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Chocolate Cherry Cinnamon Buns

Who among us loves a good ol’ fashioned cinnamon bun?  How about chocolate?  Or maybe even chocolate covered cherries?  If that was you that just shoved your significant other out of the way (in a very loving manner of course) to get a better look at this confection, then this is your lucky day.  Meet the chocolate cherry cinnamon bun.  Not for the faint of heart, this bakery frontrunner combines all the classics into one swirled delight.

I’ve wanted to try my hands at cinnamon rolls for sometime now, but if you know me at all, then you know I wasn’t about to do it up without a twist.  When Oregon Fruit decided to share a few containers of their wonderful canned harvest with me, I garnered the inspiration I needed.  I would add fruit; cherries to be exact.  The whole experiment still felt a bit “been there done that” to me though, so I did what I always do when I need to kick it up a notch.  I added chocolate.  You can thank me after you take your first bite.  Trust me on this one.

Time to make the doughnuts.  Or should I say the cinnamon buns.

Grab a small pot and heat up a little milk until it reaches 110 degrees.  Turn off the burner and add in some butter.

Let the butter melt completely into the milk.  This may take a minute or two.  Patience, oh anxious one.

Once it’s completely melted, add in some yeast.

Stir the yeast in and set the pot to the side for a few minutes to allow the yeast to “wake up”.

Corral a large bowl and combine a little flour, salt, cocoa powder and sugar.  Add the dry ingredients to your mixer along with the rested milk mixture and a couple eggs.

Place a dough hook on your mixer, flip the switch and allow it to twirl around a few times forming a wet ball.  Add in additional flour, a little at a time, until you achieve a smooth and elastic dough.  If you don’t have a mixer, you can knead the dough by hand as well.

Place your ball in a greased bowl with a towel over the top and let it rise for a good hour.  When ready to move forward, grab up the dough and roll it out on your work surface until it’s the rough shape of a rectangle and about 1/4″ thick.

Snatch a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and concoct a super delicious spread for your dough.

Grab your can of Oregon cherries.  Drain and reserve the juice.  Quarter them up and spread over the butter mixture.  Tell me these buns aren’t starting to look mighty fine.

Roll them up into a tight spiral and cut off hunks about 1 1/2″ inches thick.  I cut off the ends of mine as well.  No wimpy buns for this mommy.

Place them snugly into your favorite baking pan and deposit back into a cold oven with the light on for one hour.

After the hour is up, turn on the oven with the buns still inside and cook ’em up all flaky and delicious like.

While they’re cooling, grab a little cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a couple tablespoons of the drained cherry juice.  Whip it together to form a killer icing.

Flip the cooled buns onto a serving tray, drizzle a little (ok a lot) of the cherry icing over the top, grab a plate and fork, insert the loaded utensil into your mouth and prepare to swoon with chocolate cherry pleasure.

Please send all thank you cards and gifts to “best friggin’ cinnamon bun evva” Lane – Charlotte, NC.

 

Chocolate Cherry Cinnamon Buns

Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

FOR THE DOUGH:

1 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Butter
2 1/4 tsp Yeast (1 Packet)
5 1/2 Cups Cake Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs

FOR THE FILLING

1 Stick Butter, Softened (1/2 Cup)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 15 Oz Can Oregon Dark Sweet Pitted Cherries, Drained and Quartered

FOR THE ICING:

4 Oz Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Cherry Juice, Reserved from Can
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Directions:

Start out by heating your milk until the temperature reaches 110 degrees (just above luke warm). Remove from heat.

Add in the butter and allow it to melt into the milk completely.

Add in the yeast and let the mixture rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine 4 cups of the flour, the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.

Transfer the milk, eggs and flour mixture to a mixer. Using a dough hook, combine the ingredients.

Add the additional 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a smooth elastic dough forms.

Place the dough in a greased up bowl, cover and allow about an hour to rise.

Roll out your prepared dough to about a 1/4" thick rectangle.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread the mixture over your dough.

Spread the quartered cherries over the dough.

Roll the dough up to form a tight spiral and cut into approximately 1 1/2" thick pieces. Remove the ends if desired.

Place cut pieces snuggly in a baking pan and let them rest in a cold oven for one hour with the light on.

After one hour, turn on the oven to 350 degrees with the buns still inside, and let them cook up for 40-45 minutes. Check to see if they're cooked through by inserting a toothpick into a bun in the middle of the pan and pushing it all the way down to make sure the bottoms of buns are cooked through. If the tops are getting darker than you'd like, simply lay a piece of tin foil lightly over the baking dish.

Whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, reserved cherry juice, and vanilla.

Once out of the oven, let the buns rest for about 10 minutes before flipping over onto a serving tray.

Drizzle cherry icing over warm cinnamon buns and serve.

Note: Oregon Fruit generously provided me with a case of their assorted canned fruits.  The recipe and opinions, however, are completely my own.