You're probably wondering why there's a beardy man on a bed of blueberry cream cheese buns. Thursday was my dad's birthday! Happy birthday, Daddy! I usually make cupcakes or a layer cake on birthdays but I wanted to switch things up. I used my sweet roll dough as the base and stuffed it with some blueberry jam and a sweet cream cheese filling. And of course, I couldn't resist making one of the buns into my dad's face. I just had to. Tristan and I brought these buns to my parents' place on Tuesday for an early celebration and my dad loved it! I mean, how could he not?
Add all the ingredients for the dough to the bread machine and set it on the dough setting. While you're waiting for the dough, get the filling ready. Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar in a small bowl. If you want, you could combine the cream cheese mixture and blueberry jam so you only have to fill it with one filling rather than two separate ones.
When the dough is ready, take it out onto a floured surface and separate it into 7 pieces. My entire dough weighed 19.8 ounces (560g) so each piece was 2.8 ounces (80g). Keep them covered with a damp tea towel and work with one piece at a time. Roll out one piece of dough, put the blueberry jam and the cream cheese mixture onto the center of the dough, about half a tablespoon of each, and wrap it up. Make sure you pinch the ends completely shut. I wasn't careful about this for some of the buns and you'll see what happened after I cut one open.
Put the first six stuffed pieces of dough into a buttered cake pan and cover with plastic wrap to let them rise. I used a 8-inch round pan, but you could also use a 9-inch pan, or even on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Before filling the last piece of dough cut a small piece off and set it to the side. This will be used to make the nose and ears.
After you fill the dough, form it into the shape you want and add the ears and nose. They'll stick together as they rise. When you're shaping the dough, make sure to shape it narrower than you want it to be, because the dough will expand as it rises. Place the face on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise together with the rest of the dough for about 30 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the dough in a preheated oven at 392°F (200°C) for 15 to 18 minutes.
Take the bread out on a wire rack to cool completely. If you don't plan on decorating your bread, you can enjoy the bread warm!
Add facial features using melted chocolate. I used dark chocolate for the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and combined the two chocolates for the hair and beard.
I added some chocolate jimmies on top of the chocolate for extra bushiness.
After I finished my dad's face and put it on top of the ring of buns, it seemed a little empty so I used the leftover melted white chocolate to add some large white heart sprinkles.
Tada! My dad's face and nose turned out rounder than I was hoping for because I didn't make the dough narrow enough before letting it rise, but overall I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!
At my parents' place, we had some tomato slices topped with heart-shaped mozzarella,
... kasujiru (my favorite soup!), a Japanese soup using sake kasu (the leftover solids during a sake production),
... stewed Japanese mustard spinach and aburaage (thin slices of deep-fried tofu),
... and last but not least, this sushi bundt cake! Tristan and I were stoked to bring leftover sushi cake to work for lunch the next day.
And of course, the blueberry cream cheese buns for dessert. As you can see, it's really important to pinch the dough completely so your jam doesn't leak out and disappear. I knew Dad would probably choose to eat the face so I made sure to put a little extra filling in that one. Because it had been several hours after I baked the blueberry cream cheese buns, they weren't as fluffy as they would have been if we'd eaten them fresh out of the oven, but they were still delicious! The filling reminds me of a cheesecake, and you can't go wrong with the classic combo of blueberry and cream cheese. Obsessed with anything blueberry and cream cheese? Try these.
It doesn't have to be your dad's birthday or Father's Day for you to make these. These buns would be great for any occasion! (as long as you don't decorate yours to look like your dad)
Blueberry Cream Cheese Buns
- Add the dough ingredients into your bread machine and set it on the dough cycle.
- While the dough is kneading, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C), grease an 8 or 9-inch round pan with butter and set aside.
- Take the finished dough out of the machine, cover and let it rest on a floured surface for about 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 7 equal pieces. Take one piece, roll it out, and spoon the fillings on the dough. Carefully wrap it up and pinch the dough completely shut. Make sure to keep the pieces of dough you're not working with covered.
- Put the stuffed pieces of dough into a buttered cake pan and cover with plastic wrap to let them rise for about 30 minutes.
- Uncover the dough and bake them for 15 to 18 minutes. Take the bread out on a wire rack to cool completely.