which can be easily adapted to any flavor combination (we tried orange marzipan with toasted almonds a few days ago, perhaps next week we will try prosciutto, pear, gorgonzola), take more time to eat than to make. Start with this brioche recipe, then, instead of shaping it into little squat snowpeople, roll it into a rectangle about 1/3″ thick. Sprinkle or smear one side with your filling concoction (a basic mix is 4T melted butter + 1/4 cup brown sugar + some spices and/or nuts and/or fruit — you can also make extra to put in the bottom of your pan to make a sticky topping instead of frosting them). Next, roll it like Morton would. Then, cut the roll into 1 – 2″ rounds, and flip them into a high-walled pan to rise. Cover them, and after some time (depends on how fluffy you want them, or whether or not the potatoes for the frittata are almost done), toss them into a 350F oven.
Pull ’em out with your mittens after about 35 min. Frost if desired. Consume with joy.
*Perhaps this expression of my position is not as nuanced as it could be. I blame the medium. I accept that there are some situations where this hedonistic attitude could lead one into trouble. I’ll bet that shooting heroin makes for a good experience in the moment, but the long-lasting negative effects probably outweigh this momentary high. If you are addicted to sweet rolls, or any type of nummy pastries (not functionally addicted, but to the point where your need to consume croissants is interfering with your job or social life), I suggest counselling and will work with your support network to stage an intervention. Hey, man, I’ve been there; it’s not a way to live: always itching for the next cannoli, or thinking about where to score your next plum galette. Don’t let the sweets life eat you up!