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.
Now on to the Spicy Gochugaru Cinnamon Rolls recipe steps
Next add 1 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt
Mixing the dough with the Kitchenaid hand mixer using the dough hooks
Making sure the dough actually rises by putting it near the Vornado space heater
Making pretty hearts in the trusty heart pan from Chicago metallic
The finished product, spicy gochugaru cinammon rolls, a spicy and sweet treat
Sweet and Spicy Valentine's Day Spicy Gochugaru Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 packet yeast (I used Fleischmanns)
- 1 cup almond milk (I used Califia farms mocha cold brew)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp canola oil for the mixing bowl
- 1/3 stick butter
- 2-3/4 cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp honey (I used Mike’s Hot Honey)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp gochugaru
- Pour the almond milk into a small pot and bring to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This will happen quickly so only heat briefly and watch with an electric thermometer.
- Mix the yeast packet into the almond milk and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and sugar.
- Pour almond milk yeast mixture into a mixing bowl and mix in flour in batches either in a stand mixer or with the dough hooks on a hand mixer until the dough forms a stiff ball.
- Lightly grease the inside of the mixing bowl with some canola oil and put remaining oil on the ball of dough so that the dough does not stick to the bowl while rising
- Place the dough somewhere warm and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in size, about an hour.
- Melt the butter in the microwave for a minute in a microwave safe glass
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Roll out the dough to make the largest thinnest rectangle possible. Brush melted butter on the dough. Cover the dough with the cinnamon, sugar, and honey. Sprinkle just a bit of gochugaru on the dough, you don’t want to sprinkle too much or else the roll will be too spicy. Roll the dough into a cylinder and press together the edges of the seam to make a good seal on the roll. Cut the roll into 1.5 inch prices with a knife and arrange in a baking pan. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining butter.
- Bake for 20 minutes or just until the rolls start to brown but haven’t browned yet. If they bake until they turn golden they will be too dry.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar with enough water to make a thin glaze. Glaze the rolls and garnish with a few sprinkles of gochugaru.
Don't bake until the rolls turn brown or else they will be to dry. Do not use too much gochugaru or the rolls could be too spicy!