Orange Kissed Cinnamon Rolls with Cranberries and Pecans

Good morning (afternoon, actually) and Happy Monday everyone!  It’s been a very eventful weekend here- Saturday I had a holiday party at the apartment and Sunday I attended a Fit Seminar at Chelsea Piers.  

As I overindulge in the holiday sweets and festivities I’m starting to realize why everyone decides to diet and detox in January.  After all the gluttony between Halloween and New Year’s you really have no choice but to clean shop.  Sure, for many people they decide to resolve to make changes in the new year but for me I just need to reset everything from the last few weeks.

But it isn’t January yet so I’m going to go ahead and let the gluttony continue (as a side note however, I am currently slurping down a green protein shake I blended up this morning alongside the last of a cinnamon roll).

A while back I was contacted by a representative from Flavor of the Earth to discuss Cinnamon. I spend a lot of time reading about foods, diets, trends and findings but this somehow slipped my radar. I had no idea there were actually several types of Cinnamon. I suppose this shouldn’t be a strange concept seeing as almost every food and spice has multiple varieties but it had never occured to me.

It was brought to my attention that not only are there several varieties, but the most common variety sold within the U.S. is Cassia Cinnamon, which has been banned and/or restricted within many countries due to its high levels of Coumarin (which is naturally occuring). Coumarin can act as a blood thinner and can have negative effects on the liver and kidneys. Danish bakers were actually struggling with proposed bans because it was found that some of their traditional recipes contained amounts that exceeded those recommended by the European Union. Luckily the Danish Bakers’ Association able to find a loophole by classifying their goods as traditional or seasonal foods and thus should only be consumed occasionally.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not set limits on Coumarin intake levels, the European Food Safety Authority has set a daily tolerable intake at approximately 1 teaspoon a day for adults.

Now this may seem like a lot- I mean, you’d have to consume many cinnamon cookies and desserts to hit this limit daily (and you’d probably have other issues from consuming that many sweets) but when you consider how many people are adding large amounts Cinnamon to shakes and smoothies for suspected health benefits, it can be a problem.

(Before the glaze)

(Before the glaze)

Flavor of the Earth sells Ceylon Cinnamon. From Sri Lanka, grown without pesticides and chemicals, the bark is ground up in small batches and packaged immediately. Ceylon Cinnamon has substantially less Coumarin than Cassia Cinnamon, making it safer for daily consumption. It’s lighter in color and has a more delicate scent and taste.

(After!)

(After!)

I’ve been enjoying adding the Ceylon Cinnamon to my smoothies and oatmeal but I wanted to make a recipe that was quintessentially “cinnamon”.  Cinnamon rolls seemed like just the thing.  These babies are delicious but with any yeast recipe they do take a decent amount of time to prepare and make.

Disclaimer: Flavor of the Earth sent me their products to sample and review for the purpose of making recipes- no other compensation was received..  All opinions are my own.

Orange Kissed Cinnamon Rolls

Dough:

1/4 oz Package of Yeast

1/2 Cup Warm Water

1/4 Cup Orange Juice

1/4 Milk

1/3 Cup Softened Butter

1 tsp Salt

1 Egg

3 1/2 Cups Flour

Filling:

1/3 Cup Softened Butter

1/2 Cup Sugar

3 Tablespoons Ceylon Cinnamon

1/2 Cup Pecan Pieces

1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries

Topping:

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

2 TBSP Orange Juice

Combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine orange juice, milk, butter salt and egg.  One half cup at a time, add in the flour until combined.  Add in yeast mixture.  On a floured surface, kneed dough by hand for several minutes. Place in a lightly greased covered bowl for an hour and a half.

Once dough has doubled, punch it down and roll out to a 8×14 inch rectangle.  Spread one side with softened butter.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top along with pecans and cranberries.  Carefully roll dough up and slice into 1 inch wide pieces.  Place in a greased 7×11 inch glass pan.  Cover and let it rise for 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 350° F.

Bake rolls for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile mix orange juice and powdered sugar (If you want lots of ooy-gooy goodness, double the amount).

Once rolls are baked, drizzle with topping and serve warm!

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