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 accomplishβ€”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!

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Spring is a time of transition. The long daylight hours and warmth of the sun bring promise of summer, but the chill of the mornings are still reminiscent of winter. The bare branches are beginning, ever so slowly, to gain color. In my personal life, it is also a time of transition. After an exhausting search for a house involving multiple offers and multiple disappointments, an offer was accepted on my dream house. I am still nervous, fearful that somehow even now it will all be too good to be true. There are still compromises, as I knew there would be (mainly being in proximity to a busy, noisy road), but the rest is more beautiful than I dared to imagine.

As the reality of a huge purchase is settling in, I am trying to shake off the anxious energy building within me. The closing date is two months away, so I'm spending my time designing the new space instead of worrying about the decision. The move from an apartment to a home will be an enormous shift in a dozen different ways, but I couldn't be more excited about the change.

Over the last couple months, the overwhelming stress of the house search made it difficult to take proper care of everything else. Dishes sat on the counter, clothes piled up on the floor, and other responsibilities were set aside as all free time was devoted to looking at houses. Making meals in large quantities was one choice that helped ease the stress. One of the best breakfast decisions was making a large batch of baked oatmeal on the weekends.

During the spring months, when the weather is still unpredictable, I find that a big bowl of hot cereal satisfies the hunger as well as the soul. Oatmeal has a warmth and heartiness that starts a day off right. With this baked version, I used frozen blueberries for convenience. The oatmeal comes together quickly and leftovers can be easily reheated to enjoy during the rest of the week.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast that is enjoyed hot from the oven. Cinnamon spiced oats are layered with sliced bananas, toasted almonds, and blueberries. The oats are lightly sweetened with maple syrup; additional syrup can be added to each serving to find the ideal level of sweetness. The baked oatmeal reheats well, which makes it ideal for a quick breakfast on weekday mornings.

One Year Ago: Bananas Foster Sauce 
Two Years Ago: Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes 
Three Years Ago: Orange Coconut Pull-Apart Bread & Coconut Macaroons
Four Years Ago:  Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Coconut Whipped Cream, Chocolate Ginger Biscotti, & Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Caramel Crispy Bars, Tropical Banana Bread, Strawberry Balsamic Jam, & Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars
Six Years Ago: Banana Pudding, Devil's Food Cake, Flourless PB Cookies, & Orange Scones

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day

Yields 4-6 servings

2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (70 grams) almonds, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (500 mL) whole milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup (65 mL) pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 to 1 1/2 cups (175-225 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, half of the almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the prepared pan, place banana slices in a single layer. Sprinkle on 2/3 of the blueberries and cover with the oat mixture. Pour milk mixture over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 blueberries and remaining almonds.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown and oats are set. Serve with a splash of milk and a drizzle of maple syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.  

    Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast

    The pace of life has been speeding up over the last few weeksβ€”foot on the accelerator, engine revving, scenery blurred. As the intensity increases, the rare, fleeting moments of quiet are gone, replaced with packed weekends and busier weeknights. For now, I need to keep my eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, preserving whatever control I can over this runaway ride.

    I'll be back soon, with stories and sweets. I promise.

    I wish I could tell you that I served this Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast on a warm Sunday morning for friends and family, but real life is not always so picturesque. The reality is that I ate this dish for dinner while sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, digging into the pan with a single spoon. Though the moment was a brief pause between running from here to there, it was delicious. I wished I had someone to share it with, just so we could ooh and ahh over the dish together.

    Make this to shareβ€”decadence is enjoyed best with a friend.

    Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast is a sweet addition to your brunch menu. Bananas are pureed into the milk and soaked up by the bread. The bread is drizzled with chocolate hazelnut spread in the middle and over the top to add sweetness and a rich chocolate flavor to each bite. There's no need to add maple syrup as the dish is served best plain and hot from the oven. The French toast can be made the evening before or the morning of serving. 

    One Year Ago: PB Chocolate Chunk Cookies (GF), Perfect Pie Crust, & Berry Balsamic Pie
    Two Years Ago: Chocolate Blackberry Cupcakes & Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles
    Three Years Ago: Strawberry Charlotte, Fresh Strawberry Cake, Whole Wheat Almond Waffles, Sparkling Pineapple Rum Cocktail, Nutella Swirled Banana Bread, & Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
    Four Years Ago: Honey Cake, Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, Chocolate Salted Almond Ice Cream, Rhubarb Ginger Muffins, Coconut Waffles, Mocha Granola, & Multigrain Bread
    Five Years Ago: Cornmeal Parmesan Crackers, Pina Colada Cupcakes, Strawberry Smoothie, & Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

    Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast
    Inspired by Top with Cinnamon

    Yields 6 to 8 servings

    3 ripe, medium bananas, divided
    1/3 cup (70 grams) brown sugar, packed
    6 large eggs
    2 cups (475 mL) milk of choice
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 loaf stale French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8-10 cups)
    1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (185 grams) chocolate hazelnut spread, warmed gently until liquid in consistency
    2 tablespoons demerara sugar (or brown sugar)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

    In a blender, blend together two bananas, brown sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

    In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, place 1/2 of the cubed bread and drizzle 1/2 of the chocolate hazelnut spread over the top. Layer the remaining bread and drizzle the remaining chocolate hazelnut spread. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the bread, making sure each piece is coated.* Slice the remaining banana and place slices on the top. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.

    Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, or until lightly browned and souffle-like in appearance. Serve immediately.

    * For overnight baked French toast, wrap the pan tightly and refrigerate until the next morning. Add sliced banana and demerara sugar just before baking.