The cinnamon roll you want on Christmas morning or any morning. From scratch, sweet and comforting, these Chocolate Chip Walnut Cinnamon Rolls are perfect. Make them the night before to make your morning even easier.
The holiday season can be tough for anyone. It’s 4 weeks of crazy with a bunch of family and wrapping paper involved.
So, after a week that has seemed like a bit of a blur, I found myself standing in the kitchen on this dreary morning needing a good dose of comfort and relaxation.
Comfort for me, comes in pretty dishes full of carbs and calories and there is really is no better way to achieve ultimate comfort than in the soft, sweet folds of yeast bread.
So this morning I hiked up my sweatpants and pulled back my unbrushed hair and dug out my big bag of flour.
First, I started with a pretty standard yeast bread. A recipe that you can find some variation of pretty readily and then I went from there. Christmas morning will be here before you know it and cinnamon rolls are always a crowd favorite for that special morning, so I thought I should practice.
And if cinnamon rolls are good, CHOCOLATE cinnamon rolls must be better! And with chocolate chips! And nuts! And chocolate sauce!
I was liking where this was headed…
Then, a knead, and a rise, and roll later and I had one very yummy dose of comfort on my kitchen counter.
Making the Yeast Dough
Please, don’t be intimidated by yeast dough. It is not hard. I mean, the yeast is doing all of the real work!
First, you want to bloom the yeast. You want to do that by warming up the milk and adding just a little bit (a teaspoon) of sugar.
The milk needs to be about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (use a digital thermometer) and then whisk in the yeast. Let it stand for a few minutes until the top gets all foamy. Now you are ready to rock and roll!
Mixing and Kneading the Dough
Honestly, I do most of the mixing a kneading in my KitchenAid stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, then you can absolutely do this by hand.
Just be prepared for a little bit of a workout. You want to knead your dough until the outside is smooth and bounces back when you poke a finger in the flesh.
Rolling out your sweet rolls
If you don’t have miles of counter space, take this project to the kitchen table where you can spread out.
Try to roll your dough out at least a half-inch or so. The more rolls the more filling!
You can prep your sweet rolls the day before and then let them hang out in the fridge until the next morning.
You’ll need to let the dough warm up and rise before you bake them, but its totally worth the wait.
Basic Yeast Bread
- 2 c . milk
- 1/4 c . unsalted butter softened
- 6 1/2 - 7 1/2 cups of flour divided
- 2 packages of active dry yeast
- 2 t . salt
- 1/4 c . sugar
- 2 eggs
Walnut Chocolate Chip Rolls
- 1 recipe basic yeast bread
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 T cocoa divided
- 1/2 t . cinnamon
- 6 T melted butter
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 c . powdered sugar
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk
- For the dough: Heat the milk and butter over low heat in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Set aside and let cool to about 120 degrees.
- Meanwhile, combine 4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and whisk. Beat in the milk mixture and then the eggs (do the milk before the eggs so that the eggs won't cook). Continue to beat for another 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- For rolls: Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured board. Cut the dough in half and set one half aside. Roll the other half into about a 20x15 rectangle.
- Brush one side of the dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/2 inch border.In a bowl, mix together the sugar, 4 tablespoons of cocoa and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the melted butter. Top with half of the chocolate chips and nuts. Starting with the short edge, loosely roll the dough, jelly-roll style. Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces and place, cut side up into a greased baking dish.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes ( or put them in the fridge to bake in the morning). Preheat the oven to 375 and bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Mix powdered sugar, remaining cocoa, and milk together until well combined. Drizzle over the top of the rolls and serve!