Cinnamon Rolls with Roasted Berries
This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes. For being yeast rolls, its relatively quick and easy. This is also a GREAT way to use up those berries that may be just past perfection. Warm out of the oven, dripping with sweet glaze - wow, just wow. The roll on its own is not very sweet, having only 3 tablespoons of sugar, the berries are a little tart, and the glaze is nice and sweet - a great combination.
Are berries good for me?
Strawberries - their little heart shape should give you a clue! They can increase your good cholesterol (HDL) and lower your blood pressure. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity.
Raspberries - are very high in Vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent stroke and heart disease. Raspberries contain far less sugar than most fruits, only 5 grams in an entire cup.
Blackberries - of the three, blackberries may be the best for you! Not only are they high in antioxidants, vitamins (including most of the B vitamins), and minerals they are thought to fight cancer and diabetes. They are high in insoluble fiber to aid in digestion, and they are anti-microbial and provide anti-inflammatory relief.
Oddly enough, strawberries and raspberries aren't berries at all. They are a member of the rose family!
How do I hull a strawberry?
This is one of my favorite kitchen hacks. Trim the top of of your strawberries, and grab a smoothie straw. These are a little wider and sturdier, but a regular straw will work just fine. The smoothie straws are easy to wash so you can get multiple uses if you're environmentally conscious. Just place the straw over the white part in the middle of the strawberry.
With a little firm pressure, simply push the straw through the strawberry and there you go - a perfectly hulled strawberry. Hmm. straw+berry= great kitchen hack.
We're all ready to go!
So now that the strawberries are washed, trimmed and hulled and the other berries are washed let's get started. First you'll need to roast the berries. Toss them in a little sugar and wait about 5 minutes for them to begin to macerate. Then line them up on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them in a 350 degree oven and and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until soft and the juices are running out.
Lift the paper by the edges and slide the berries and all the juice into a bowl and mash with a fork. You don't want them to liquid-y so leave them a little chunky. Fold in the remaining sugar, zest, instant clear jel (or cornstarch), and cinnamon until well combined.
While the berries are cooling, make the rolls. First, and very important, lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk your dry ingredients together until well combined. Heat the water, milk, and butter together until the butter is melted but not boiling. In the microwave this should take 30-45 seconds. Stir the hot wet ingredients (this will activate the yeast) into the flour mixture and combine as best you can. Add in the egg and then knead for about 3-4 minutes until smooth. You can do this by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. I prefer by hand - it makes me appreciate the end result a little more; and besides, it's fun.
After you're done kneading the dough should be soft and pliable. Form into a nice little ball and place into a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, roll it around a little bit to make sure all sides are covered. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
Once your dough has rested, place it on a large, lightly floured smooth surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little more flour and roll it out into a 15x9" rectangle. I start by patting the dough with my hands into a shape that's close to a rectangle and start rolling. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, roll it in a little flour.
Yes - that looks more like an oval. Rolling is not my strong suit. Spread the softened butter evenly onto the dough then add the fruit; spreading it evenly, leaving about an inch of dough on all sides. Roll up the dough tightly and cut into 9 large, even pieces. There are some great videos on YouTube on how to make beautiful, clean cuts using dental floss. I only had "mint flavored" floss and that's a mistake you only make once. I cut the tips off to make sure I have even, flat slices - but I don't throw them out; I bake them! They are my quality control pieces that I alone get to "sample". Place the rolls in a lightly greased cake pan leaving a little room in between each.
I'm going to put this in bold because i can't stress this enough. TURN THE OVEN OFF. Lightly cover the rolls with plastic wrap or foil and place in the oven. Wait about 20 minutes so the dough can rise.
Remove the covering, TURN THE OVEN BACK ON to 375 degrees and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and the rolls sound hollow if you tap them.
While the rolls are cooling just a little, make the glaze. Mix all the ingredients together until you get a fairly liquid consistency. My family likes a lot of glaze, so I usually make a double batch. The pictures shown here though only have the single recipe.
Let the rolls cool about 5-10 minutes and then pour the glaze over; it will run into all the nooks and crannies and make the rolls wonderfully gooey and sticky.
Cinnamon Rolls with Roasted Berries
- Baking Sheet
- 9" round cake pan
For the Rolls:
- 2 ¾ cups AP flour
- 3 Tbs sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 package instant yeast or 2 ¼ tsp
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
For the Filling:
- 1 Qt total fresh strawberries blackberries, and raspberries*
- ½ cup + 2Tbs sugar divided
- 4 teaspoon Instant Clear Jel pie thickener
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tbs milk
Roast the berries:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper, with a little of the paper hanging over the sides
- Wash the berries and trim and hull the strawberries (See kitchen hack above)
- In a medium bowl, toss the berries in the 2 Tbs sugar and leave for about 5 minutes
- Place the berries in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until soft and the juices have started to run out.
- Cool for about 10 minutes
- Lift the parchment paper by the excess and lift off the pan. Slide the berries and all the juice in the same medium bowl that you used before
- Mash with a fork to break up the berries into small chunks and blend well
- Fold in the remaining sugar, instant clear jel, zest, and cinnamon, until well combined
Make the rolls:
- While the berries are cooling, lower the oven temperature to 200℉
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside
- In a small microwaveable bowl, heat the water, milk, and butter together microwave until the butter is melted (about 30-45 seconds)
- Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture
- Add the egg and knead by hand, or in a stand mixer with a dough hook, for 3-4 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky
- Form dough into a nice ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and rest for about 5 minutes
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out in a 15x9” rectangle
- Spread the softened butter on the dough, then spread the fruit mixture on the dough leaving about an inch on all sides of the dough
- Roll up dough tightly and cut into 9 large, even pieces (cut off the tapered ends if you need to make nice even cuts)
- Turn oven OFF
- Place in a lightly greased 9’ cake or square pan (you can cut into 12 smaller rolls and place in a 9x13” pan) and lightly cover with foil or plastic wrap
- Let rolls rise in the oven for 20 minutes
- REMOVE THE WRAP, leaving the rolls in the rolls in the oven, turn the oven on to 375℉ and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden
- While the rolls are baking, combine the glaze ingredients and mix until smooth
Make the glaze:
- While the rolls are baking, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. If it’s a little too watery, add more sugar a little bit at the time. Conversely, if it’s too thick, add in a drop or two more of milk until you get the desired consistency
- Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes, then pour the glaze over the top and serve warm
- 2 Tbs cinnamon
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Raisins and/or nuts (optional)
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