These festive rolls are sure to spark lively conversations at your holiday brunch. Colorful cranberries make an appetizing addition to ordinary cinnamon rolls.
- 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar, divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Cranberries and red and green candied cherries, halved
- In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the sour cream, water and butter to 120°-130°; add to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring cranberries and water to a boil. Cover and boil gently for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool. Combine the pecans, softened butter, cinnamon and remaining brown sugar; set aside.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Brush each with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Spread half of the pecan mixture. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Brush with remaining melted butter.
- To form a tree from each log, cut a 2-in. piece from one end for a tree trunk; set aside. Then cut each log into 15 slices. Cover two baking sheets with foil and grease well. Center one slice near the top of each prepared baking sheet.
- Arrange slice with sides touching in four more rows, adding one slice for each row, forming a tree. Center the reserved slice lengthwise below the tree for trunk. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- In a saucepan, heat corn syrup over low heat. Transfer foil with trees onto wire racks; brush with corn syrup. Cool for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and milk. Fill a small pastry or plastic bag; cut a small hole in corner of bag. Pipe on trees for garlands. Garnish with cranberries and candied cherries. Yield: 2 trees (16 rolls each).
Originally published as Cranberry Cinnamon Christmas Tree Rolls in Best of Country Breads 2000, p81
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