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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chew on This | Dark Chocolate and Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Happy New Year!! 2014!

We're just hours into this new year and it already feels pretty comfy and cozy to me. What are your thoughts so far? Yay or Nay for this new year start?

I say - YAY!

At this very moment the kids are outside playing in a freshly fallen blanket of snow. The Husband is shoveling the sidewalk. And I'm typing this, while a pork shoulder is roasting and bread dough is on the rise. It feels pretty awesome. Comfortable and quiet. And such a nice way to ease ourselves into a new batch of days that will be labeled with the "2014" moniker.

I know for many it's crazy to think that we're here…again. A new year has thrust itself upon us without our consent. And, as usual, it's encouraging us to reach for new goals and new heights. It's enticing us with the whole "fresh start" mantra and with new found enthusiasm and energy. And while I know some of you might just shrug and ignore the lure of the new year's promises, I can't. I happily get sucked into the newness and possibilities that a brand new year can bring. 

For example, these delicious Dark Chocolate and Orange Cinnamon Rolls just might be something new you should try in 2014. Soft, warm and full of sweet and fresh flavor, they'll melt you. In a good, good way.

Happy New Year!

Here's the recipe:

Dark Chocolate and Orange Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted via Joy the Baker via Pioneer Woman)

Roll dough:
2 C milk
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 1/4 t active dry yeast
4 C flour + 1/2 C flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
2 t salt

1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C granulated sugar
cinnamon, to taste
zest of one orange
4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 C powdered sugar
3-4 T fresh orange juice
1/2 t vanilla

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, warm your milk, oil and sugar. Heat mixture, but do not allow to boil. Once warmed, set pan aside and let mixture cool until it is warm to the touch (about 105℉). Next, sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Add in your four cups of flour to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow dough to rise for an hour.

After an hour, add your 1/2 C flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the dough. Stir thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 375℉. Generously grease two pie pans/plates and set aside.

To make your rolls, dust a counter surface with flour and roll your dough out in a rectangular shape. Roll dough pretty thin and then add on your fillings.

Pour your melted butter over the dough, spread to all edges. Sprinkle sugar over the butter and then add your cinnamon, orange zest, and chocolate. Make sure to disperse these ingredients evenly over the dough. Now it's time to roll.

Tightly roll your dough and finish with the seam side down. Once rolled, the dough will be a long 'snake'. Slice the dough into equal parts (depending on the cuts, you could end up with 16-20 rolls) and place into your pie pans. Let the rolls rest in the pans for about 15 minutes then place the pans into your preheated oven for 20-22 minutes. While the rolls are baking, make your glaze.

In a small bowl mix together your powdered sugar, fresh orange juice and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Set aside until the rolls are finished.

When rolls are done, allow them to rest for about ten minutes before dousing them with your glaze. Eat and enjoy!!

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