Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Hey hey, we’re making sweet rolls today.

Of the almond kind.

Of the CHOCOLATE almond kind.

That’s right, your morning cereal just got a new competitor. I’m no psychic, but, I’m pretty sure I know whose gonna win the competition.

It’s definitely the cereal.

NOT. Please don’t say you thought I was serious there.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

What’s the deal with sweet rolls? Well, picture a cinnamon roll with all that soft, fluffy, yeasty, buttery dough, but without the cinnamon filling. Instead it’s jam-packed with an almond filling that has just a hint of chocolate flavor.  So, it’s a cinnamon roll without the cinnamon. A sweet roll, if you will.

I’m not gonna be picky here. Call it what you want.

Cinnamon roll. Sweet roll. Get in my belly roll.

Just know, it’s chocolate + almond + yeasty dough.

And, you’re going to want to eat all of it. Well, if you like almond that is. These guys have a whole tube of almond paste inside them. Wait, whattt? Yup, you read that right. A whole 7 oz tube. These rolls are for the almond lovers of the world.

You are so welcome.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Here’s where I tell you my favorite part about these rolls.

When I got up in the morning all I had to do was take the prepped rolls out of the fridge, heat the oven, and bake them. How easy does that sound? I did all of that before having a single drop of coffee.That’s an epic win. No one wants to wake up early and wait for the dough to rise before being able to face plant into a fresh sweet roll.

No one. And, if you are that someone, well, you deserve some sort of award then.

But, if you like your sleep and your sweet rolls too, prepare these the night before and let them sit in the fridge.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Your rested brain will thank you.

Your stomach will thank you.

Heck, the next door neighbor will thank you for that bakery smell that’s floating in the air. They’ll also want a sweet roll.

Maybe it’s best to keep the door closed then. You don’t reallly want to have to share. Right?

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

I kind of lied to you. There’s one more step you have to do in the morning: the chocolate glaze.

THE. CHOCOLATE. GLAZE.

Okay, okay, hang on. It’s super easy and quick to make. Andddd, can we really count anything made with chocolate as work?

No, no, we can’t.

Or, we can.

But, it’s a small price to pay. A tiny miniscule price.

I mean, naked sweet rolls are good too. Just look at them. All golden brown and puffed up.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

But, now, look at this chocolate glazed one.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

That’s right my wonderful friends.

Making chocolate glaze will ALWAYS be worth it.

AMIRIGHT?

Yeah, I’m so right.

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls
Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust
Yields: 9 large rolls

Ingredients:
Dough
2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/3 cup & 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Almond Filling
1 (7 oz.) tube of almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 egg

Chocolate Glaze
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
slivered almonds, optional

Directions:
Dough
Heat up milk for 35-45 in a microwave safe cup, until it’s about 120 degrees (think hot bathwater when feeling it if you don’t have a thermometer). Stir in yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for a few minutes to proof–if bubbles form on the top of the mixture that means your yeast is active!
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix 1/3 cup sugar, butter, salt, and egg until butter is evenly distributed–the mixture may be chunky. Stir in yeast/milk mixture until incorporated. Add flour and stir with the paddle attachment just until mixture sticks to the paddle. Switch the paddle out with the dough hook and continue mixing on low until dough forms into a ball in the center of the bowl. The dough should be slightly sticky and in one piece. If the dough is really wet and sticking all over your fingers, add up to 1/2 cup more flour (adding 1/4 cup at a time) until dough is easy to work with.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough ball in it, making sure to coat the top of the dough lightly with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size (I like to preheat the oven, turn it off, and then place the bowl inside the oven to rise).

Almond Filling
Once the dough has risen, make the filling. In a food processor, combine almond paste, cocoa powder, sugar, and egg until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Assembling Sweet Rolls
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 10×14-inch rectangle. Spread almond filling on the dough and tightly roll it up. Using a serrated or sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 large sweet rolls–the almond filling will stick to the knife, so wipe it off as you go for a cleaner cut. Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray and place the rolls gently in the pan.
Let the dough rise for 30 minutes OR cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (in the morning let rolls come to room temperature while the oven is preheating).
Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Let sweet rolls cool before icing.

Chocolate Glaze
While the sweet rolls are cooling, make your glaze. Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
Using a small saucepan heat up heavy cream until simmering. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add corn syrup and whisk until well combined.
Drizzle the tops of the sweet rolls with chocolate glaze and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

 

Chocolate Almond Sweet Rolls

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese IcingWe are officially 27 days into the New Year. Twenty-Seven Days. Geesh. It’s going quickly, isn’t it? I haven’t even wished you a Happy New Year. Or, posted anything yummy on my blog. Oops.

Let me tell you what I have done (or, what has happened to me) so far in 2014.

I have been sick. Roll-up-in-ball, never-leave-your-room-again, sick. I’ll spare you the gory details and just say it was the worst.
I started drinking something new at Starbucks (courtesy of the bestie). Iced Green Tea Latte with Soy milk. In one word I would describe it as amazingggg. It tastes like green tea ice cream or those green tea flavored mochis. You should really try it.
I have also been brutally attacked by allergies. Itchy eyes. Headache. Really, just the works. Lucky me, huh?
I started working. Well, volunteering. But still, it’s kind of like work. I’m volunteering at a psychiatric hospital, which I’m ridiculously excited about. I’m even starting to feel more excited than nervous about my future. Maybe this grown-up thing isn’t as scary as I thought.

Oh, I also self-appointed myself best auntie around town. You see, I recently became an aunt to two of the most beautiful little things ever. Meet Archer (the lighter one) and Meeka.
IMG_78711I don’t mean to brag or anything, but my niece and nephew are pretty stinkin adorable. Don’t ya think?

Let’s switch this up. What haven’t I done?

Simple. I haven’t started dieting or made losing weight a New Year’s resolution. Everyone I know wants to shed a few pounds and eat healthier. And, that’s great. Except, it’s really not. You see, when everyone diets, they don’t eat baked goods. And, when they don’t eat baked goods, I have no one to bake for. And, when I have no one to bake for I either eat it myself (not good) or don’t bake (also, not good). Do you see my problem?

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing I’m all in for shedding a few pounds and eating healthy—I’m a huge fan of using cauliflower as a carb substitute these days—but, I believe in the concept of moderation. In my opinion, a little bit of dessert every once in a while isn’t going to kill you. You with me? My sister, Alana, (technically, my cousin, but who really pays attention to those technicalities) is one of those people who’s trying to eat healthier this year. And, I fully, one-hundred percent, support her. But, when she mentioned she was craving cinnamon rolls, I couldn’t help but get into the kitchen and start baking.

I’m calling these ‘healthy’ cinnamon rolls. Before you laugh and ask if that’s a joke, hear me out. Compared to normal cinnamon rolls these are smaller, less doughy, and not as sweet. Healthy, right? Okay, maybe not entirely, but definitely healthier than normal cinnamon rolls. One could even say these are cinnamon rolls in moderation. At least that’s what Alana and I are saying. Wanna join us?

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing Let’s talk flavor profile. These Cinnamon Roll Twists are crunchy on the outside from the cinnamon-sugar filling that caramelizes onto the dough while baking, and soft, flaky, and bursting with cinnamon flavor on the inside. The twists are then drizzled with Cream Cheese Icing and sprinkled lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Have I mentioned how easy and quick they are to make? Because they totally are. Almost embarrassingly easy. But, hey, sometimes easy is good, really good.

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing
Yields: about 30 twists

Ingredients:
Cinnamon Roll Twists
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)
¾ cup golden brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter
all-purpose flour for dusting

Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons milk (use as needed)

Directions:
Cinnamon Roll Twists
Thaw puff pastry according to directions on the package.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two cookies sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon. Mix until combined, and then set aside.
Dust your work surface generously with flour and lightly dust your rolling-pin.
Roll out puff pastry about 2 inches larger on each side—the dough will be thin—and cut crosswise into two rectangles.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and brush generously over one of the puff pastry rectangles—once you feel that piece is buttered up, lightly brush the remainder of the melted butter on the other rectangle.
Sprinkle about half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the buttered up puff pastry piece.
Cover the cinnamon-sugar coated piece with the remaining lightly buttered piece of puff pastry and gently roll them together with a rolling-pin.
Cut into long strips (I used a pizza cutter and it worked wonderfully!) and twist. Place on lined pan and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown—the thinner your strips are the less time they will need to cook.
Let cinnamon roll twists cool slightly before removing from pan, and then place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Repeat process with the second sheet of puff pastry—make sure to keep just a little bit of the cinnamon-sugar mixture to sprinkle on the twists once they are iced.

Cream Cheese Icing
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth and combined.
Depending on your desired icing consistency, add a tablespoon of milk at a time—if you don’t want to add more milk and the icing still isn’t of drizzling consistency, warm up the icing in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
Once the cinnamon roll twists are iced, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.

 

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsHello Friends.

I know I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy on you. I’m sorrrry. I couldn’t help it. Honest.

I swear I’ll stop now. After I share this recipe. Pinky Promise.

I had to leave you with one last kick butt pumpkin recipe. It’s my duty. Or, I made it my duty. Either way. Feel free to thank me. Perhaps even a round of applause? I know, I’m asking for too much.

But, seriously, prepare yourself.

Take a deep breath.

Get ready to grab a fork. And, a napkin. A bigggg napkin.

I give you the wonderful, the sticky, the gooey ooey, delicious Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Bun. Or, in other words, the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving (that is, if you aren’t pumpkin-ed out).
Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsHellllllo Thanksgiving Breakfast. Why shouldn’t you start and end the day with scrumptious food? Who decided Thanksgiving should only be about dinner and dessert? A crazy person who never tried these buns, that’s who.

These Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns are like cinnamon rolls on crack with a whole bunch more flavor and a lot more sticky. The buns are made from a pumpkin dough that bakes up into a chewy, spice filled, soft bun that pairs perfectly with the brown sugar filling, giving it that perfect pumpkiny taste we all loveeee. The top side of the bun is covered in a gooey caramel syrup, that gives the bun a more sugary flavor, as well as crunchy pecans that bring together this spice & sugar filled breakfast treat.

Want to know my favorite part about Thanksgiving? It’s the moment right before dinner, when my entire family sits down at the table (usually a few tables put together) and starts passing around all the yummy dishes. It’s not my favorite because we spent the whole day cooking and the feast is finally done. Or, because I’m moments away from entering a joyous food coma either. It’s my favorite because it’s the first time all day that my family (including relatives I don’t see on a daily basis) is together, in the same spot, enjoying themselves, smiling from ear to ear. That’s why I like it. And that’s why I wanted to make it happen for breakfast too.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsWhat can I say? I love me some family time. And, I’m beyond thankful for the wonderful people in my life. And, the fact that they let me plump them up with baked goods. You know what else I’m thankful for? Good health, supportive friends, smiling faces, dessert, and you.

Yes, you. You, reading this post, thank you. Thank you for making my baking blog dreams a reality. Thank you for supporting me in my endeavors in the kitchen. And thank you for using my recipes to make your family and friend’s stomach’s happy.

So, Happy {Early} Thanksgiving. Hope you have an amazing day that starts with your breakfast :)

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Yields: About 12 buns

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Dough
½ cup milk (I’m using 2%, but whole milk would work too!)
½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup golden (or light) brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
Oil for coating the bowl

Filling
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar

Caramel Syrup
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup (1 stick) light corn syrup

Directions:
Making the Pumpkin Dough
Warm milk and butter together in the microwave or over the stove. Set aside to cool slightly (the mixture should be warm, but not scalding hot). Depending on the type of yeast you are using, you can use a thermometer to measure the exact temperature needed for that yeast.
Sprinkle yeast on the surface of the milk and butter mixture and let rest for about 2 minutes before gently stirring together. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
In bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 cups of flour, sugars, salt, and spices. Whisk until well-combined.
Add the yeast-milk-butter mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on low until combined.
Add egg and pumpkin puree. Stir until incorporated.
Switch to the dough hook for mixing, and add the remaining cup of flour. Combine until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with oil and scrape the dough mixture into it. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Set aside for about 1 ½ to 2 hours (or until double in size) in a warm, draft free place.

Making the Caramel Syrup
Grease the 12 tin cups of a muffin pan. Set aside.
Combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved completely.
Remove from heat and spoon 1 ½ tablespoons into the tin cups of the greased muffin pan.
Evenly sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the syrup. Set aside.

Making the Filling & the Buns
In a small bowl, combine sugars and pumpkin pie spice.
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 16×19-inch rectangle (or as close as you can get to a rectangle). Flour your rolling pin as necessary.
Brush melted butter all over the rolled dough and then sprinkle evenly with the sugar mixture.
Starting with the long side, tightly (and gently) roll up the dough into a spiral—it’s okay if some of the filling falls out.
Using a sharp serrated knife, gently move the knife back and forth, applying no pressure, until the dough spiral is cut into 12 buns—I cut off the ‘butts’ (the not so rolled up ends) of the dough spiral, and then baked them in a separate tin…no need to waste pumpkin goodness.
Place each roll in the muffin pan on top of the syrup. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about another 45 to 60 minutes (until double in size).
*If you want to prepare these in advance, place the plastic wrap covered muffin pan in the fridge over night. In the morning, let the buns sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking them.

Baking the Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert rolls onto a cooling rack. Make sure you have a piece of wax paper under the cooling rack to catch any dripping caramel.
Serve warm and ENJOY :)

 

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns