Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, August 4, 2022

BY SARAH CONDLEY

Columnist

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.

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.

Recipe

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.