Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chocolate Orange Sweet Rolls

This is one of those recipes from my huge pile of must make. The rolls are a nice spin off from traditional cinnamon rolls.  After making these, my mind started thinking of all the different flavors and variations you could do with this base recipe. Lemon and white chocolate may be next....

The best thing about these is that they are not real bready like a lot of sweet rolls.  The dough is fairly thin which allows for more flavor to come through.  The orange is the prominent flavor with the chocolate being more subtle. This recipe makes 2 dozen rolls.

Chocolate Orange Sweet Rolls
adapted from Bon Appetit (prior to 2007)

Ingredients/ Rolls
4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbs orange zest
1 tbs rapid rise yeast
2 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup or 1 1/4 stick of butter (room temp)
2/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients/ Cream Coating
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs Grand Marnier or orange juice

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs orange juice

Fill a saucepan with 1/4 cup orange juice, milk and 4 tbs of butter.  Place over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and it heats to a temperature of 120 degrees.  Remove from heat.

Using a stand mixer, whip together the eggs and orange zest. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to mix until blended.  With the mixer running on low speed, pour a steady stream of the warm orange/milk mixture into the batter.  Remove bowl from stand mixer when all has been mixed together.

Sprinkle yeast into the batter and stir.  Then sift together the flour and salt in a separate bowl. Fold sifted ingredients into the batter.  Once it has formed into a dough, prepare a flat work surface by dusting with flour.  Place dough on the work surface, knead for about 5 minutes and form into a ball.  Oil the interior of a medium size bowl and then drop dough in the bowl and turn 1 time.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.  While the dough is rising, prepare 2 cake pans (9 inches in diameter) by buttering the interior.

Punch down dough and separate into equal halves.  Prepare a flat work surface and a rolling pin by dusting with flour.  Roll 1 piece of dough out into a 12X18 inch rectangle.  Cover surface with 3 tbs of butter, using a spatula or butter knife to spread evenly.  Then sprinkle with 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.  Pat down chips slightly into dough.  Finalize the filling by dusting the surface evenly with 1/4 cup sugar.

Start rolling up the dough into a log, beginning with one of the long sides.  Make sure it is not rolled too tight, for there is another rising time that will help the dough come together more.  At the end of the overlap, pinch the dough together and smooth the seam.  

Slice the log into 12 rolls, each cut 1 1/2 inches apart, taking care that you are not flattening the rolls. The recipe suggests using a serrated knife.  Place the two ends cut side down in the pan and put the other slices in the pan with the cut sides facing up and down.  Make sure the slices are evenly spaced. Cover loosely and let rise again for another 30 minutes. Repeat the whole process with the remaining half of the dough.

During the rising time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Make the coating by whisking the Grand Marnier (or orange juice) with the heavy cream.  Once the rising time of the rolls is complete, drizzle the coating evenly over the top of all the rolls.  Place pans spaced apart in the oven, and let rolls bake until toasty and golden on top.  This should take about 25 minutes.  Remove and place pans on rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before proceeding with the glaze.

For the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl.  Stir in 1 tbs of orange juice. Continue to add orange juice until mixture reaches desired consistency.  Spread or drizzle glaze over the top of the rolls.  These can be served warm or at room temperature.
                                  **LAST YEAR: Banana Oatmeal Cookies**