Wake and Bake »

Breakfast snacks for those who get peckish first thing in the morning.

Wake and Bake: Mini Muffin Tin Cinnamon Rolls

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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

There is a restaurant in Los Angeles that has one of the best brunch bread baskets I've ever encountered. In addition to bread, it has miniature croissants and assorted pastries—a collection of flakey buttery bites that always threatens to ruin my appetite for the main course. I think it's glorious to be able to graze on small bites of pastries that I always want to order, but don't, thinking that a croissant is too much to serve as a side dish to a plate of huevos ranchos or French toast.

I don't really have the time to make tiny croissants, but I did find a way to take a super fast cinnamon roll recipe and repurpose it into a bread basket-worthy snack. The key tool? A mini-muffin tin.

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The rolls are made with store bought puff pastry and given a simple filling of cinnamon-sugar. (Though raisins, chopped walnuts and pecans, or currants would be great additions, too.) The dough is rolled up jelly-roll style and cut into 1/2 inch slices. The little rolls are put into the muffin cups so that, when they bake, they're held together and lifted into perfect bun shape. I drizzled the finished cinnamon rolls with a simple confectioners' sugar glaze (but again, feel free to improvise: if cream cheese based icing is more your style, go for it.)

The resulting cinnamon buns are pretty adorable and if you put them in a basket and serve them with brunch, people will attack them. Even in LA.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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