Heart Cinnamon Rolls with Apple, Hazelnuts and Pecan Nut Caramel

dsc04328bHello my dears!

Today’s post is again a special one – it is my guest post for Sarah from Hidden Sweet Treats. She made a lovely cupcake recipe for me including some of my favourite ingredients and I made this recipe here for here inspired by some of her favourite flavours.dsc04287bdsc04438b dsc04316bThe result was really amazing! I loved both the texture and the taste of these wonderful little hearts.dsc04304bdsc04305b

At the bottom, there’s a tender, creamy pecan nut caramel and on top sits a lovely cinnamon roll in heart shape based on the Swiss “Hefe-Schnecke”. And of course, there’s much more to the filling than only cinammon: The filling also involves hazelnuts, more pecan nuts, cream and an apple.dsc04310bdsc04428bdsc04326b

Thanks to this apple, my hearts are not too sweet and, in addition, they’re also incredibly moist and soft, thanks to the apricot jam and the caramel. Besides – I simply love baking with yeast, especially in winter! When the dough rises and transforms, that’s almost like magic to me… dsc04435bdsc04319b

In that sense, enjoy this magical time – it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Best wishes,
Bettina.

P.S. Check out the guest post here!dsc04297b

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Heart Cinnamon Rolls with Apple, Hazelnuts and Pecan Nut Caramel

active preparation time: about 1 h
(plus rising for about 1.5 h)
yield: about 20 hearts (if you don’t have heart shaped forms, you can also use a muffin tin)

Ingredients:

  • 120g pecan nuts (finely chopped)
  • 90g butter
  • 150g muscovado sugar
  • 10 tbsp. cream
  • 300g flour
  • 5g salt
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 70g butter, softened
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 1 dl warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 120g ground hazelnuts
  • 30g finely chopped pecan nuts
  • 3 tbsp. muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 apple
  • ½ lemon, zest
  • 4-6 tbsp. cream
  • about 100g apricot jam

 

Preparation:

  1. For the caramel: Finely chop the pecan nuts. Put butter, sugar and cream into a small pot and bring to the boil while constantly stirring. Cook the mixture at a rapid boil for 1 minute, then take it off the stove and add the pecan nuts. Evenly distribute the caramel into the heart forms.
  2.  Sieve the flour into a big bowl. Add salt.
  3. Warm the butter, whisk until cream. Then, add it to the flour mixture. Stir.
  4. Dissolve the fresh yeast and the sugar in the slightly warmed milk while stirring.
  5. Form a little well in the flour mixture and pour the yeast-milk into this well. Add the egg. Stir until the dough sticks together.
  6. Put the dough onto a lightly floured working surface and knead well for at least 8 minutes.
  7. Flour the dough and put it into a clean bowl. Cover with a slightly wet kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 45-60 min.
  8.  In the meantime, prepare the filling: Combine the ground hazelnuts, finely chopped pecan nuts, sugar, peeled and grated apple, lemon zest and cream in a small bowl. Add another tablespoon of cream, if the mixture is too dry. Set aside.
  9.  Punch the risen dough back and form a thin (2-3 mm) rectangle. Cover it with the filling. Roll it from the long side.dsc04277b
  10. Push the roll firmly together (maybe you have to roll it again). Cut the roll into slices of about 2-3 cm. Lay the slices into the heart forms and press them carefully onto the caramel. Let the hearts rise (covered by a kitchen towel) in a warm place for another 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  11.  Bake the hearts for about 15-20 minutes. When they’re done, take them out of the oven and brush them with apricot jam (which you have previously heated in a pot) while they’re still warm.
  12. Let the hearts cool down on a cooling rack or enjoy them warm – as you prefer it.

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Heart Cinnamon Rolls with Apple, Hazelnuts and Pecan Nut Caramel (Recipe English)

Hefeteig-Herzen mit Apfel, Zimt und Pekannuss-Karamell (Rezept Deutsch)

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Guest Post: Stellar Mince Pies (inspired by Mrs Weasley)

Stellar Mince Pies ~~~ TODAY: ANOTHER GUEST POST WRITTEN BY MY FRIEND KATHRIN! ~~~

As you may have noticed I am currently launching a “Harry Potter Food” collection for all fellow Harry Potter lovers! Now, these lovely mince pies Kathrin is going to tell you about have been our dessert last Saturday when we and another friend enjoyed a wonderful Harry Potter Evening. Kathrin baked them inspired by a Harry Potter quote and some of the mince pies (though none of those in the picture) were even topped by lightning bolts! I tasted them myself can absolutely recommend them – they were simply delicious and made us feeling a bit Christmassy already! – Bettina.

P.S. If you’d like to see some more of Kathrin’s baking creations, you can follow her here!_________________________________

‘Oy! Presents!’
Harry reached out for his glasses and put them on, squinting through the semi-darkness to the foot of his bed, where a small heap of parcels had appeared. Ron was already ripping the paper off his own presents.
‘Another jumper from Mum …  maroon
again … see if you’ve got one.’
Harry had. Mrs Weasley had sent him a scarlet jumper with the Gryffindor lion knitted on the front, also a dozen home-baked mince pies, some Christmas cake and a box of nut brittle. As the moved all these things aside, he saw a long, thin package lying underneath.
‘What’s that?’ said Ron, looking over, a freshly unwrapped pair of maroon socks in his hand.

– Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 165.

The other day I was thinking of what dessert to bring to a Harry Potter night with friends. I somehow felt a bit Christmassy (I blame the supermarkets and their Christmas displays in early October) and decided to bake some mince pies, a typical treat served during the Christmas season. Now you may wonder what mincemeat has in common with dessert. Well, there are two types of mince pies. The original one is salty and does indeed contain meat. However, the mince pies in this recipe here contain sweet mincemeat, a mixture of dried fruits, sugar and orange juice.

To spice these treats up a bit, I put some stars (and lightning bolts) on top to cover the pies. They were stellar in look as well in taste! – Kathrin.

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Stellar Mince Pies

Yields: 12-16 servings
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the pastry dough:

  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 225g butter cubed
  • 1 beaten egg
  • cold water as needed
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

For the mincemeat (should be made at least one day ahead):

  • 3 small apples (peeled, cored, quartered and sliced into slices)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp candied orange peel
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 1/2 cup orange or apple juice + a few tablespoons more if the mixture seems dry)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Make sure to prepare the mincemeat at least one day in advance. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. The mixture should be moist and hold together a bit. If it seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of juice. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  2. To make the pastry combine flour, salt, icing sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub the butter cubes into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Carefully add the beaten egg and stir until fully combined. If the dough is too dry, add water by teaspoon but do not make it too wet that it is sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Grease a regular sized muffin tin and preheat the oven to 205°C.
  4. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto the dough and roll it out, about 3mm thick. Using an 8cm cutter or something of similar size cut out circles of dough and slightly stretch them. Cut out small stars or lightning bolts from the remaining dough to place on top of the pies. Fit each circle of dough into the cup of your muffin tin, don’t worry if the pastry doesn’t come to the top.
  5. Fill the pastry-lined tins with mincemeat to the very top. Place the stars on top and slightly sprinkle with some icing sugar on top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Cool the pies in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a plate.

(Inspired by Dumbledore’s Vegan Army)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Stellar Mince Pies (English)

Stellar Mince Pies (Deutsch)

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P.S. Do you remember what that ominous package (from the quote) contained..? Feel free to comment below!