Crack buns

So, are you freaking out about your New Year’s Resolutions yet? No, I don’t mean the ones you plan on mastering, nope, think way back to the dark days of last winter, when you resolved to somehow, in someway be a better you. Ugh, right?

This year, I’ve actually given myself permission not to freak out about those resolutions. Even though I made all the resolutions, including fun stuff, like promising to go camping and to see more movies in the theater, I only hit about half of them. And I didn’t even come close to my food resolution. “Food resolution?” you ask. Yup, each year I try to set a goal of becoming better at something in the kitchen. The year before was mastering homemade bread (Done and DONE!), but this year was supposed to be pie crust. Um, nope, not one homemade crust appeared on my table, counter, windowsill, whatever.

But you know what? This is the first year where I don’t feel bad. Nope, I made one big ol drastic change, and I think we’re doing pretty well at it. Now, before you start thinking, “Ugh, who does this little Pollyanna think she is?!” Don’t worry, it’s not like I given self permission for this kind of thing all the time. Oh, no. You should know, this is a pretty big thing for me. I might be a wee bit of a list-making control freak. Might. So, not completing all the things and excelling at all the resolutions would normally leave me shuddering in a corner, wracked with guilt (over goals I set myself, yes, I see that too). But this year, I’m just going to clean up that pesky to-do list, and call it good. Don’t worry, some of those big things on my to-do list have been there so long, they might as well be resolutions.

You know what should be on your to-do list? Crack buns. Mmmmm, glorious, warm, gooey crack buns. So called because you will never get enough of them. This is a recipe in the loosest sense of the word. Essentially, you’re just taking your favorite bread dough and stuffing it full of goodness. My recipe has gone through a number of iterations, but it all comes back to my friend, Amy. After tasting these wee buns on a vacation she promptly came home and created her own recipe. Ever since then, this fresh bread with a cream cheese center has been on all our holiday tables.

The recipe calls for your favorite bread dough recipe, use whatever your heart desires. This mini honeycomb bun recipe from Stephanie at Girl Versus Dough is my new go-to bun recipe. It’s like a brioche, dense and delicious, and really stands up to the filling. Bonus points, it’s not an overly sticky dough, and so makes it super easy to fill. But, I tell you a secret, my little chickadees. When I first began making these buns, I used a breadmaker! Seriously, if you’re not comfortable making breads, the breadmaker is the way to go. Just set it to a dough setting, once mixed and risen, fill the buns as directed below.

Because this dough was originally sweet , I did modify it slightly, subbing olive oil for vanilla and adding ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Now, when it comes to filling, the sky’s the limit. Plain old cream cheese is delicious, but I just can’t leave well enough alone. When last I made these, I mixed the plain cream cheese with chopped black and green olives. I’ve also been known to use chive and onion or spinach and artichoke cream cheese.

Enjoy!

Crack buns

Crack buns

Favorite bread dough recipe
8 ounce package of spreadable cream cheese in your favorite flavor

Prepare bread dough as directed. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Pat out pieces of dough in your hand. Using a smallish spoon spread a good amount of cream cheese in the middle. Wrap and twist dough around cream cheese, sealing edges. Place in greased mini muffin tins. See image below, but try not to notice just how odd my hands look in this photo.

Crack buns assembly

Loosely cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise a second time, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving, that cream cheese is HOT.

Tips:
If your dough is sticky, rub hands generously with olive oil before portioning and stuffing dough. You will also want to coat the plastic wrap with cooking spray for the second rise.

To reheat buns, place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. If reheating in the microwave, use caution, the cream cheese will heat far more quickly than the bun outside.

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