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A Warm, Comforting Treat: Orange-Infused Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

Walking by the Creek
I went for a walk the other afternoon in the forest {my backyard}. It was relaxing to have some time on my own, to just enjoy the scents and sounds of the outdoors. It smelled amazing {like Christmas}, the trees were bustling with busy animals {chubby squirrels and chipmunks preparing for the cold months to come}, and there was a surprising amount of traffic on the pathway, considering it wasn’t yet rush hour {three white-tailed deer cut me off… the nerve.}.

Cranberry Cinnamon Buns
While I was taking in all of the natural goodness, my mind couldn’t help but drift back to my kitchen; to the oven that would soon warm up my apartment, to the ingredients that would create something sweet and delicious… Orange-Infused Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls, to be specific.

Orange Infused Cranberry Cinnamon Buns
These rolls are sweetly spiced and equipped with a refreshing burst of flavour from fresh cranberries and orange zest; and, are best eaten warm to get the ooey-gooey goodness that cinnamon buns are known for.

Orange-Infused Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 12

¾ cup warm water (slightly warmer than lukewarm, not hot to the touch)
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
½ cup milk (1-3%)
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup halved fresh cranberries
1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup halved fresh cranberries

1. Pour water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over top; let sit for 10 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk over medium heat until butter just begins to melt. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to yeast mixture. Add the all-purpose flour and beat at a low speed with an electric mixer until incorporated; increase speed to medium and beat for two minutes.

3. Add cranberries and half a cup of whole-wheat flour and stir until incorporated with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the other ½ cup of flour. Knead until smooth and elastic (adding more flour if dough is sticky), about 6-8 minutes.

4. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, toss to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Punch down dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a 12×18 inch (about 30×45 centimetre) rectangle. Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and then spread it evenly over the dough. Scatter the halved cranberries over top, and roll the dough tightly along the long end into an 18 inch (45 centimetre) long log. Cut into 12 pieces and transfer to a 6×12 inch (15×30) or similar-sized baking dish. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.

6. Bake cinnamon rolls in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) for 25-30 minutes, or until the buns are light brown in colour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, serve warm.

Don’t forget to check out this recipe and many fantastic other ones in the food blogger feature in Eat In, Eat Out.