In this decadent twist on classic cinnamon rolls, I baked chunks of white chocolate directly into a brioche-like dough, and filled the rolls with pecans, cinnamon, and raspberry jam.
Inspiration came from two sources: a pecan and white chocolate viennoise (enriched sweet bread) I often purchase at Maison Kayser, the popular French bakery chain in New York and Paris, and a recipe I came across online for raspberry-filled cinnamon rolls baked in the shape of a wreath. The white chocolate chunks melt slightly but otherwise keep their shape, providing little bursts of sweetness that are nicely balanced by the tartness of the raspberry filling. Toasted pecans add a delightful crunch.
Adapted from the Universal Sweet Dough recipe in Evelyn Raab’s The Clueless Baker
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 oz fresh yeast or 4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup water
⅓ cup butter, cut into chunks
1 cup high-quality white chocolate, cut into chunks
10 oz (approximately 1 cup) raspberry preserves
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
⅓ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- In a small saucepan, cook milk, water, and butter over low heat until hot to the touch, but not boiling. Butter should be fully melted.
- Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring vigorously until smooth. Mix in eggs until thoroughly combined. Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. You may not need all the flour. Using your hands, fold white chocolate chunks into dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead for around five minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, around 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a large rectangle, approximately 12 x 20 inches. Spread evenly with raspberry jam. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped, toasted pecans. Roll up tightly into a log. Using serrated knife, cut into even-sized pieces. Place rolls cut-side down, side by side, in parchment-lined baking pan (you may need more than one pan.)
- Cover pan(s) with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, around 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on the surface and fully baked in the middle.
Liana’s Kitchen is a column by Astoria-based chef and foodie Liana Grey. Check out her food blog Bakerwithoutborders.