Well, it’s already mid-week you guys so I was thinking by now it would be okay to share something slightly sinful………
I was trying to wait since I know so many of us had our huge Thanksgiving feasts last week and some might have needed a few days to recover from it all. You know, like a grace period. But now I’d say it’s probably safe to share something on the indulgent side of things, and um, this definitely qualifies!
So am I the only one feeling a little bit behind on Christmas shopping all of a sudden? I mean, December starts tomorrow and I seriously don’t know what happened to the year. The good news for me though, is that I’m not too worried right now because I’ve got a partner in crime this year, someone who’s agreed to help me shop and figure out what to get for all the guys in the gang that I know I’d otherwise find it impossible to buy for. Actually, that reminds me of something that I’ve yet to mention to you guys……
Eh hem, hey if you’re only here for the recipe then please feel free to skip the rest of this because it probably won’t interest you, but for those who have been insisting on more details about my personal life, I have a small tidbit of news you might want to know about. So um, my “special friend” (for lack of a better term) Alexander, and I are officially a couple now. Don’t worry, I’m not going to dump all the details on you but I will say that our cultural differences have been adding notes of comedy and confusion to our relationship at times. Something else that’s funny is that Ryder, my almost 2-year-old nephew, called it before we did by always saying our names together as a packaged deal.
Wait, hold up, have I told you guys about Ryder’s adorable nicknames? I don’t think I have. Wow, I have to fix that! It’s sort of developed into a thing in my family for Ryder to assign everyone their own nickname, then whatever name you get sticks and becomes free game for everyone to use.
For example, Chase is “Day”, Diego is “Eee-oh”, Lela is “Wee-yah”, Brock is “Bra” (which he’ll never hear the end of), and my personal favorite, Alexander is “Amo-nanner”. I’m “Doh-dee”, cute right? Yeah, I adore the name but I also find it hilarious that I share this name with the blue fish on Finding Nemo. See, Ryder is a little obsessed with Dory and Nemo right now so when I hear him my nickname I have to check to see if he’s calling me or talking about the character. Anyway, when he isn’t talking about the fish, my nickname is always followed by “and Amo-nanner” He’s a perceptive little squirt.
Okay, so does anyone want a cinnamon roll? My idea was initially to make just chocolate cinnamon rolls because that’s something I make that I’ve been wanting to share with you anyway. When I make cinnamon rolls I like to do some all chocolate ones because I’ve got cinnamon haters in the house and I like to please everyone if possible. Besides, no one could ever complain about too much chocolate, so it’s a safe choice.
The chestnuts were an afterthought because, as I just told you Monday, I’ve got lots of them on my hands they just seemed like they’d be the perfect festive touch that these sweets were missing. I love the combo of flavors when you put them with chocolate, and in this case I also added cinnamon for good measure. Super yum!
I’m picturing these on a crisp winter morning with a tall mug of coffee and some Christmas music in the background. Sounds perfect, no? Well, that’s a bit of a stretch for me right now when a white Christmas would on par with believing in flying reindeer, but I can dream can’t I? The fact is, these are something you can enjoy in any season, time, or place and I really think you should. I hope you love them!
- 1 cup warm milk (not hot)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (about 6 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chestnut puree *see note
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (about 150g) semi-sweet dark chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1/4 heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Beat in eggs and sugar, then butter and salt until combined. Add flour a cup at a time until your dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of bowl. Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and have it ready for a quick breakfast. Just pull it out about an hour before you want to use it.)
- Meanwhile, make your filling and prep your pan. Combine chestnut puree, sugar, cinnamon, butter, cocoa, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Now in a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, softened butter, cream and cocoa and stir until smooth. Pour into a 13x9 inch glass pan (alternatively you can use 2 8x8 inch or 2 10-inch round cake pans) and spread to coat the bottom of pan.
- Divide dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1/2 of the chestnut filling in an even layer on top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Starting from the short end, roll it up until you have a log of sorts. Then using a sharp knife, cut into 6 (or 7 spirals if using a round pan) and place in prepared pan (spiral facing up). Repeat with other half of dough until you have 12 rolls. Cover pans and allow them to rise for about 1 hour until nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Bake for 18 - 25 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove pan(s) from oven and allow the to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
- For the icing, whisk ingredients together in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Serve on top of the warm rolls.
Chestnuts or chestnut can be purchased whole or canned in puree from at specialty and gourmet food markets. Most places that carry them also sell them in puree form.