Wake and Bake: Cherry Almond Buns
There's nothing quite like a warm, buttery, sugar-filled roll in the morning. My go-to version is a typical glazed cinnamon bun that I liberally stuff with raisins. But I like to tweak the recipe with the seasons, and I've gone through autumnal dalliances with cranberries and a Christmas when I loved currants. This summer, I wanted something a little lighter and fresher tasting, and cherries seemed like the perfect thing.
The base to these buns is a mildly sweet yeasted dough that contains just enough butter to balance flavor with a soft, pull-apart texture. The interior of the dough, a.k.a the swirl, is filled with a mixture of sugar, butter, and tart dried cherries. I like using unsweetened fruit or fruit that's only lightly sweetened with apple juice—that way the cherries add a pop of tartness and a more authentic flavor. Cherries pair so well with almonds that I included toasted, sliced almonds both in the interior swirl and on top as a garnish.
You could certainly add an easy glaze to the top of these buns, but I like to brush them with butter, sugar, and a few almonds before baking, then leave them be. These are fairly large, but take one bite of a fruity, nutty pastry while it's still warm from the oven and you'll see you could easily devour the whole tray.