Posts Tagged ‘Orange’

Sunshine Breakfast Rolls

We had houseguests over the long Memorial Day weekend. Having good friends visit is so much fun, and I enjoy the excuse to put on a good spread. At the same time, though, I want to be spending my time visiting, not by myself in the kitchen. I’ve learned a few tricks to help me serve some nice meals while also enjoying myself. I emphasize good food that’s not fussy and keep the number of dishes that require last-minute attention to a minimum. I try to make side dishes and dessert ahead of time, and I’ve come to appreciate main dishes that bubble away on the stove or roast in the oven while we all enjoy appetizers and drinks. Of course, it’s always great if Larry grills a nice piece of meat out on the deck for dinner, which can be dressed up with a sauce I’ve put together that afternoon.

The same idea works for a special breakfast.  I like guests to wake up to something special, but I don’t want to have to get up at o’dark hundred to cook it for them! On Sunday, I served these scrumptious sweet rolls, along with fruit salad, scrambled eggs and bacon. I actually made these rolls weeks before, and froze them for occasions like this.  On Saturday night, I pulled out a pan of rolls, and let them thaw on the counter overnight. I also threw together a quick fruit salad and stuck it in the fridge, along with the orange glaze for the rolls.  Sunday morning, all I had to do was set out the fruit salad, scramble up the eggs and bacon, warm the rolls in the microwave for a quick minute, drizzle on the glaze, and sit down to enjoy a great breakfast with good friends.

These rolls are a delightful alternative to the traditional cinnamon roll, made with orange marmalade and studded with diced apricot.  I was inspired by Ree Drummond of the great blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  If you haven’t checked her out, you should.  She’s a superstar in the food blogging world, yet very down-to-earth and endearing.

Sunshine Breakfast Rolls

Makes 20-24 rolls, which can be divided into three 9″ cake or pie pans.

Basic Sweet Dough Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 packages active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

3 eggs, room temperature

5 cups all-purpose flour

grated fresh nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Filling ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted (You might not use all of this, and that’s okay.  There’s always something to do with leftover butter.)

1/2 cup Sweet Orange Marmalade, warmed enough to spread

1 cup brown sugar (I used dark, but you could use light)

1 cup dried apricots, diced


Place milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan.  Heat and stir gently until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Cool to lukewarm.

dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add lukewarm milk mixture, eggs, spices, and 4 1/2 cups flour.  Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer.  Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 2 minutes.  Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl.  Knead in the mixer for two more minutes.

You must use your senses and your good judgement here.  Flour varies in its moisture content, and measuring it is surprisingly inexact.  Watch the dough and add only enough flour until the dough forms into a cohesive ball and (mostly) cleans the sides of the bowl.  You are looking for a smooth elasticity.  It should not be very sticky, but you should be able to knead it easily.  I find that I use about 5 1/2 cups of flour, total, in this recipe, but you might need more.  Or less. There is no substitute for careful observation and your own good judgement.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap or damp clean kitchen towel.  Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until dough is doubled in bulk.

After dough has risen, punch down and roll out on lightly floured surface, in a long rectangle (more or less 10″ x 24″), to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Brush with melted butter and warmed sweet marmalade.  Spread brown sugar evenly, but not too thick.  Sprinkle diced apricots over the brown sugar.

Starting along the top (long) edge, roll the dough towards you, stretching it to keep it tight.  Cut the long roll into 20-24 pieces (depending on how thick you like them).  Place them in greased pans.  This recipe will fill two 13″ x 9″ pans (with about 12 rolls apiece), or three 9″ cake pans, with about 7 rolls each.  Alternatively, you can bake them on cookie sheets, separated so that they don’t mush together.  This will give you more crust and less fluffy sides, but this has it’s charms, too.

Cover lightly and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, 30-45 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove from pans.  Spoon Orange Glaze over the rolls immediately prior to serving.

Orange Glaze


3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1/8 tsp salt

Zest of one orange

Freshly squeezed juice of same orange


Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add sugar and salt, gradually, beating until smooth.  Add zest and 4 Tbsp juice, dribbling in extra juice until glaze is the consistency you want. (Thicker, if you want to spread it, thinner if you want to drizzle it.)  If you overdo it, and add too much juice, just add a little extra powdered sugar to thicken the glaze up again.


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We couldn’t help ourselves.  I meant to take a picture of this simply elegant dessert all plated pretty and everything. But we got carried away with our enthusiasm, and then someone said, “aren’t you going to take a picture?”

Uh oh.

So much for food styling.  We were lucky there was a piece left to shoot after we got done with it.

If you look close at this imperfect picture, though, you can see why we were so excited.  Both the cream and the sponge cake are studded with orange zest.  The cake is moist and the cream is luscious and the whole thing made for a light yet satisfying Springtime dessert, served alongside sliced strawberries.

Orange Glow Chiffon Cake with Marmalade Cream

Adapted from Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes

Serves 8.


Stand mixer with whisk beater

9″ springform pan

Flat flower nail (used for cake decorating), 2 1/2 inches long


1 cup all-purpose flour (Rose says bleached gives a finer texture, but I always use unbleached)

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder (3/4 tsp. at high altitude)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup canola oil

4 large eggs, separated, plus one additional white

1 Tbsp. orange zest, finely grated

10 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 plus 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, mix the flour, all but 1 Tbsp. of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.  Make a well in the center.  Add the oil, yolks, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 1/2 minutes, or until very thick.  Scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the  mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

In the clean mixer bowl fitted with the clean whisk beater, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  With the mixer off, add the cream of tartar.  Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.  Beat in the remaining 1 Tbsp. of sugar and continue beating until very stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

Using a large wire whisk, slotted skimmer or large silicone spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter in two parts until just blended.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the surface evenly with a spatula  Insert the rose nail base side down into the center of the batter so that it sits on the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake lowers slightly and a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Immediately invert the cake onto a prepared wire rack and allow it to cool for about 1 hour, or until the outside of the pan is cool to the touch.  Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing it against the pan.  Remove the sides of the springform and release the bottom of the cake from the bottom of the pan, pressing the spatula against the bottom.  Invert the cake and lift off the pan bottom.  Remove the rose nail.

Frost with orange marmalade whipped cream and serve. (Alternatively, you can serve the whipped cream on the side for an even simpler dessert.)

Orange Marmalade Whipped Cream


1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade (beware not to use a bitter marmalade)

1 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. orange zest, finely grated


In a small saucepan, heat the marmalade until hot to soften it.  With the back of a spoon press it through a strainer. Allow it to cool completely. In a mixing bowl, pour the cream and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the beaters alongside the bowl.)

Starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, whip the cream just until beater marks begin to show distinctly. Add the marmalade and zest and whip just until the mixture mounds softly when dropped from a spoon. The marmalade will act as a stabilizer, keeping the cream from watering out for at least 8 hours refrigerated.

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