Cranberry Sweet Rolls ()

I wish I could say you could whip these up in an afternoon, but they actually take a bit of planning. Making real brioche takes time, so start the dough two days ahead. It sounds annoying, but it will actually let you make these at a leisurely pace without having to pull everything together at the last minute. You’ve got enough of that last minute mania during the holidays anyway, so take advantage of the advance planning this recipe affords.

At any rate, you’ll find the payoff extraordinary.

Cranberry Sweet Roll

Cranberry Sweet Rolls

1/2 batch of Milk and Honey Brioche, ready for shaping
1 batch Cranberry Jam, stirred until spreadable
8 ounces of almonds, toasted and chopped
1 batch of white chocolate glaze, recipe below

Roll the brioche dough into a large rectangle, about 10” by 18” and spread with the cranberry jam. Sprinkle with almonds, then roll the dough up tightly along the longest side. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12, 1 ½” pieces.

Sweet rolls like to snuggle with each other for baking, if they have too much room between them, the will uncoil in the oven as they bake. So space them only a few inches apart in a lightly greased baking pan. I like to use a 9” x 13” brownie pan or 2, 8” round cake pans. You can use whatever pan sizes you have, just make sure they don’t have too much space. Cover with plastic.

Let them rise in a warm place until doubled in size. How long this takes depends on your kitchen temperature, but expect around an hour.

Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, or until they have grown even larger, puffed up, and turned golden brown. Remove them from the oven and immediately use a spatula to transfer them to a platter or cooling rack. I’ve found they remove from the pan much more easily while still warm.

Let them cool about 15 minutes before drizzling the glaze over the rolls. Really, wait 15 minutes. Those cranberry bits become extraordinarily hot in the oven!Simply drizzle the glaze on with a spoon, or use a pastry bag with a small round tip (or a zippy bag with a corner snipped off) if you’re into precision glazing.

Because I’m an enabler: if you want to recklessly consume them sooner than 15 minutes post-oven, serve the glaze in ramekins on the side. Otherwise, the hot-from-the-oven sweet rolls will liquefy the glaze.

Orange and White Chocolate Glaze

1 ounce unsalted butter
2 ounces whole milk
1 orange, zested
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped (none of that “white morsels” nonsense)
¼ tsp salt

Combine the butter, milk, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer to melt the butter. Add in the white chocolate and salt, whisking to combine. It may take a quite a while to melt the chips and get the mixture thoroughly homogeneous. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, before drizzling.

Store refrigerated if making ahead. Melt hard, refrigerated glaze by microwaving in short bursts. It will go from solid to liquid quicker than you think, so stop when it’s about 30% melted and then stir until the rest melts.


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Any questions?

Jul 30, 2012 ·  4:17 PM

I’m making these (or trying to today). I was wondering at what points you can stop in the process and then pick back up? For instance, if I’ve gotten my Brioche bread through the final 12 hour rest, can I leave it in that state for an extra day with no problem? Or if I do go ahead and fill with jam, can I put that (after it rises in the swirl shapes) back in the fridge to cook up another day? Or would it be better to cook it then refrigerate the leftovers then? I’m having trouble finding time to do all the steps at once and still get dinner/breakfast on the table at a decent time. If you can’t, it’s no big deal we’ll just eat late or I’ll get up extra early. Thanks!

 · Alexandria · 

Jul 30, 2012 ·  6:49 PM

@Alexandria, yeah, these rolls definitely require some serious scheduling! After the 12 hour rest, you can shape/fill the rolls and refrigerate them overnight. In the morning, let them sit at room temperature for about an hour, then bake. Hope that helps!


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