Monday, December 9, 2013

Time to Give!! Cranberry Sweeties

Christmas - "It's that time of year when the world falls in love....." Isn't it true? Everything becomes a celebration of relationships and a wonderful reason to give....and give......and give! There's something so freeing about's a "thank-you" for playing a part in my life; it's an "I love you"; it's a "Let's be friends"; it's a "Welcome!".......What a privilege it is to be able to give! Often, though, our finances give out before our heart does, but  that's where creativity comes into play. A homemade gift can speak so well, and perhaps even begin a conversation...."Could you share the recipe?" ....."Could you make me more?"

These Cranberry Sweeties are beautiful and not as difficult as the length of the recipe might suggest. The dough is soft and fragrant and the filling tart and sweet. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be happy to receive a plate of these rolls as a gift. Or, as I suggest within the recipe, perhaps double the filling recipe and make little jars of cranberry/orange jam to share. Or just "give" some sweetness to yourself - and enjoy!!

Cranberry Sweeties                                             
¾ Cup sugar
½ Cup water
2 Cups cranberries – fresh or frozen
1 tsp zested orange peel

Place sugar and water in a lg. saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook uncovered until cranberries “pop” – 6-10 minutes.  Simmer about 15 minutes longer, or until mixture thickens. Stir in orange peel. Cover and cool. Ginny’s note: This becomes jam-like…..I’m thinking this would be delicious placed in mini-canning jars, water-bathed and given as gifts!!

½ Cup “warm to the touch” water                                    
2 Tbsp/pkgs. Red Star Platinum yeast                                      
½ Cup “warm to the touch”  milk                                        ½ Cup softened butter
2 Eggs                                                                                               1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon                                                                                  ½ tsp nutmeg
4 ½ - 5 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour                                         Softened butter to spread

Place yeast in EZ DOH bucket. Add water and stir to dissolve yeast (you may sprinkle a tsp. or so of flour in to help “wake up” the yeast ). Wait one minute. Add remaining ingredients to bucket (I usually add liquids, then one cup of flour, then remaining ingredients). “EZ DOH-it” for 2-3 minutes, or until a smooth dough is achieved. Remove dough from bucket, spray the bucket with cooking spray and return the dough. Cover and let rise until double.
Punch down dough and roll into a large rectangle. Brush with some additional softened butter. Spread the cooled cranberry filling evenly on the dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, working from the long edge. Cut into 15 slices and place in a 9x13” greased pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. (Ginny’s note: At this point, I’ll often spray the tops of the rolls lightly with cooking spray, cover with saran, and place in the frig overnight. When I’m ready to bake in the morning, I take them out about ½ hour before it’s time to pop them in the oven and let them “warm up” a bit) . Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan.
1 Cup powdered sugar                                                                                  3 Tbsp. softened cream cheese
¼ Cup softened butter                                                                                  ½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. milk

In a bowl, combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home 2013 Cranberry Sweet Rolls


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