Thursday, July 6, 2017

Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls

I apologize in advance for the excessive use of parentheses (but I'm not sure how else to fit in all those side notes...), convoluted relationships, & diet-killer recipe. Also, if yours don't turn out, it's due to my scrambled directions, & Carol & Jeanelle are not to be held responsible. 

Before I married into the Sinn family, (before I ever dreamed I'd be marrying into the Sinn family), my friend (now my sister-in-law), had a mother named Carol (who became my aunt...sorry! all the connections need to be mentioned:) ) who made the most delicious Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls.  Soft, sweet roll dough cradling a moist raspberry filling, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting...I tried to be around during Ken's Oil customer appreciation, because I knew those rolls would be there. (Never mind that I wasn't a customer.) 

There was also a recipe in my family cookbook (ask my sister Shara for info on how to get your hands on one) for "Jeanelle's feather rolls". I had no idea who Jeanelle was. But her rolls were fantastic! 

And then, in a wonderfully strange God-ordained chain of events. my friend became my sister-in-law, her mother became my aunt, the unknown Jeanelle became my cousin, & I married into a family of berry growers. Raspberries at my fingertips. So many that I had to start coming up with ways to use all the ones I put in the freezer during my first summer of mad berry hoarding. (Which hasn't really slowed down, five years later...)
My new husband didn't care for sweets.  I love to bake. With excessive amounts of cream preferably. But he does love Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls. So I made them. Aaaand, they weren't great at the beginning. I got Carol's, now Aunt Carol's, recipe. And I made them over and over and over. 

It took time, but I've found our favorite combination of sweet & raspberry & just a hint of almond. For the sake of convenience, I make "Jeanelle's feather rolls" roll dough. I'm used to it, & it's never let me down. (Not since I realized I was killing my yeast with too hot of water...). Plus, I love that using Jeanelle's recipe means it's still a family recipe:). I leave the extra sugar out of the filling & we haven't missed it. And Dar's mom's touch: a splash of almond extract in the frosting. (I haven't yet, but slivered almonds on top would be a delightful addition)
 The rolls are an assembly of three parts: the dough, softened cream cheese, and the raspberry filling. That could be the recipe right there. Make your favorite roll dough, spread with softened cream cheese, & thickened raspberries. Bake according to your roll dough recipe, then frost.  If you'd like my exact recipe, (although be warned, I'm not a very exacting sort of person), here it is.

Jeanelle's feather rolls

yield: 2 9x13 pans of rolls

1/2 c. warm water
2 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 t. each)
1 T. sugar
1 c. warm milk
1 1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/3 c. shortening
1 1/2 t. baking powder
5 1/2 c. all purpose flour (can use 1 c. whole wheat flour, I've also used bread flour)

Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar in warm water (I use my kitchenaid). Add milk, salt, sugar, eggs, shortening, and baking powder. (I beat with the paddle attachment til mixed, then switch to the hook when I start adding flour.) Add flour last, one cup at a time. Knead slightly: dough will be sticky. Let rise one hour. Punch dough down, & divide in half.

 On a lightly floured surface, roll one half out into a 9x18 inch rectangle (approximately:) ). Spread 4 oz of softened cream cheese over surface. Spread half of your raspberry filling (recipe follows) over cream cheese. Also, aren't the little hands helping just too sweet? #floureverywhere

 Roll up  & cut into 18 rolls. I've found that a serrated knife coated in flour every cut works best for cutting these rolls. They are very tender & tend to ooze a little filling if you don't cut gently. Don't push, let the weight of the knife cut for you. If you're an exacting sort of person, cut a roll every inch.

Put in a sprayed 9x13 pan and let raise for 30 minutes. Repeat for other half of dough. Preheat oven to 350. Bake raised rolls for 18 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool, then frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows). Try to keep from licking it off everything...

Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (if you like it a little sweeter, you can add 4 T. powdered sugar & blend together: I never add it anymore)

Raspberry Filling
2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. clear jel, miraclear, or cornstarch (clear jel works well, but I don't always have it on hand)
dash of salt

Combine raspberries, sugar, & salt in saucepan over medium heat. When raspberries start to break apart, add the clearjel, miraclear, or cornstarch, & stir constantly until mixture is a clear, shiny red & all clumps are dissolved. (If using cornstarch, you can take a little of the raspberry mixture & mix it with the cornstarch before adding it to prevent clumping. I sometimes do, sometimes don't. Never had any complaints yet about clumpy filling :) ). Let cool to room temp before spreading on cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. cream or milk
2 t. almond extract (I like my almond: you could use just 1 t., or vanilla extract instead)

Mix cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, milk or cream, and almond extract. Adjust to desired consistency. Spread over cooled rolls.

Enjoy. And share a pan. I love that this makes 2 pans. I take one across the street to the family (after all, they provide the raspberries!), & freeze half of the rest for a later date. Or company. Whichever comes first (company usually). 

Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls. Bringing families together & using up a berry hoarder's stash since 2013.
I'd love to hear how you like them! (I know you will.)

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