I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for participating in last week’s giveaway. I’ve been thinking about it all week and I would’ve done it sooner but I’ve been terribly busy working on a special project (for you) and it has taken a lot of my time at the moment. Thank you for putting up with my once-a-week posting as I wrap this up. As soon as I’m able to talk about it, which is very soon, y’all will be the first to know. Anyhow, the giveaway was a huge success. I loved reading all of your comments. My mom especially loved reading all of your comments. Some of you even made her cry. In a good way, of course. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your stories and memories. It really meant a lot to me. We ended up picking five winners instead of three, and they were all notified via email. Your magazines are on their way! I’m sorry if you didn’t win this time around, but there will be another giveaway very soon. I hope you’ll come back to participate because you help me keep this site going and I really want you to win as much free stuff as possible. Your feedback, comments, emails, shares, and making the recipes are why I continue to do this. So thank you for following along.
As a thank you, I’ve made these cinnamon rolls just for you. They’re dedicated/inspired/in honor of my friend Joy who has an infinite love of all things brown butter, chocolate, and pistachios. If you’re in search of something sweet and you’re craving chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon rolls, but you don’t know which to pick, I’ve got the best news for you. You don’t have to pick one or the other; go ahead have both. It’s like if cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies got together and had a baby, but so much better because brown butter and pistachios were invited to the party. The dough is studded with bits of chopped dark chocolate, so you get pieces of melted chocolate in the dough itself. Then it’s rolled out and brushed with lots of brown butter and sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, more chopped chocolate (the madness), and pistachios. They’re rolled, cut, baked and because we’re living on the wild side, they’re drenched in a brown butter glaze. They taste just like chocolate chip cookies, it’s insane. Have I convinced you to try them yet?
Let’s start by proofing the yeast. It’s sleeping in those tiny packets. We need to wake it up and feed it some food. In a small bowl, combine warm milk, sugar and the yeast.
**Note: The milk should be warm enough where you can place a finger in and not feel super hot, about 110ºF if you have a thermometer.**
Let rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes, until foamy. If the mixture doesn’t foam up and get frothy, toss it and start again. It’s crucial to proof the yeast right so that the dough can rise properly.
**Tip: The best warm spot is an oven that is turned off. You can turn it on for a minute or two and then shut it off with the door open. Once it’s the perfect temperature (warm and cozy) you can place the milk yeast mixture in the oven, shut the door and let rest for 10 minutes.**
Place the butter, yeast mixture, salt, eggs, and remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate large bowl, combine the flour and chopped dark chocolate. Mix until well combined.
**Note: I used a bar of dark baking chocolate and then just gave it a rough chop. I like seeing different sized chocolate bits all throughout the dough. If you want to make it easier on yourself, mini chocolate chips would be great as well.**
Start adding the flour/chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl little by little and stir on low until just combined. Once all the flour has been added knead on high until soft, about 5 minutes.
You can also knead by hand, but the warmth from your hands might soften the chocolate a little too much. So if you do knead by hand, make sure you work fast…and think cool thoughts.
Transfer to a greased large bowl, and turn over to coat both sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot (try that oven again) until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Move the colossus dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times and then roll out into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick with a floured rolling pin.
Brush the rolled dough with lots of browned butter. Brush with as much butter as you think is socially acceptable and then keep going because these buns need it. You need it.
**Note: If you want to learn all about how to properly brown butter, you should definitely check out this post.**
Sprinkle the rolled dough with brown sugar (or granulated sugar is fine too), cinnamon, finely chopped dark chocolate and chopped pistachios because we want these buns to taste just look cookies! A sprinkling of coarse salt wouldn’t hurt either.
Roll the dough into a tight log, lengthwise. Make sure to start on one side and start rolling tightly.
Cut into twelve even rounds. I like to first cut the dough in half and then each half in half so you end up with 4 even pieces. Then cut each piece into 3 pieces.
Place the rolls in a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan, leaving a few inches of space in between each of them. They’ll rise once more, getting them more snug later on.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot and allow to double in size, about 1 hour.
**Note: This time around, don’t place them in the oven since you’ll have to preheat the oven while the rolls proof. Above the fridge will work!**
Bake in a preheated 350ºF until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking, to ensure even browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool down slightly on a wire rack. Meanwhile, make the glaze for the buns. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, milk and brown butter. Until thick and pourable.
**Note: You want it thin enough to pour and spread but not too thin that it’ll just run everywhere. If it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. And if it’s too thick add a teaspoon at at time more of milk.**
Spread the rolls liberally with the brown butter glaze, while they’re still warm. Not hot, but warm. The warmth from the buns will melt the glaze somewhat, causing it to get into the different layers of the buns.
You can serve the rolls right away while still warm, or you can wait for the glaze to set for a few minutes and then dig in. We’ve waited quite a bit already so I won’t blame you if you don’t wait. I like when the glaze is a little bit set and the rolls have cooled off for some reason.
You can store any leftovers (what leftovers?) at room temperature for up to 2 days. Just make sure you wrap them very well in plastic wrap. The last thing you want is for the rolls to dry out. Just rewarm in the microwave (for a few seconds) or toaster oven for a minute or two before eating the next day.
I love cinnamon rolls because you don’t really know if they’re breakfast or dessert. I think the can pass off for either one, really. People eat them for breakfast all the time. These for sure are more of a dessert or late afternoon snack. Since they taste just like chocolate chip cookies, they’re great with a glass of milk (real or not). I’m really into cashew milk right now, so I’m eating with a tall glass of that stuff.
You can bake off the rolls, allow them to cool off completely and the wrap super tightly in plastic wrap. Then pop them into the freezer for a later time. They’ll keep for several weeks. Just rewarm in a preheat 350ºF oven for about 10 to 15 minutes (since they’re frozen) and glaze right before serving.
Next time you’ve got a craving for some something sweet and you find that you can really go for a chocolate chip cookie or a cinnamon roll, and you’re faced with the difficult decision of having to choose from one or the other, just forget all about that nonsense and choose them both by making these cinnamon rolls. Sure, they’re a bit of work, but cinnamon rolls are always worth it. Enjoy!
- 1¼ cups warm whole milk, (about 110˚F)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast (about 4½ teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
- 1 cup light-brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup chopped pistachios
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
- In a small bowl, combine the milk, half the sugar and yeast. Let rest in a warm spot until foamy and frothy, about 10 minutes. If mixture doesn't foam, toss and start over.
- In bowl of electric mixer, combine the yeast mixture, remaining sugar, salt, butter and eggs. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour and chocolate. Mix the dough on low, adding the flour and chocolate mixture, half a cup at a time, until the dough is soft and somewhat smooth. You might not have to use all of the flour. Knead on high until smooth and soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times by hand. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, turning over to coat both sides, and cover with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- Punch dough down and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a large rectangle about ½-inch thick, with a floured rolling pin. Brush the dough with the brown butter, sprinkle liberally with brown sugar, cinnamon, chocolate, pistachios, and a little bit of salt. Roll into a tight log, lengthwise. Trim the ends, cut the dough in half, then each half in half (so you end up with 4 pieces). Then cut each piece into thirds, so you have 12 rolls. Place the rolls in a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan, giving plenty of space in between. Cover with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before glazing.
- To make the glaze, in a large bowl, combine the brown butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Then add enough milk to get a spreadable somewhat thin consistency. If it's too thick, add a bit more milk, a little at a time. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. Spread on the warm rolls and serve. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap for up to 2 days. Rewarm before eating. Enjoy!