Wish Upon A Dish: Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls

August 29, 2013

Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls

My absolute, hands down favorite pie is blueberry and my favorite dessert is cheesecake. When I can take the two and make a cinnamon-style bun with a blueberry sauce and topped with a streusel cream cheese filling, why wouldn't I?

OMG, where have these been all my life? Not ever having the chance to make my own cinnamon buns, I admit I do have a recipe for a lemon curd filled bun on my Wish List, but when I saw this, and I had all the ingredients on hand, I had no choice but to bury that lemon, sorry.

The whole concept of this bun is genius and by simply switching the fruit, like you would a pie filling, you can make a batch every weekend without ever repeating. I am actually thinking of making apple-pumpkin cream cheese rolls for Thanksgiving. If you have guests coming in the night before, make a batch of these and make a pot of tea & a pot of coffee, or give them a good start to their trip home.

I promise you that I will be making more of these. The Nudge took four huge buns to work with a couple of knives and they were gone before he was able to cut himself a piece. He can get one at home but I pity those that thought getting a cup of coffee before a bun was the better idea.
I recommend not putting much pressure on the first time of anything. These were good but not great. I want GREAT, ya know?

What would I do different, not being the grand dame of pastry baking?

Well, I would make more blueberry filling but not with more blueberries, but with a very thick jam, like Dickinson's Purely Fruit Spread. Although the dough stayed moist, the filling could have used more help.
I am never happy with those "swirl" pudding cakes with no swirl.
I also would have made a better effort to roll the dough tighter. Maybe rolling the dough, placing parchment on top, roll into a cylider and then a quick cool in the fridge. Actually, you could probably do the dough up to this step one day and finish them off another day.

The rolls did not quite stand up in layers, they sort of flopped flat in the pan before the second rise could inflate them and when they did rise they were not all standing at attention. I thought about baking them in Texas muffin tins but the whole idea is that they bake next to each other.

One thing not in the recipe that I was glad I did. I made a sling with parchment paper so I was able to lift the whole batch out of the pan and easily cut them into individual rolls. I highly recommend this step.

I bet if I make these in cooler months I will have much more success. In the mean time, I will just have to have fun practicing.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes 1 dozen

3/4 cup lukewarm milk
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 large egg
* 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

* 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
* 1/4 cup fruit juice or red wine
* 1/2 cup your favorite sugar sub (I use Truvia)
* 1 packet unflavored gelatin
*  pinch of salt

* 12 ounces (1 1/2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
* 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened

1. Prepare the yeast dough by hand, machine or on the dough cycle of your bread machine. The dough will be soft and smooth.
2. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes, or until full and puffy.
3. Gently deflate the dough and pat to an 8" x 10" rectangle. Cut into 4 equal lengths, then cut each length into 10 pieces.
4. After readying the dough up to the point where it's starting its first rise, prepare the filling. Place the berries and juice or wine in a medium-sized saucepan. Combine the sugar, gelatin, and salt. Add the sugar/thickener to the berries/wine and cook over medium heat until the sauce is thick, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
5. Gently deflate the risen dough, and roll/pat it into an 18" x 20" rectangle. Spread with the cooled blueberry filling, and roll up cinnamon-roll style.
6. Slice the roll into 12 equal portions. Place in a greased 9" x 13" x 2" baking dish, cut (spiral) side up. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and let rise for 40 minutes.
7. As the dough is rising, prepare the topping. Combine the softened cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt. Stir until very smooth. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Cut off a generous piece of the corner of the bag, leaving an opening the size of a quarter.
8. Prepare the streusel by combining the flour, sugar, and butter with a fork or your fingers until it's in large crumbles, similar to large granola clusters.
9. Uncover the rolls and pipe a large dollop of cream cheese filling on top of each. Use your wet fingers to spread the filling completely over the top of each bun.
10. Sprinkle the streusel over the tops of the rolls. Use all the streusel; don't worry if it falls off the top of the rolls and settles between them. Everything will bake together just fine.
11. Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes. They should be golden brown on the edges, and the streusel should be nicely browned, as well. A digital thermometer should read 200°F when inserted into the center of a roll.
12. Remove the rolls from the oven. Serve warm, or at room temperature. These large, rich buns make a very filling breakfast!

Tip:  For smaller buns, divide the dough into 24 equal portions and place in two well-greased 12-cup muffin pans. Reduce the baking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

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