About the Recipe
As we enter the cold dreary days of winter, I definitely get the urge to bake. Nothing beats having the snow swirling outside as sweet smells of warm baking from the kitchen fill the house. Of course, the Christmas cookie baking marathon is just weeks away, but there are other family favorites that get made before and after. This particular recipe is a new one in my house, but it has definitely passed the test and has been added to our baking repertoire.
These rolls came to be because one of my daughters was disappointed that I had made apple cinnamon buns. (I know.... what?!) She loved the fluffy baked bit but not the rest. (She's not a fan of cooked apples in her baked sweets). Fine, challenge accepted. So, I thought about how I would play around and get to something that she would enjoy. Of course chocolate immediately came to mind. Pretty sure I can't go wrong there.
I am so happy with how this recipe turned out! Equally as delicious and simple to make. Perfect for brunch or afternoon coffee snack. Not too sweet but just sweet enough. I love these rolls. They are a marriage between two of my favorites, cinnamon bun and chocolate rugelach. Fluffy, chocolaty, yummy.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
1 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cocao powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons water
In a large bowl, start making your dough by combining the warm milk with the sugar and yeast. Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbles form (indication that the yeast is activating).
Add in the butter, eggs, salt and flour and combine. I prefer to get a bit messy and to use my hands to make the dough (perhaps because I was taught to do it this way) but if you have a stand mixer with a dough attachment I am sure that would work brilliantly as well. Kneed the dough until all ingredients are well combined.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towl and let sit for 30-45 minutes or until the yeast has done it's job and the dough has doubled.
In the meantime, you can prepare the filling and the icing.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, cocoa powder, both sugars, cinnamon and salt. Mix until you have a smooth chocolate paste. Same thing for the icing, combine the icing sugar, vanilla and water in a bowl. Add more water if you prefer a runnier consistency. Just remember, a little goes a long way when you play with icing sugar, so make sure to add a little bit at a time.
Once the dough has risen, you are ready for assembly.
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Lightly flour your work surface, so that your dough does not stick when you roll it out. With a rolling pin, roll out your dough into a horizontal rectangle roughly 1/2 cm thick (1/4"). Note: your rectangle does not have to be perfect.
Once the dough is evenly rolled out, with the help of a knife or spatula, spread an even layer of chocolate filling all over. Try and get as close to the edges as you can, but not to worry everthing gets rolled up in the end anyway, so you'll be sure to have some chocolaty goodness in every bite.
Now it is time to roll it up into a nice log. Start with the upper edge of your rectangle and roll towards you. Make sure to have a nice snug roll so that the filling stays in place when you cut it into individual rolls. Once rolled up, make sure to pince the edges together (again, just to secure the roll).
Prepare a greased 12 x 18" baking tray. I personally use butter, but a non-stick baking spray will also do the trick nicely. Cut your log into 5cm thick rolls (2") and place flat edge down into your tray. Don't worry if there is a bit of space between each roll, they will puff up nicely during the baking process.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the icing. You don't have to add this step if you prefer not to. I just think it not only adds an extra bit of sweet goodness to the rolls but it also adds an extra layer of visual interest, especially good when you want to impress your guests.
I know this recipe is now a family favorite in my house.
I would love to know if you have tried them and what you think!