Cardamom Pistachio Rolls

Forget classic cinnamon rolls—these Cardamom Pistachio Rolls are spiced with cardamom and studded with salty pistachios, making them a breakfast treat that’s well worth the effort. 

Cardamom Pistachio Rolls
 

Makes 8 rolls
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, room temperature and divided
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped roasted salted shelled pistachios
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons (1 to 1.5 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together ¼ cup (60 grams) warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar by hand. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add ¾ cup (180 grams) milk, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) lemon juice, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar, whisking to combine.
  3. With mixer on medium speed, add flour and salt, beating just until dough comes together. Scrape sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat for 4 minutes. Add softened butter, and beat until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, stretch dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle using wet hands.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, pistachios, melted butter, cinnamon, cardamom, and zest. Spread filling onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Starting with one long side, roll dough into a log; pinch seam to seal. Place log, seam side down, on work surface. Trim ½ inch off each end. Cut into 8 rolls, and place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Bake until light golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, remaining ¼ cup (60 grams) milk, and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 grams) lemon juice until combined. Place in a resealable plastic bag. Cut corner from bag, and drizzle icing onto rolls.

Notes
Keep your hands wet when stretching dough. This keeps dough from sticking and also keeps you from adding additional flour. Brush any additional flour off dough with a dry pastry brush as you are rolling.

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Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

You won’t ever go back to classic cinnamon rolls again. We filled these golden rolls with chocolate, but not just any chocolate—Mexican cinnamon chocolate. Stone-ground, Mexican-style dark chocolate is filled with warm cinnamon spice and has a subtle grittiness that gives these cinnamon rolls even more explosive flavor and complex texture. Once you smother the rolls in the luscious Cream Cheese Glaze, serve them straight from the skillet to keep them warm and gooey.

For more cozy ways to bake with cast iron, pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 issue!

Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
 

Makes 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 3½ to 3¾ cups (438 to 469 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast*
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • ⅔ cup (152 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup (113 grams) chopped Mexican-style stone-ground cinnamon chocolate (3 disks) (see PRO TIP)
  • Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe on opposite page)
  • Garnish: ground cinnamon

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, yeast, and 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) salt.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup (120 grams) water, milk, and ⅓ cup (76 grams) butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add egg, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 cups (250 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, smooth, and somewhat sticky dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 8 to 9 minutes. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, cinnamon, remaining ⅓ cup (76 grams) butter, remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt.
  7. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Spread cocoa mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Starting with opposite long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to 18 inches long and even thickness, if necessary. Using a serrated knife dipped in flour, cut log into 12 slices (about 1½ inches thick). Place slices, cut side down, in prepared skillet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in skillet for 10 minutes. Top with Cream Cheese Glaze; garnish with cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes
*We used Red Star® Active Dry Yeast.

PRO TIP: We used Taza Chocolate Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Mexicano, available at Whole Foods, local Hispanic grocery stores, or online. Very minimally processed, Mexican chocolate has a grainier, chalkier texture than the chocolate you might normally get and offers more-complex, explosive flavor. Any type of Mexican cinnamon dark chocolate, available at most grocery stores, or 50% cacao dark chocolate will work in this recipe.

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Cream Cheese Glaze
 

Makes about ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces (110 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ tablespoons (10.5 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 grams) whole milk

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Add milk, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until fluid.

3.5.3251

 

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Orange Sweet Buns

A nod to the classic sweet bun recipe, these Orange Sweet Buns have the same sunny disposition, only with a new and improved crème fraîche frosting.

Orange Sweet Buns
 

Makes 12 buns
Ingredients
  • 4¼ to 4½ cups (532 to 563 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) whole milk
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) packed orange zest (about 2 large oranges)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Orange-Crème Fraîche Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: orange zest

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and ½ cup (113.5 grams) butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg, and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2¾ cups (344 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape dough hook and sides of bowl as needed. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. (Dough should pass the windowpane test [see PRO TIP] but may still stick slightly to sides of bowl.)
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together zest, cardamom, remaining 1 cup (200 grams) sugar, and remaining ½ cup (113.5 grams) butter until well combined.
  7. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Using a small offset spatula, spread zest mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Starting with opposite long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to 18 inches long and even thickness, if necessary. Using a serrated knife dipped in flour, cut log into 12 slices (about 1½ inches thick). Place slices, cut side down, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 25 to 30 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Using a small offset spatula, spread Orange-Crème Fraîche Glaze onto rolls. Garnish with zest, if desired. Serve warm.

Notes
PRO TIP: Test the dough for proper gluten development by using the windowpane test. Pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat 1 minute more, and test again.

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Orange Crème Fraîche Glaze
 

Makes about 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) cold crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) packed orange zest
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

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5 Recipes You Should Be Baking to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

January 25 kicks off the Lunar New Year, a 15-day-long celebration of the beginning of the new year in the traditional Chinese calendar. For those who celebrate, the very light takes on a bright red hue. For these 15 days in China and all other countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, the cheery glow of red lanterns illuminate the roads, with red paper pasted over windowpanes and doorways for good measure. At night, fireworks shout across the horizon in rapid succession and burst in dazzling, rhythmic fashion—an unsurpassed spectacle considering the Chinese invented fireworks. At the close, thousands of lanterns are lit and sent to the sky, with hopes and dreams scrolled on the paper that will soon be consumed by the growing internal flame. 

But perhaps the quietest tradition is the most important: the reunion dinner, held on Lunar New Year’s Eve. The entire extended family gathers around the dinner table to dine on an multicourse meal made up of dumplings, rice cakes, and more. Food plays an integral part in welcoming the new year, and there is much to feast on. Start this new year, the Year of the Rat, in sweet fashion with our five home baker-friendly recipes featured in our January/February 2020 issue. We’re sharing two of our favorites here, but pick up a copy of the issue for the rest!

Walnut Cookies (hup toh soh)

A common treat found in pastry shops in China year-round, during Chinese New Year, home bakers often make hup toh soh as a crunchy treat to welcome visitors and family to their home. Supposedly, the original walnut cookies contained no walnuts in the dough. The “walnut” in the name might have been used to refer to the cookie’s crunchy texture, or its wrinkly, golden appearance. 

Pineapple Buns (bolo bao)

Instantly recognizable with its crosshatch design on top, pineapple buns are a treasure to have come out of Hong Kong bakeries in the 20th century. Contrary to what its name would have you think, no pineapple is used in making these buns. Instead, the title refers to its similarity in appearance between the crispy top and a pineapple’s bumpy exterior. The base bun is made of a milk bread dough—sweet and fantastically fluffy.

Coconut Almond Rice Cake (nian gao)

For Chinese New Year, a number of rituals ensure luck and fortune: wearing red, not cleaning, burning fake money and coins, and, most deliciously, eating nian gao. This traditionally steamed sticky rice cake is almost 2,000 years old, first coming to prominence around AD 200. The cake’s potential luck is due to being a homonym, with nian gao sounding similar to the Chinese characters for “higher year,” meaning you’ll have a bountiful year by eating a slice of this iconic rice cake. Of course, consuming cake is always lucky in our book. Click here for our recipe!

Sweet Egg Tarts (dan tan)

Hailing from the city of Guangzhou in the 1920s, the Chinese variation of the egg tart features a crisp, crumbly shortcrust made with lard and a luminous, egg-rich custard. Once the dish came to Hong Kong, it transformed again, getting a tender cookie-like pâte sucrée crust but keeping the reflective custard. Though a relatively new addition to the Lunar New Year feasting, the egg tart is one more sweet way to celebrate the new year. 

Barbecue Pork Buns (char siu bao)

A Cantonese and dim sum classic, this bao is special because it is steamed rather than baked, making it both fluffy and sturdy. Once steamed, the dough will form a chewy skin while staying snowy white and gently heating a tender filling of barbecue-style pork (or char siu). Pork is symbolic during the Chinese New Year, standing for strength, wealth, and blessings. Click here for our version of this dum sum classic.

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Chestnut, Cranberry, and Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi

Fresh rosemary and fragrant chestnuts lend warm savory notes to this buttery Chestnut, Cranberry, Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi studded with sweet cranberries.

Chestnut, Cranberry, Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi
 

Makes 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 3⅔ cups (466 grams) plus 1¼ cups (159 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 1¾ cups (420 grams) plus 2 teaspoons (10 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C), divided
  • 2⅛ teaspoons (4 grams) instant yeast, divided
  • 6 teaspoons (18 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups (183 grams) Roasted Chestnuts (recipe follows), chopped
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (4 grams) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 cups (480 grams) ice water
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) olive oil

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1¼ cups (159 grams) flour, ½ cup
  2. (120 grams) warm water, and ⅛ teaspoon yeast. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 16 hours.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat yeast mixture, 1¼ cups (300 grams) warm water, 4 teaspoons (12 grams) salt, sugar, remaining 3⅔ cups (466 grams) flour, and remaining 2 teaspoons (4 grams) yeast at medium-low speed for 6 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. Add Roasted Chestnuts and cranberries, beating just until combined, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, shape butter into a 10×8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with rosemary, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Position oven rack to lowest level, and place a large cast-iron skillet on rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Freeze dough for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Unwrap butter block, and place in center of rectangle. Fold dough edges over to enclose butter block. Roll dough into a 24×8-inch rectangle. Fold one short side over 3 inches. Fold other short side over 9 inches, making ends meet. Fold dough in half, creating an 8×6-inch rectangle. Roll into an 18×8-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter, creating an 8×6-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll dough into a 19×11-inch rectangle. Trim ½ inch off all sides of dough. Cut dough in half lengthwise, creating 2 (18×5-inch) rectangles. Starting at one long side, roll up 1 rectangle, pinching seam to seal. Transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Using kitchen scissors, make a 45-degree cut into dough 1 inch from end, leaving about ¼ inch of dough uncut. (Be careful not to cut all the way through dough.) Lay dough piece over to one side. Make another 1-inch cut, and lay to other side. Repeat process until you reach end of dough. Repeat with remaining loaf.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 2 teaspoons (10 grams) warm water. Brush egg wash onto dough. Pour 2 cups (480 grams) ice water in cast-iron skillet, and place loaves in hot oven.
  10. Bake until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons (6 grams) salt. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Roasted Chestnuts
 

Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 cups (892 grams) whole chestnuts in shells

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Using a sharp paring knife, cut an “X” in rounded side of chestnuts. (This lets steam escape, and will prevent them from exploding.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up.
  2. Roast until shells curl away from nutmeats, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Wrap hot chestnuts in a kitchen towel, and squeeze gently to further loosen shells. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel shells from nutmeats. Use immediately, or store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

 

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