Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Morning Orange Rolls

Last year for Christmas morning, I made my first batch of overnight cinnamon rolls.  Super duper good, by the way, and one recipe that I get frequent comments about from people who have had good success with it.  After making several batches this month for various events, though, I was looking for something different for the big morning.  I loved the idea of making them the night before and expending basically no prep effort in the morning - what could be better than simply pulling a pan of formed rolls out of the fridge when the kids get up, and popping them into the oven a bit later to have them come out warm and wonderful just when everyone is starting to get hungry?

So, I totally winged a dough creation last night with an orange twist to it, and made up a decadent gooey cream cheese glaze.  Messy.  Sticky.  But darn delicious.  These are loosely based on an orange bowknot recipe that I have made in the past from Better Homes and Gardens, as well as the overnight cinnamon roll dough recipe.  But really, I didn't consult either recipe - I just kinda dumped stuff in the bowl like I have a tendency of doing.

Christmas Morning Orange Rolls

1/2 cup warm water
2 t. active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 t. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 t. nutmeg
zest of one orange
5-6 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
juice of one orange

In a large bowl, stir the yeast and sugar into the water and let rest for a few minutes while you heat up the buttermilk and butter either on the stovetop or in the microwave until the butter is melted and the milk is 105-110 degrees F.  Pour the butter/buttermilk mixture into the yeast mixture along with the egg, orange zest, salt and nutmeg and stir to combine.  Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until a shaggy dough begins to form.  Add a bit more flour and knead by hand, adding flour as necessary, until the dough forms a ball that is smooth and elastic.  (You may certainly do this by machine, but I don't have a mixer, and therefore figure out how much flour to add entirely by the feel of the dough.)

Lightly oil a large bowl, plop the dough ball into it and turn it over to coat.  Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 18 equal pieces.  Roll each piece out into a 7-8" long "snake" and tie a simple knot, tucking the ends in.  Place on a cookie sheet misted with cooking spray, spaced out 2 inches between each roll.

Lightly mist the tops of the rolls with cooking spray and cover with saran wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove the trays of rolls from the fridge about one hour before you want to eat them.  Allow them to rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by microwaving the butter and cream cheese for 30 second intervals until soft enought to stir together easily.  Squeeze the orange juice in, and whisk in the powdered sugar until a smooth consistency is achieved.  Immediately after removing the rolls from the oven, drizzle glaze generously over the tops. 

This glaze will not set up as much as a normal powdered sugar glaze, so be prepared for messy fingers, but the cream cheese adds a decadent dimension that makes the mess worth it :).


Patti said...

My diet is in SO much trouble!

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