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Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls

Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

These soft, tender sweet rolls are filled with a luscious combination of tart cranberries, rich dark chocolate, and a bit of sugar. They make a decadent breakfast or sweet dessert, perfect for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients

Scale

Filling

Instructions

  1. Warm 2 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) milk in the microwave for about 10 seconds, just until lukewarm. Place in a large bowl along with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and stir together to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle over the yeast and stir in with a wooden spoon. Let sit for about 15-20 minutes, until foamy. Meanwhile, microwave the butter and milk in a microwave-safe bowl for 40 seconds and stir together until the butter melts completely into the milk (microwave a bit longer if needed). Allow to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Add the cooled butter/milk mixture to the yeast mixture along with the egg. Mix together with a wooden spoon, breaking up the egg in the process. Add 4 cups of bread flour, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt and fold in as best as possible until you have a shaggy dough mixture. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding up to another 1/4 cup of flour as/if needed, until you have a very soft dough that doesn’t stick to your hands or the kneading surface. Shape the dough into a ball with a smooth top and place in a greased bowl about twice its size. Turn it over once to coat the top of the dough with oil and cover with greased plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hr 30-45 minutes.
  3. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray. Place the risen dough on a floured surface* and roll it out to a 12″ x 16″ rectangle. In a food processor, pulse together the cranberries and sugar until the cranberries are chopped and the two are evenly combined. Brush milk over the dough and spread the cranberry mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate in an even layer over the cranberry. Starting with one of the 16″ sides, roll the dough up as tightly as possible, making a seam at the end and rolling the dough over the seam so that it’s at the bottom. Slice the log of dough into 12 equal pieces, and place each in one of the greased muffin cups. Some bits of cranberry and juice will come out of the rolls during this process, so scoop up whatever leftovers you can and sprinkle them over the tops of the rolls. Cover the rolls with greased plastic wrap and let them rise again until very puffy. The biggest rolls should be starting to expand over the top of the tin when they’ve risen enough.
  4. Once the rolls are about ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or just until the rolls around the edges of the muffin tin are starting to turn a little golden. A toothpick inserted into a portion of roll between the filling should come out free of dough. Enjoy the rolls warm, or allow them to cool briefly before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat individual rolls in the microwave for 25 seconds.

Notes

*Since it gets a little messy adding the cranberry filling to the dough, make sure that you’re working with a surface that won’t get stained.