Here’s another early recipe with the holidays in mind – and the final post in this October-December series. I’ve had a blast making, photographing, and writing about chocolate and can’t wait to do it again next year.
This luscious breakfast item languished in my files forever and I felt daunted-over and over again-by how much work was involved. But with fond memories of baking bread weekly for 2 ½ years after I moved to Kansas City (several decades ago), and the urge to make a chocolate recipe that isn’t about dessert (Hello, New Year's Day Breakfast!), I gave it a shot earlier today.
Boy, was this recipe worth the effort! These rolls are surprisingly light in texture and chocolaty without being overpowering. The glaze doesn’t overpower the finished rolls, either. I fell right back into kneading the dough as I had in the 1980s and this dough responded well to my touch.
Perhaps my only complaint with prep was when the buttered foil tried to skitter across the counter as I rolled out the risen dough. I had to anchor each end, to get the job done. One other thought. Because I generally prefer to use bittersweet chocolate chips and could only find semisweet minis, I might chop and use regular chips for a deeper flavor, next time.
Wishing all of you a wonderful (remaining) holiday season and the very best for 2022!
GRAM’S CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS
Makes 10 rolls
1 package active dry yeast
½ stick butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups regular flour (or 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour)
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons softened butter
¾ cup miniature chocolate chips
2 heaping tablespoons crumbled brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon (because our family loves cinnamon I used more)
2 tablespoons soft butter
½ cup powdered sugar
Cream or whole milk
1. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Stir the yeast into ¾ cup warm water and set aside.
2. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat together butter, cocoa powder, sugar, egg, salt and 1 cup of flour. Stir in the yeast mixture and continue beating 2 minutes at medium speed.
3. Remove the beaters and mix in 1 ¼ cups more flour with a wooden spoon or your hands. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Return to bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
4. Punch the air out of the dough and place on buttered foil. Roll into a 12x9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over the dough, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, chocolate chips and nuts.
5. Roll up lengthwise. Cut into 10 equal slices and arrange, cut side down and sides touching, in prepared pan. Again, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes until doubled in size again. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6. Bake rolls for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and spread tops with 2 tablespoons soft butter. Combine powdered sugar and enough cream or milk to make a glaze; spread over the rolls. Serve warm.
Adapted from Celebrations, A Menu Cookbook for Informal Entertaining, by Diana and Paul von Welanetz
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I love crafting stories about fantastic food & beverages, must-visit destinations & eco-friendly topics. I wrote a 350+ page book about Kansas. And I've worked with dozens of additional clients - from Fodors.com & AAA magazines to USA Today 10Best & WanderWithWonder.
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