Last year, when I was still living in Arizona, my friend, Amber, and I made these cinnamon rolls on the first day of our Winter Break. They were AMAZEBALLS. So, so, so good. She found the recipe while trolling the blog world one morning (you know, in between teaching and grading papers) and convinced me to come to her place to make them. She really had to twist my arm. Just so you know.
(Also, I just noticed that my oven mitt in the above picture is not the most picturesque. Don't judge too harshly. It's saved my fingers and hands many a time in some epic kitchen battles.)
And here I am making them a year later not only because they are so good they are worth repeating, but also for nostalgic reasons - I miss your face, Amber, and wish we were making these together.
We borrowed this recipe from Joy The Baker (whose site and work in general is awesome) and these rolls are just right for Christmas morning.
Or a Monday night.
You know, because that makes sense.
Side note: You're going to want to eat a lot of these. And that's okay. I get it. I understand. But just be warned - you're probably going to need to run a couple of extra laps the next time you run...these aren't exactly what one would call "health food." Or don't run extra laps. Or go for a run (you can do that tomorrow). I'm all for grabbing another one so that my coffee doesn't feel lonely.
PISTACHIO, ORANGE, AND DARK CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS
*based on Joy the Baker's recipe found here
1. For the dough, heat the milk, oil, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to about 105 degrees F - you don't want to kill the yeast. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
2. Add 4 cups of the flour directly to the saucepan. Stir until just combined, then cover with the lid to the pan, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. Check the dough after 30 minutes to ensure that it’s rising well. If the dough hasn’t risen at all, you may want to start over.
3. After 1 hour, remove the lid and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or refrigerate for an hour before using. You can also cover the dough and refrigerate to use the next morning at this stage, or you can continue on to fill and roll and slice the dough before allowing the rolls to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Place racks in the upper third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Use butter to grease 2 pie plates, or 2 8×8-inch square baking pans. Set aside.
5. To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12 x 8-inches. The dough should be rolled fairly thin.
6. Pour half of the melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle generously with half of the sugar, and sprinkle with as much cinnamon as you’d like. Next, sprinkle the dough with half of the orange zest, half of the chopped pistachios, and half of the chopped chocolate.
7. Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you, finishing seam side down. Slice the dough into 8 equal slices and arrange in one of the prepared pans. Set aside and repeat the process with the remaining half of dough and place those sliced rolls in the remaining pan.
8. Allow to rolls to rest for 15 minutes.
9. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the rolls are bubbling and golden brown. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
10. Remove baked rolls from the oven. Allow to rest for 10 minutes then drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls. Serve warm.
Enjoy, my friends!
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