I tried. I really did.
I really tried to make January the Month of Healthy Eating. I really tried to eat more kale and drink more water. I even tried to schedule a full month of blog posts with recipes chock-full of healthy, good-for-you ingredients (carrot-flax seed muffins! green smoothies! flavored ice cubes!) but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Well, the healthy part, that is. These raspberry rolls are still, most definitely, good for you (in a comforting, delicious, warm-your-heart-and-body kind of way).
Don’t get me wrong — it’s not like I’m sitting here pretending that I can eat a whole batch of these rolls + a mug of hot cocoa + cookies + deep dish pizza and my thighs aren’t going to have anything to say about it. And it’s not like I do this on a regular basis, anyway — I wax a lot about my love for carbs and yet, the reality is I really did have kale and water for lunch (and it was good, too). There’s a delicate balance. On one hand, I feed my body the nutrition that it needs; on the other, I feed it what it wants. One is care, one is romance. Both are love.
I kind of think of this blog as a running love letter to you, dear reader, which is why I just can’t bring myself to write to you about flavored ice cubes or sweet potato puree (unless there’s butter involved, of course). I suppose I could still write to you touting the health benefits of leafy greens and exercise and consider it a loving gesture but, honestly, where’s the fun in that? I think you and I can agree that talking about glazed, raspberry-filled breakfast rolls is a much better topic of conversation.
I first discovered these rolls from this lovely blogger via the Pinterest and was instantly hooked — nay, enchanted. They called out to me like a beacon of sweet, gooey baked bliss and I knew, right then, I needed them to be in my life forever.
Of course, that was also about the time when I realized my stash of active dry yeast was on the outs, so instead of waiting for what should have been only a few hours, I waited all. day. long. for these babies to rise. Eventually, though, they did and I reacted as only a now-impatient woman entranced by the beauty of a baked good would — I glazed them, and then I left them alone. I just couldn’t do it. My healthy half was telling me to keep away, to choose the apple instead of the sweet roll for a snack, to choose the red pill over the blue one, and I obliged.
Fast forward a few hours later to my couch wherein I, my glass of red wine and my kale salad were all hanging out together (watching “The Bachelor,” I must admit) and I was feeling good about my discretion that day. But then… I changed my mind. And I had a roll for dessert. A warm, soft, gooey, decadent raspberry-swirled roll.
I tried. I really did. But the romance won out.
And I am not ashamed.
And now, here I am, still enchanted by the deliciousness of these rolls, sharing them with you. How you choose to proceed is up to you, of course — but I highly recommend giving them a try. Yes, even in this Month of Healthy Eating. Just be sure to have a bag of kale on hand, too.
Raspberry Swirl Rolls
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
Yields: 8 rolls
For the dough —
1/2 cup milk, warmed to 95-100 degrees F
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
For the filling —
5 ounces frozen raspberries, unthawed
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
For the glaze —
Just under 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, sugar and yeast and stir to combine. Let sit 5-10 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Add butter, egg, lemon zest, salt and flour; stir with paddle attachment until dough is well combined, about 3 minutes. Replace paddle attachment with dough hook and knead dough on medium speed for 8 minutes, adding more flour as needed (1 tablespoon at a time) until dough is soft, smooth and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove dough from bowl, knead a few times by hand and shape into a ball. Place ball of dough in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Remove dough from bowl and punch down on a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into a 12-by-5-inch rectangle. In a small bowl, toss together frozen raspberries, sugar and cornstarch to combine. Sprinkle raspberry mixture over dough. Roll up dough from the long end into a 12-inch log, pinching edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, slice log into 8 equal slices. Place slices, cut side-up, into a greased 9-inch round cake pan (or your pan of choice). Spoon any extra raspberry mixture over the rolls. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover rolls and bake until golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 30 minutes in pan.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter and milk until a smooth, spreadable glaze forms (add more powdered sugar or milk as needed to achieve proper consistency). Pour glaze over warm rolls and use a spoon or offset spatula to spread evenly. Serve rolls warm or at room temperature.