Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
Make the dough:
In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (don’t overprocess). The dough will be soft and moist.
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12x15-inch rectangle.
Make the filling:
Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border unbuttered around the edges. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and pat gently into the surface. Sprinkle the nuts over the sugar mixture.
Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal, and leave the ends open.
With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry if there are small gaps.
Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 to 28 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pan and remove the springform ring. Transfer the rolls to a serving plate.
Make the glaze:
In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, 2 Tbs. milk, and vanilla to make a smooth glaze. It should have a thick but pourable consistency, so add up to 1 Tbs. more milk if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.
Apple-Butter Cinnamon Buns: Instead of using the cinnamon-pecan filling in the main recipe, mix 3/4 cup apple butter, 1-1/2 Tbs. melted butter, and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Omit the melted butter from the main recipe and spread the dough rectangle with the apple mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup (3 oz.) finely chopped walnuts, if desired. Roll, cut, bake, and ice as directed. Because this filling is wetter, the buns may need to bake for 30 minutes.
nutrition information (per serving):
per bun, Calories
13, Fat Calories
120, Saturated Fat
5, Monounsaturated Fat
40, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips