Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
Published 3:30 pm Thursday, August 4, 2022
BY SARAH CONDLEY
This year God has blessed us with an overabundance of blueberries, and I’ve spent a little time looking on the internet for different things to do with them. I ran across this recipe for Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls on the Ahead of Thyme website.
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After looking at the recipe online, it seemed pretty easy to prepare even though it had lots of steps. I also liked that it would fit in an 8x 8-inch pan instead of a 9 x 13-inch one meant less was more.
The berries were picked and rinsed and were sitting in the refrigerator, waiting for me to make something delicious with them.
I retrieved a large mixing bowl from the cabinet and poured the flour into it along with the salt and sugar. The recipe said to use instant yeast, and I wasn’t sure I had any of that. I looked in the refrigerator and found active dry yeast and bread machine yeast.
After saying shoot a couple of times, I went to the computer to see if I could find a substitution for the instant yeast. Lo and behold, bread machine yeast is instant yeast – yeah! I put the instant bread yeast in with the other dry ingredients and whisked them together. I’d let the butter soften to room temperature, but I hadn’t let the milk sit out to come to room temperature, so I just microwaved it for a few seconds until it wasn’t cold, and then poured it into the bowl on top of the flour mixture alongside the butter and egg.
I stirred the mixture together until there was no remaining flour on the sides of the bowl. I scooped the dough onto a lightly floured counter surface and kneaded it for five minutes until it became soft and smooth. Watching the dough become smooth as I kneaded it was kind of neat.
It went back into the bowl, and I poured a little bit of Canola oil into my hands and rubbed the dough ball with it. I covered the bowl and placed it in a warm place to rise.
While the dough rose, I let the cream cheese and a little more butter come to room temperature by sitting out on the counter. After an hour, the dough had doubled in size and had an excellent yeast smell. I put the dough on the lightly floured counter top and rolled it out to about 20 x 12 inches. I spread the softened butter on the dough with my fingers (like I’ve seen on the Cooking Channel) and then sprinkled on the cinnamon/sugar mixture. After that, I sprinkled on those freshly picked blueberries; I’ll admit I used a few more berries than the recipe called for (but not too many). I gently but tightly rolled the dough and sealed the ends. I used a knife to cut the rolled dough into nine pieces, placed them in a greased 8 x 8 dish, and covered the pan with cling wrap.
Back into a warm spot, the cinnamon rolls rose for the second time.
I got busy doing other stuff (preparing supper) and let the cinnamon rolls rise for about an hour and a half, which didn’t seem too long.
Before we sat for supper, I put the blueberry cinnamon rolls into the oven and set the timer.
When the timer sounded, I was cleaning up our supper dishes, so I just took the baking dish out of the oven and set it on a cooling rack. I finished up the dishes and got busy making the cream cheese icing. It took just a couple of minutes to put it together; now, it was taste test time.
It looked like there was a huge amount of icing compared to the number of blueberry cinnamon rolls we had, and since Brad isn’t a huge sweet eater, I just poured about half of it over the warm rolls. I decided we could pour it on each roll if we wanted more icing. I handed Brad a plate with a blueberry cinnamon roll on it, and he took a bite before I could get mine; and he let me know how good these were. I agree wholeheartedly, these blueberry cinnamon rolls are delicious! I wanted to eat another right then and there but showed some control and didn’t. I did end up pouring extra icing over my roll, which was not too much, so I poured the last of the icing on the remaining cinnamon rolls in the pan.
The following day I decided to try a cinnamon roll at room temperature; it was just as good as they were warm and fresh out of the oven the night before. I could not decide if I preferred them heated or at room temperature because they were so good. I did end up putting some of the blueberry cinnamon rolls in the freezer so I could share them with our kids. Not that I wanted to share, I didn’t think I should eat the rest of them basically by myself.
Our blueberry season is ending due to the lack of rain and the extreme temperatures we’ve been having. I’m so glad I have blueberries in the freezer to make this “Nailed It” recipe again before too long.
For the Dough
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
• 1 egg
For the Blueberry Cinnamon Filling
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 1 cup fresh blueberries
For Cream Cheese Icing
• 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
• 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Prepare the Dough
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, salt and sugar until evenly combined.
• Add milk, butter and egg. Stir well with a spatula until no dry flour is visible. Make sure to scrape off any remaining flour on the sides of the bowl.
• Transfer the dough mixture onto a clean and dry surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it turns into a soft and smooth dough ball. Because of the high fat content (butter and milk) in this recipe, the dough is much easier to knead by hand and does not require a stand mixer.
• Transfer the dough back into the mixing bowl, lightly grease the dough ball with a little bit of oil and cover with a lid. Let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Covering the dough with oil will help prevent the dough from losing moisture and drying out.
Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls
• Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a rectangle approximately 20 x 12 inches in size.
• Gently spread softened butter evenly over the surface of the rolled-out dough.
• In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the buttered dough, and add blueberries evenly over top.
• Roll up the dough tightly into a log and pinch the edges on the end to seal.
• Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the log into 9 even, about 2 inches wide each, pieces. Arrange the rolls cut side up into a greased 8-inch square pan.
• Cover the pan with plastic clink wrap or enclose it completely in a large sealed Ziplock bag. Let it rise for 45 minutes or until the rolls almost double in size.
• Make ahead tip: Optionally, you can let the rolls rise slowly in the sealed Ziploc bag in the refrigerator overnight and bake it the next day in a preheated oven for fresh cinnamon rolls in the morning.
Bake the Cinnamon Rolls
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and let it cool for 10 minutes
Make the Cream Cheese Topping
• Combine cream cheese, milk, honey and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and mix well with a handheld mixer (or with a whisk) until the mixture becomes smooth.
• Drizzle the cream cheese icing over cinnamon rolls and serve.