In honor of Valentine’s Day I decided to make the traditionally sweet cinnamon rolls with a spicy gochugaru twist. These spicy gochugaru cinnamon rolls remind me of those spicy and sweet cinnamon heart candies. They also satisfy cravings for good yeasty bread.
Gochugaru is traditional Korean dried pepper powder. Every gochugaru tastes quite different as it is really a function of what type of pepper was used and who did the drying. If you cook often with gochugaru you will quickly figure out which one delivers the right level of heat, intensity, and smokiness for your palate. I cannot make fried rice without gochugaru, the extra heat and kick becomes irreplaceable once you become used to it. It also does amazing wonders in soup. I’m also pretty sure this spicy powder must cause some sort of happy reaction, similar to coffee, because I always feel happier after eating spicy food.
There are two words of caution for this recipe 1) Do not use too much gochugaru, a little goes a long way, too much can cause an upset stomach 2) Don’t bake these too long or they will be dry, the key is to bake these right up until they look cooked through but haven’t started to brown yet. This recipe was kicked up with the addition of Mike’s Hot Honey and Califia Almond Milk which are beginning to become staples in my pantry. I used my trusty heart pan from Chicago metallic to make the heart shaped cinnamon rolls….