My family has a love affair with cinnamon rolls. We have my Ultimate Overnight Cinnamon Rolls every Christmas morning (and admittedly many other mornings throughout the year) and we've, also, come to love my Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls. Using berries in cinnamon rolls is something rather new to me, but this recipe has made me a true believer in the "amazing-ness" of berries in sweet rolls.
I choose blueberries, but I'm sure that other berries would be just as divine. (I'm thinking frozen cherries next time actually.) In doing research for this post, I read many times that using frozen blueberries is important. Fresh blueberries apparently don't give up as much of their juices during the baking process.
Blueberries and lemon are a match made in heaven in my world. So I, of course, incorporated lemon into the glaze. The result was nothing short of heavenly.
My recipe uses frozen bread dough as a shortcut. So, the prep for these rolls is rather easy. And, these can even be made the night before and baked off in the morning for a sweet breakfast with little fuss. After arranging the rolls in your baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store overnight in fridge. Allow to proof in the morning, then bake according to recipe directions.
FOR THE ROLLS -
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed and allowed to fully come to room temperature
5 tablespoons butter, softened (plus more for buttering baking dish)
1 heaping cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
FOR THE GLAZE -
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 - 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream (as needed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the blueberries, sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface (using a rolling pin) into a large rectangle. Spread softened butter evenly across dough. Sprinkle on the blueberry mixture.
For smaller rolls, start with the longer side of the dough and roll tightly into a log. (This will yield more rolls, but they will not be overly large.) Cut into 10 - 12 slices. For larger rolls, start with the shorter side of the dough and roll tightly into a log. (This will yield less rolls, but they will be large portions.) Cut into 6 - 8 slices.
Place the rolls into a buttered dish - a pie dish works nicely. (Mine was a 9-inch round baking dish).
Cover dish loosely with foil. Allow rolls to rise in a draft-free area of your kitchen for 2 - 3 hours to rise. (They should double in size.) Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned and baked through. If needed, rolls can be loosely covered towards end of baking time if they are getting too dark too quickly.
Allow pan to rest 30 minutes on a cooling rack prior to glazing.
Make the glaze by whisking together the lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter and confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl. Add in milk as needed. (My glaze was almost the right consistency with just the lemon juice and melted butter, so only a tiny splash of milk was needed.)
Drizzle over rolls prior to serving.
NOTE: If you have a gas oven and would like to speed up the proofing time, place an empty baking dish (a 9 x 13 works great) on the bottom rack of your oven (with oven off). Fill 3/4 full of boiling water and place the pan of rolls on the upper rack. Close oven door. Rolls will proof in about half the time.