These amazing sweet rolls are worth the effort, perfect for a holiday brunch or special occasion!
Keyword almond, apricot, sweet rolls
Prep Time 1hour
Cook Time 15minutes
Rising Time 2hours
Total Time 1hour15minutes
FOR THE DOUGH:
3cups all purpose flour
2 1/4teaspoonsinstant dry yeast
8 tablespoonsunsalted butter
2 large eggslightly beaten
FOR THE APRICOT FILLING:
2tablespoons brandy or cognac
2tablespoonshalf and half or milk
remaining apricot filling
MAKE THE PASTRY:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar yeast and salt.
Place the butter in a glass 1-cup measure and microwave in 30 second bursts until butter has melted. Whisk the buttermilk into the butter. This mixture needs to be between 105°- 115°F BEFORE ADDING TO THE FLOUR MIXTURE. If it's too cool, heat it in 5-10 second bursts. If it's too hot, let it cool to the proper temperature. Too hot and you will kill the yeast.
Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, then add the eggs. Attach the dough hook attachment and mix the ingredients on low speed for about 5-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic
Note, you can do this by hand if you start with a wooden spoon to mix and then use your hands to knead and combine -- it will take about twice as long to get it to the smooth/elastic stage -- but it's a great arm workout!
Turn the oven on to 250° for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven. Oven should be warm but not hot.
Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, flipping once to lightly coat. Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and set in the warm oven to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
MAKE THE APRICOT FILLING:
While the dough is rising, remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften -- it needs to be spreadable for the filling.
If the apricot preserves are chunky, place them in the bowl of a mini food processor and pulse until smoother.
Place the preserves in a glass measuring cup and microwave in 30-second bursts until thin and liquidy. Add the cognac and almond extract to the apricot preserves and whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
ROLL OUT THE DOUGH
Spray two 9"- cake pans with vegetable spray and set aside.
When the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 26" x 13" rectangle with the wide end facing you. (this dough is a dream to work with -- and it shouldn't give you a problem rolling it out.)
Drop spoonfuls of the softened butter equal parts over the rectangle of dough. Use an offset spatula to spread the butter into an even layer over the dough, leaving about a 1/2" - 3/4" border edge uncovered.
Drizzle the 3/4 cup of the apricot mixture over the dough and spread evenly over the butter, again leaving a 1/2" - 3/4" border edge uncovered.
Roll the dough into a firm, but not too tight (you don't want the filling to ooze out), cylinder or pinwheel, starting on the wide end of the dough. You will have a 26" log. Trim the rough edges from either end and discard.
Cut the dough equally with a sharp knife into 16-20 pinwheels. Transfer the sweet rolls to the prepared baking pans with the pinwheel design facing up.
TO MAKE NOW:
Cover with a dishtowel and let the dough rise again, about 1 hour or until almost doubled in size. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
TO MAKE LATER:
After putting the rolls in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. The next morning, take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let them rise for 1-2 hours. Then continue with the baking instructions.
TO BAKE THE SWEET ROLLS:
Preheat the oven to 375° and bake the sweet rolls for 13-18 minutes or until very lightly browned. (make sure you don't get them too dark, otherwise the pastry won't be soft.)
PREPARE THE GLAZE:
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and half and half. Heat the remaining apricot mixture in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until liquidy. Pour the apricot mixture into the glaze and stir well to combine.
When the rolls are done, remove them from the oven. Let them sit for a few minutes before pouring the glaze over the top of the still warm rolls. Serve hot from the pan.