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« Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies | Main | Vanilla Pear Muffins »

Chocolate Filled Buns

Chocolate Filled Buns

Today I spent a good long while searching for a particular book on clay sculpting. It was in my closet (which could very well be compared to a black hole. Once something goes in, it never comes out). I have several boxes in my closet marked "Random Keepsakes," which had been packed away long before I set off for college. I had an inkling what I was searching for would be in there, somewhere, even though I had little idea what any of the boxes held. There was nothing I could do but dig in and see where it would take me.

Opening boxes from the past is like opening a can of worms. The good, the bad, the ugly, the silly embarrassing moments I'd forgotten about were all staring me in the face. This is me, summed up through years of diaries, rock collections, and the random objects I thought important enough to save. Like it or not (embarrassed or not), the only choice I had was to embrace it.

Chocolate Filled Buns

Among my findings was a small notebook where every page, every line, was filled with tiny little scribbles—proof of my desperate desire to prove to my mother that I could write in cursive despite the fact that I could barely print my own name. A photography album was filled with my first roll of film in which I managed to cut off the head of every single person in the album. I like to think of it as a highly artistic concept for a seven year old instead of the fact that I couldn't aim if my life depended on it. I also kept a diary for two whole days, which displays the drama and angst of my 10 year old self quite well. In fact, it's too good not to share with you.

The first page says "Goal: to write every day" (obviously I was not so good at following through on that one).

April 3rd, 2000
Dear Diary,
Today I lost my shoe. Mom yelled a LOT. Still not found. My favorite shoe with the black yellow stripes. Social studies test tomorrow. Tonight had to go to a self-defense course. Boring!

April 4th, 2000
Dear Diary,
Today I search for my shoe and I still can't find it. Test went well. Kickball was horrible. Only me and Amanda and the rest were boys. Ugh! I played outside for hours. Still aren't use to daylight savings time.

While some questions remain unanswered (how did I lose that shoe when it was supposed to be on my foot? Did I honestly not notice?), the truth tends to remain. At 10 years old I still thought boys had cooties, I was up in arms about what my favorite shoe actually looked like, and maybe (even still) it does take me a few days to adjust to daylight savings.

Digging into the past has always been an interesting event for me, even if what I find is humiliating or uncomfortable. It always strikes a strong nostalgic chord, showing me a little bit of who I am as well as how far I've come. And thank goodness I've come a long, long ways.

Chocolate Filled Buns

These Chocolate Filled Buns are sweet and rich. I took the basic bread recipe from my Honey Rolls, sweetened up the dough with a bit of sugar and orange zest, and added one of my vices—chocolate. The buns look savory until you take a bite. Your taste buds will instead be greeted with subtle orange flavors and rich, melted chocolate (and who wouldn't like that surprise?). These are quite simple to make for a yeasted dough and the well worth the effort.

Chocolate Filled Buns

Yields 12 rolls

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup barely warm milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted + 1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon orange zest
4-6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons melted butter, sugar, salt, egg, and orange zest. Stir until blended and fragrant. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together. It will be sticky! On a lightly floured surface knead the dough until soft and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. Do not add too much flour! The dough will become more workable the longer you knead. Or, if you have a standing mixer, knead the dough with the dough attachment for 5-7 minutes, or until elastic.

Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Make an indent in each ball and place 1 tablespoon chocolate chips (or more or less to taste). Cover the chocolate with the dough and roll to seal all seams. Place rolls a on baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter over the rolls. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature (though I prefer them warm so I stick them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds).

Reader Comments (16)

Gorgeous- delicious! :)
Orange and chocolate..perhaps a cream cheese drizzle? What's not to love. I think I'll make these for the staff at my kids school for teacher appreciation week.
05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGwenevere
Those look so so good.

Now I need to invite someone over for brunch so I have an excuse to make them!
05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
These look amazing! They'd go great with a lemon glaze :-D
05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlly Lynn
These look amazing!! Do you have twitter? I'd like to follow you! Let me know, thanks!
05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
omg! these buns look so chocolatey...i can't wait to make them!
05.3.2011 | Unregistered Commentercakewhiz
That sounds wonderful!!
05.3.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbwak
They look so light and airy. Chocolaty delicious.
05.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTriple Scoop
You accidentally stumbled upon a recipe that's as close to my grandmother's bun recipe that I've ever seen - orange zest and all.
05.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan
These were really easy and, dare I say, actually kind of fun to make! The orange zest adds the perfect hint of orange aroma to the chocolate. I have a sweet tooth, so I would have preferred either a little more sugar in the dough, or a light glaze after baking. However they are really good regardless!
05.22.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
Thank you for this delicious recipe!!! I made these tonight and I was very pleased by how they turned out. However, I think the dough could have been a bit sweeter. Perhaps I could add more sugar? Or maybe honey? Has anyone tried other ways to sweeten the dough? If so please let me know!!! Thank you!
03.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterexpirimentalbaker
they turned out brilliant!thank you for a great recipe! my family loved it!
04.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenternatalie k
This is very similar to an Austrian pastry called Buchteln, which are delicious. I have an Austrian cook book which was translated poorly into English, so I'll definitely be referring to your recipe next time I have a craving for Buchteln. (As a variation, try stuffing the rolls with your favorite jam.)
06.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine
Just made these, so yum. I didn't have any orange zest so I went another way and added some dashes of cloves to the dough and mixed cinnamon in with the melted butter you brush on top. Thanks for the recipe!
10.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynnette
These were great! I made them today for a meeting, only a bit smaller so I got 15 of them. Everybody loved them! I was the sensation! You could really feel the orange, the chocolate melted deliciously and the bread itself was spongy; it crumbled and mixed with the chocolate. Amazing, thank you!
01.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCristina
The chocolate filling looks like a sweet promise of deliciousness, well hidden inside a plain-looking roll. Can't wait to try this recipe myself, and I'm really glad i stumbled across it today. Also, your thoughts about digging out objects and memories from the past very much resonated with me. I have very similar feelings when I search the cupboards and drawers in my old room, and can't help feeling pangs of nostalgia for a time that no longer is, while blushing at the embarrassing things I used to write in my teenage journals!
07.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIris

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