Raspberry Swirl Rolls

My family's holiday traditions have evolved throughout the years. While some traditions stay true, others have gone through revisions. Locations have changed and the guest list adapts as we welcome new faces and say goodbye to those we have loved the longest. While some changes may be bittersweet, we know the importance of gathering together to share and show our love, whether catching up over good food and conversation or stopping on each other's doorsteps for a brief hello.  

For the last few years, my family has spent Christmas close to home. On Christmas Eve, we open presents near the fireplace, as A Christmas Story plays quietly in the background. In the spirit of new holiday traditions, I wake up early on Christmas Day to bake something warm from the oven to create a new set of sweet memories. Since I fly home across state lines near Christmas Eve, I look for recipes to bake that are simple and easy to accomplish—there is no time to spend hours in the kitchen. 

This year I have partnered with Dole Sunshine to #SharetheSunshine by bringing you a holiday recipe that meets these criteria. These Raspberry Swirl Rolls give a fruity twist to the classic cinnamon roll. While a yeast dough may not appear simple at first glance, it is during a closer look. Since the dough spends the majority of time rising and baking without needing attention, there is only a half hour of active time in the preparation. Even better, the recipe can be prepped the evening before and tossed into the oven the next morning for a warm breakfast without creating a messy kitchen.

In the winter, frozen fruit can provide a superior quality in both flavor and consistency when compared to fresh fruits that are out of season or shipped in from another country. Frozen raspberries are the key to making these rolls with less mess and a more vibrant flavor. The frozen raspberries keep their shape when mixed into the filling and when rolled into the dough and sliced, which keeps the counter tops clean.

In the oven, the raspberries transform into a bubbly, gooey filling, which is brightened by the addition of orange zest. A white chocolate spread on the rolls hot from the oven makes these worthy of a second helping. 

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To begin your weekend or holiday morning with warm rolls, the rolls can be assembled the night before and baked the next morning. The evening before, prepare the dough and place the sliced dough in the 9 x 13-inch pan. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven and set out the dough to warm and rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes, and bake the rolls as indicated. 

Alternatively, the rolls can be baked the evening before, covered with aluminum foil, and reheated in a 350 degree F oven until heated through. 

May your holiday mornings be filled with flavor, family, & cheer. Happy Holidays, dear friends.

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Raspberry Swirl Rolls with White Chocolate Glaze make for a dreamy addition to your holiday brunch menu. The tartness of the raspberries is complemented by the sweetness of the white chocolate glaze and the hint of orange zest in the filling. The rolls have a soft, but chewy texture enhanced by the gooey fruit filling. Serve warm from the oven and share with dear family and friends.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Cream Pie
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Four Years Ago:  Sugar Cookies 
Five Years Ago: Candy Cane Cupcakes & Chocolate (Dairy-Free!) Ice Cream
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Clementine Cupcakes & Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Seven Years Ago: Gingerbread Cheesecake & Peppermint Ice Cream

Raspberry Swirl Rolls with White Chocolate Glaze

Yields 12 rolls

Dough
1 cup (240 mL) lukewarm milk (about 100 degrees F/38 degrees C)
1/4 cup (56 grams) butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour

Raspberry Filling
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
10 ounces (283 grams) Dole Frozen Raspberries

White Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces (130 grams) white chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the dough, place lukewarm milk, melted butter, yeast, egg, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk until combined. Add flour and stir until the mixture begins to form a dough. On a lightly floured surface, place the dough and knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes. Alternatively, place the dough into a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead on low for 5-8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Form into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm environment until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 x 15-inch rectangle.

For the filling, mix together the sugar and orange zest until fragrant. Mix in the cornstarch. Gently stir in the frozen raspberries. Working quickly to prevent the raspberries from thawing, sprinkle raspberry mixture uniformly on the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Starting lengthwise, roll the dough into a log shape. Trim off the ends and slice the roll into 12 evenly sized pieces. Place rolls into a parchment-lined 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 

Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned (internal temperature of 190 degrees F/87 degrees C). 

While the rolls are baking, stir together the melted white chocolate, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth. Spread baked rolls with glaze using an off-set spatula while still hot. Serve warm.


This post is sponsored through a partnership with Dole Sunshine. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am incredibly excited to be working with Dole Sunshine because of the excellent quality of their frozen & preserved fruits. Thank you for supporting Pastry Affair & my wonderful sponsors!

Honey Cookies

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This honey cookie recipe has been passed down through four generations in my family. Shared between mother and daughter, grandmother and granddaughter, and cousin to cousin, this recipe is weaved throughout our family history. The honey cookies are guests at our holiday celebrations, making their appearance when family is gathered.

Growing up, the honey cookies were served out of large vintage yellow Tupperware container, brought in from the cold garage after the evening meal. By this time, the dessert table was already full, arranged with candies and cookies of all flavors and textures on brightly colored holiday plates. Since the honey cookies were a late arrival to the party (we would have certainly spoiled our appetites if they arrived sooner), they were placed on a nearby dining room chair. It didn't matter that the cookies were cold, or that they were not presented just so—everyone knew they were the genuine star of the holiday table.

Memories of holidays past bring up images of family laughing around the table, cousins sneaking extra cookies in pockets and up sleeves, and my grandfather reminding everyone, again, how much he loved these cookies.

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These honey cookies are a modest spiced cookie, no flashy sprinkles or bright colors, but it is their simplicity that makes them beautiful. The recipe for these honey cookies is traditionally of German heritage, prepared over the stove instead of in a mixer. The sugars are brought to a boil before the mixture is combined with butter, eggs, and sour cream. Once the flour is stirred in, the soft dough is chilled in the refrigerator to stiffen. The baked cookies have a unique texture—soft, yet substantial.

These honey cookies hold so much nostalgia for me. The smell brings out the savory and sweet scents of Christmas Eve dinner. The sight carries images of my late grandfather telling everyone another story, cookie in hand. The taste—well, the taste is of home.

May these cookies bring you and yours as many memories as they have given me.

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These soft Honey Cookies embrace the comforting flavors of the holiday—cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and anise. The spices come together beautifully and the addition of sour cream make these cookies soft to the touch and to the taste. An anise glaze may be added for a touch more flavor and a hint more sweetness. The cookies bake up smooth, which is perfect for decorating if you choose to do so. Share these cookies with family and friends during your holiday celebrations—perhaps you'll start a new tradition. 

One Year Ago: Chocolate Cream Pie
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Four Years Ago:  Sugar Cookies 
Five Years Ago: Red Wine Chocolate Truffles & Gingerbread Cookies
Six Years Ago: Candy Cane Popcorn
Seven Years Ago: Chocolate Truffles

Honey Cookies

Yields approximately 4 dozen cookies

1 cup (340 grams) honey
1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon anise extract*
1/4 cup (57 grams) butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) strong black coffee
2 large eggs, whisked
1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 cups (600 grams) all-purpose flour

In a large saucepan, bring the honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and anise extract to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the butter and coffee. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before adding the eggs, sour cream, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir well. Gradually mix in the flour to form a soft dough. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, until the dough stiffens considerably.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a heavily floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 2-inch round cookies (or other shapes), re-rolling dough as needed. If you don't have a round cookie cutter, a water glass will also do the trick. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned and puffed. Cool completely before glazing.

Anise Glaze** 
1 cup (227 grams) powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon anise extract
2 teaspoons heavy cream, plus extra if needed

In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, anise extract, and heavy cream. If glaze is too thick, add more cream 1 teaspoon at a time until glaze is spreadable. Spread glaze onto cookies with an offset spatula and allow cookies to rest until glaze to set before serving or storing.

* 3/4 teaspoon anise seed can be substituted for the anise extract.

**In the photographs shown above, I decorated the cookies with a royal icing flavored with anise extract, but honey cookies are traditionally spread with or dipped into the anise glaze.

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

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Time is fleeting during these December days. The calendar continually grows fuller, as events and errands are penciled in for the evenings and weekends. With shopping to do and friends to meet, the holiday season is passing by too quickly. After realizing earlier this week that there are only two weekends before Christmas, I panicked. How would I be able to fit in everything without being overwhelmed? I stepped back for a minute, took a deep breath, and scheduled in time for myself.

Time is one of the most precious gifts we have to share—with ourselves and others. As an introvert, I enjoy keeping my free time to myself, but I often remind myself the value of sharing time with the people I care about the most. Phone calls and coffee dates often carry more meaning than we anticipate. I'm holding onto those important moments this season.

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One of my personal holiday traditions is baking and decorating holiday cookies. Each year I look forward to putting on a cheesy holiday movie marathon and spending time in the kitchen doing something I love. Though decorating may grow old after several long hours, the joy of being able to share the results is enough to keep me going. Even though I blocked out time for myself next weekend, I started the holiday baking early with these Peppermint Chocolate Cookies.

Buried in a pile of recipe drafts, I found a loved, but forgotten recipe for double chocolate chip cookies. I dressed up the cookies with a chocolate glaze and crushed candy canes. To suit your tastes, feel free to leave the chocolate chips out of the batter for less intense chocolate flavor, or add a hint of peppermint extract to the batter to boost the candy cane flavor. Either way, it's difficult to go wrong with this recipe.

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Peppermint Chocolate Cookies are a seasonal delight. Double chocolate cookies are half-dipped into a rich chocolate glaze. Before the cookies set, they are sprinkled with crushed candy canes and crunchy chocolate sprinkles. For extra peppermint flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the cookie batter. These cookies are perfect for cookie exchanges, holiday gatherings, or dipped into a tall glass of cold milk.

One Year Ago: Poached Pear Gingerbread Loaf & Cinnamon Star Bread
Two Years Ago: Swedish Tea Ring 
Three Years Ago: Almond Espresso Cookies 
Four Years Ago:  Cranberry Upside Down Cake & Peppermint Marshmallows
Five Years Ago: Persimmon Cake, Lemon Cranberry Scones, Chocolate Pomegranate Tart, & Almond Cardamom Rolls
Six Years Ago: Pumpkin Granola Bars, Banana Cocoa Smoothie, Honey Cookies, & Peppermint Pinwheels
Seven Years Ago: Blueberry Brownies, White Chocolate Truffles, Pear Chips, & Candy-Striped Meringues

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Yields 2 dozen cookies

Chocolate Cookies
1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup (170 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
6 ounces (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips, optional

Chocolate Glaze
6 ounces (170 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup ( mL) heavy cream
Candy canes, crushed
Chocolate crunch sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating until smooth. Gradually add the baking soda, salt, flour, and cocoa powder, mixing until uniform. Stir in the chocolate chips, if desired.

Drop dough by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set. Allow the cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the chocolate glaze, bring the heavy cream to a near boil in a small saucepan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate, allowing the chocolate to melt for 5 minutes before stirring until smooth and uniform. Set aside. 

To decorate cookies, dip half of the cookies into the chocolate glaze. Sprinkle crushed candy canes and chocolate crunch sprinkles over the chocolate. Allow cookies to rest until set before eating.