Yikes! It’s the week of Thanksgiving! Do you know what you’re having for breakfast that day?
What?!? You haven’t even thought about it? Let me help you out with that…How about this Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll?
Why am I thinking about breakfast for the big day? Well, for the first time in quite a few years, I am not hosting the big meal. I have, however, been requested to bring a dessert :) And I’ve been thinking about that for that past couple of weeks. You know I’ve been on a pumpkin streak with all kinds of treats, and wouldn’t you know that the hosts already have pumpkin covered? That’s cool. I’m ready to move on anyway. They’ve hinted at chocolate and I think that’s going to work out juuust fine.
So about breakfast…I’m always thinking about what’s for breakfast. I had this idea that was not part of my original plan for this week, but as soon as I thought of it I had to try it out to see if it would work. That idea was this Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll. You might think I’m crazy sharing this impressive looking pastry that seems like it would be so much work, but it’s really not a big deal. This lovely sweet roll is just the latest iteration of the millions of things you can make with Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuit dough<<—Advice for the day: Learn how to make this dough!
Seriously, the dough is practically magic. I’ve made Buttermilk Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls and Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuits, and Pumpkin Biscuit Sticky Buns and Sour Cream Chive Biscuits and Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits! I LOVE this dough! It is so easy! There’s no yeast and no rising. It turns out a beautiful light and fluffy dough whenever I need it.
Inspired by the season, I was thinking about cranberries and oranges. That thought turned to cranberry orange relish and then, my thoughts somehow flipped to breakfast and then I was thinking about Thanksgiving leftovers and everything sort of mashed together in my mind. I thought, what would I do with leftover cranberry sauce? I might have been thinking that because I made a mini Thanksgiving dinner last week. That’s right. I figured I’d already made the green beans for the blog, why not add a little turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy and some cranberry sauce?
That’s how I ended up with leftover cranberry sauce a week before Thanksgiving. I decided I wanted to bake with it. So I made a batch of biscuit dough, but infused the buttermilk with some orange zest.
I rolled out the dough and spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce. I used Trader Joe’s, which was more like jelly with bits of cranberry in it, and it worked perfectly. I’d never tried their cranberry sauce before. I actually like making my own, but for my mini Thankgiving dinner, I went with the short cut. Then, I sprinkled some sugar mixed with cinnamon, all spice, cardamom and cloves all over the cranberry sauce.
Roll it up, just like you would for cinnamon rolls. At this point, I decided I would stash it in the refrigerator to make sure it was cold. Remember, you always want cold butter in your biscuits when you bake them. My dough had been out longer than normal since I was taking pictures in between each step. I use plastic wrap on my counter where I roll, so it was easy to just wrap it up with that and put it in the refrigerator (or the freezer) until the butter firmed back up.
Then, just unwrap the roll and place it onto your baking sheet. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice the roll in half lengthwise. (These photos show mine still on a cutting board on the counter. It’s much easier if you cut it on the tray you’re going to bake it on so that you don’t have to move the roll from the counter to the pan.)
Now at this point, I had grand plans for a twisted fun design, but the cranberry sauce stopped me in my tracks. It was a little oozy, so I quickly formed the one half into a spiral and then wrapped the second half around that. I looked at it and thought, hmph! Well, that’s not going to be pretty. However, I thought that very same thing about the Buttermilk Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls before they went into the oven and they turned out bea-u-tifully… so I crossed my fingers and put it in the oven.
And look what came out! A giant Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll! I wasn’t quite done yet; I still had to top it. I made a glaze with orange zest and orange juice and drizzled it over the whole thing while it was still warm. I sprinkled some toasted walnuts over the glaze and voila! A beautiful breakfast pastry that looks, well, almost professional, no? I would say that it looks like you bought it at a bakery, but let’s be honest, how many amazing bakeries do you live near? You know, bakeries that make things from scratch with good wholesome ingredients? Bakeries that don’t live inside a grocery store?
I am always on the hunt for the good ones. They’re hard to find. There’s this one bakery near where I grew up in Ohio that makes strudel. That’s it, just strudel. And, oh my gosh, it is the best strudel I’ve ever had! I always pick some up when I go home to visit. But I digress…let’s get back to our pretty sweet roll.
No, it’s not a perfect circle. It won’t be. Instead, it will be a little free form, a little rustic and perfectly sliceable. You’ll have the spiced cranberry sauce swirled throughout and lots of fresh orange flavor to brighten up the whole thing. What’s really interesting is that it’s not reminiscent of any of the other biscuit creations I’ve made. At least not for me. It transformed into a completely new pastry. I’m not sure anyone would even guess that you made it with biscuit dough, if you didn’t tell them.
You might be completely tied up with cooking for the big day, and adding this Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll to your list just isn’t feasible. But when you’ve finished celebrating the day with family and friends, and you’ve got leftovers of this, that and the other thing, you’ll have at least one new idea of what to do with the leftover cranberry sauce.