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The recipe title above is written strictly tongue in cheek; we've been laughing recently about ads we've seen for "croissant bagel rolls," which is totally oxymoronic. Rich, tender, buttery croissant dough is about as far as you can get from the plain, fat-free straight dough you use to make bagels; and a roll is somewhere in between the two. How can you possibly market a product that's all three, and still do justice to any one of them?
But another ad (we're avid readers of professional bakery magazines) left our mouths watering. The photo showed a cinnamon sticky bun ostensibly made with croissant dough, a deep-brown whorl of cinnamon filling enclosed by tender, flaky dough. Well, we tried to turn that picture into reality, and failed; somehow, the croissant dough was just too tough and chewy when rolled with the cinnamon filling. But puff paste seemed like it might do the trick. Not wanting to spend the time on "real" puff paste with its folds and turns, we opted for Maida Heatter's "counterfeit" version, a simple sour cream and butter dough that, while marginally less rich and flaky than "the real thing," tasted fine to us. Voilà! While the resulting product was more cookie than roll, it was certainly tasty, and can find a home in our picnic basket any time; along with fresh fruit, it's a nice, light dessert.
Sue says these cookies (rolls? pastries?) are remarkably similar to rugalach she's eaten at a friend's house. If you like raisins, a more traditional filling would have ground raisins added to the cinnamon-sugar.
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, then stir in the sour cream. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly greased work surface and knead it briefly, just until it holds together. Roll it into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle, fold in three (like a business letter), flip the dough over and give it a 90° turn, and repeat the rolling and folding process. Wrap tightly, and chill for several hours, or overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and unwrap it. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle both sides of the dough with the cinnamon sugar, and roll it into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle, sprinkling with additional sugar as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Sprinkle any remaining sugar over the dough when you're done rolling, passing the rolling pin over the sugar to "grind" some of it into the dough.
Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a log, and slice it into approximately 48 1/3-inch slices. Place the slices on a parchment-lined or very lightly greased baking pan. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 8 minutes, until the sugar has melted on the bottom, then turn over and bake for 5 minutes longer, for a very crisp cookie. If you like a softer cookie, bake for 10 to 12 minutes without turning. The bottoms will be caramelized, and the tops soft. Cool on the baking pan for 3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store for up 2 weeks in an airtight container. Yield: about forty-eight 1 1/2 to 2-inch cookies.