Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Heart-Shaped Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls.

2012 has officially lost it's sparkle. 

We're heading into March, my least favorite month of the year. My birthday month is over. Valentine's Day is over. It's not winter, it's not spring. What is it?

It's just... March. 
January had resolutions and confetti. February had pink and sprinkles and cake. Summer is three months away. It's "too soon"  to start planning our anniversary presents (April is so not "too soon", by the way). And Christmas? Christmas is at least eleven years away.
Life as an adult requires that I must always have something fun and potentially sparkly to look forward to. Otherwise, honestly? I just cannot deal with laundry and gas prices and work. Monday morning? What are we doing Friday night? It's March? So... Disneyland this November? What are we doing for our five year anniversery? "We haven't even had our fourth!"

You know what helps with awkward, uneventful, in-between months? 

Cinnamon rolls! 
Cinnamon rolls that are super easy, shaped like hearts, and full of cranberries, orange-zesty brown sugar, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. 
You see all those crispy, crackly brown sugar bits? This is why you use parchment paper. Otherwise you'll be scrubbing your baking sheets for days. Truth. 

So yeah. These are good...

- Burning-hot off the baking pan. 

- At midnight, cold, smuggled out of the kitchen like nobody's business. 

- Warm, with melted butter. 

Dunked in drizzled with sugary-orange icing. 

- With both. 

- With breakfast. With lunch. With dinner. 

- Eaten all. by. your. self.

Can I just say it? I love brown sugar. 
Maybe there's hope for March after all.

Heart-Shaped Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls 

2 cups Bisquick or buttermilk baking mix
2/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 
1 cup cranberries (I used dried, but fresh would work too
The zest from two oranges
The juice from one orange

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and zest from one orange; set aside. 

Juice one orange and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the Bisquick, milk, zest from the second orange, and a tablespoon of the fresh-squeezed orange juice with a wooden spoon, just until dough comes together. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 3-4 minutes. 

Roll dough into a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture and cranberries over the top. Drizzle a tablespoon of fresh orange juice over the top.
... I really like cranberries. Feel free to use less.

Carefully lift both ends of the dough and roll both towards the center, like a scroll. Cut in 1/2-inch slices. You may have to reform them a little bit or pinch the ends to make them look more heart-like. (If you don't want to make them heart-shaped, just roll the dough up jelly-roll style, cut into 12 cinnamon rolls, and bake on a baking sheet or in a greased muffin tin.)

Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the biscuits comes out clean. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wax paper to cool completely.

*I didn't have the patience to stop eating these long enough to glaze them, but to make an orange glaze, mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice. Drizzle over the top and get to eating! 

Source: Adapted from the cinnamon pinwheels recipe.