Summer is full of patriotic holidays and events, and these Patriotic Berry Sweet Rolls are a great way to celebrate!
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I associate the hot summer months with patriotic celebrating. With summer being surrounded by Memorial Day and Labor Day with 4th of July in the middle, the theme tends to stick with me all summer. And here in Colorado we get a true four seasons, so our summer is somewhat shorter than many other locations. So I celebrate it while I can!
My various cinnamon and sweet rolls are extremely popular in the family and are requested often! I always make them for the holidays and typically make two different kinds. They are the perfect special treat to start a holiday off with. And what I love best is that these work wonderfully when you make them the day before. This means you don’t have to get up insanely early to make the rolls plus breakfast is easy. There is enough going on that day, so prepping what you can in advance is the way to go!
These Patriotic Berry Sweet Rolls are topped with a bunch of fun sprinkles in red, white, and blue. I have a lot of different colored sugar crystals which I used here, and I found these amazing star sprinkles online which are just PERFECT for these rolls and other desserts. With the red jam and the blue fruits, you have the red, white, and blue theme throughout!
If you have never made cinnamon or sweet rolls before, it can be a little intimidating. I hesitated for the longest time before jumping in and trying them out. How I wish I had tried them earlier! They really are not too difficult to make and they taste absolutely amazing! Now I make them all the time for events, birthdays, and holidays.
- Scald your milk by heating 3/4 cup of milk over medium high heat in a skillet. Once the milk is simmering, turn the heat off. You should have approximately 1/2 cup left. Measure out the 1/2 cup milk and discard the rest. (This is important because milk has a protein that prohibits yeast from rising properly. Heating the milk will break this protein and allow the yeast to do its thing).
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water as per package directions for the correct temperature to ensure that you keep your yeast alive (typically between 100-110F).
- In another small bowl, combine the berries and cornstarch. If your berries are frozen, thaw and drain them first. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the 1/2 cup scalded milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, and egg. Let it sit if the temperature of this mixture is over 110F otherwise it will kill the yeast. Once at 110F or below, add the yeast mixture and mix to combine.
- Add in 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is easy to handle (the amount of flour that you need will vary).
- Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. It is done when it bounces back when you push on it, and you can pull it very thin to see light through it without it tearing a hole. Place the dough into a greased bowl (you can use 1-2 tsp of vegetable oil to coat the bowl you mixed everything in). Cover bowl with saran wrap and then a kitchen towel. Let sit until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 60-90 minutes.
- When dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Then put it back on a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 15x9 inches.
- Combine the filling's cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the dough in a thin layer. Depending on the exact size of your dough, you may need a little more to coat it all.
- Spread the jam over the cream cheese. You want just enough to make a very thin layer so that you do not have too much filling. Sprinkle the berries across the filling.
- From the long edge, tightly roll the dough all the way to the other long edge and pinch dough together to seal. Try not to push the berries but rather slightly lift the dough over them as you roll to keep them in place.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the log in half. Then cut each half into half again so that you have four equal pieces. Lining up two pieces at a time, cut each into three rolls so that you have a total of 12 rolls.
- Coat the bottom of your 9x13" baking dish with some additional melted butter (approximately 1 Tbsp) and sugar to coat. Place the cinnamon roll slices close together (four rows of three) in the dish and let them rise until the dough has doubled again, approximately 45 minutes. (If you are making these the night before, once the rolls have doubled in size, cover them in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. In the morning, pull them out to warm to room temperature before baking).
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Once the rolls have doubled in size, place them in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until they are starting to brown.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing. Whisk the cream cheese in a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk in until combined. Add in the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. If you would like to add some peppermint extract in the glaze for a stronger flavor, do so now and combine. If the cream cheese is lumpy, you can heat this mixture at any point in a microwave safe bowl for 10 seconds at a time until smooth again.
- When the rolls are done, let them cool slightly and then top with the icing. Finish with patriotic sprinkles. Serve warm.