I’ve been dying to make a cinnamon rolls since Christmas time, but that thing called ‘life’ hasn’t allowed me the time to get the yeast rising. I decided Valentine’s would be the little space of time I’d sock away to enjoy the craft of making Cinnamon Roll Hearts, as a gift to myself and the ones I love.
Cinnamon Roll Hearts Of Love:
Just like a cinnamon roll, except heart shaped. I wanted my filling a bit more decadent in comparison to the standard. Cherries and pistachios for sure, and since winter is ripe with citrus, I went with a seasonal fruit. I live in California where oranges are plentiful, sweet, and make everything taste good. I welcomed their zest into my cinnamon roll filling with zero hesitation. This Valentine’s Day I hope you welcome my Cinnamon Roll Hearts to your table.
Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Hearts:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Add milk, butter, and sugar to a dutch oven or heavy saucepan over a medium low flame. Stir to melt butter/sugar and heat milk. Do not boil. Use a thermometer. Wait until the milk is 105 Fahrenheit.
- Pour milk mixture into a stand-mixer, and sprinkle yeast on top of milk. Let the yeast combine with the warm milk mixture for 6 minutes.
- In a separate bowl whisk flour, salt and cinnamon together.
- Add flour mixture to milk/yeast mixture.
- Mix on with a dough hook attachment until dough comes together. For about 7 minutes or until it comes together.
- Remove dough hook attachment and scrape down with rubber spatula. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or lid and let dough rest for 1 to 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Punch dough down and place in fridge over night.
- Remove from fridge and roll out dough to 14×18 inches on a floured surface.
- Grease 2 baking dishes (I used a metal 9×13 cake pan) with butter then lightly dust with sugar. Set to the side.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place rack in the center of the oven.
Ingredients for filling:
- 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 cup dried cherries (re-hydrated in a cup of cherry juice)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- Mix butter, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, and brown sugar in a bowl until completely incorporated.
- Smear buttery sugar spread on rolled out dough.
- In a small sauce pan rehydrate dried cherries in 1 cup cherry juice, by bringing juice to a boil. Drain , and reserve juice for glaze.
- Sprinkle hydrated cherries over buttery spread, then sprinkle on pistachios.
- Cut the dough down the middle to make two halves.
- Start with one half. Begin at the end farthest from you and carefully roll tightly towards you. Stop in the middle and roll the end closest to you towards the middle to shape a heart.
- Slice in 1 inch thick pieces with a sharp knife.
- Arrange the hearts in the pan. Continue the same process with the other piece of dough. Let hearts rest in the pan to rise slightly before placing in the oven. I’d let them rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the glaze.
Ingredients for Cherry Glaze:
- cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons reserved cherry juice
- Whisk powdered sugar and cherry juice together until completely combined and no longer bumpy at all.
- Drizzle glaze over warm cinnamon roll hearts.
- Sprinkle (optional) orange zest, chopped pistachios, and crushed freeze dried strawberries over glaze.