Pear-Ginger Cinnamon Rolls

When I went to Stonyfield Yogurt last summer, one of my favorite discoveries of the whole trip was their Oh My Yog Ginger Pear Yogurt. I can’t find it where I live. This was such a happy discovery and also kind of sad because the closest store that has it is 90 minutes away. So what better way to deal with sad feelings than cinnamon rolls? Cinnamon rolls with gingered pears? And frosting? Like…brown butter frosting? Cream cheese frosting?? I made this batch with brown butter, but I know it would be amazing with cream cheese (the filling is pretty sweet, so the cream cheese would be a nice contrast.)

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To make the dough, you’ll need a pint of whole milk, some sugar, and some vegetable oil.

Ginger-Pear Cinnamon Rolls

Combine the milk, sugar, and oil In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.

If you’ve got lots of ice handy, dump all that you have into a clean sink and then place the pan of scalded milk over the ice. This way, the milk mixture cools quickly and the melted ice just drips down the drain.

When the milk is warm (around 105-115 degrees), remove from ice and sprinkle a packet (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast over the milk mixture.

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Allow to stand for 10 minutes–it should look like this at first…

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And this after 10 minutes.

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Stir. If you’d like, you can transfer everything to a large mixing bowl (it’s less annoying in the fridge.) Add four cups of flour…

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Mix…

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and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour.

Mix remaining 1/2 c. flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

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Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. If you don’t want to make these right away, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for a few hours and up to a few days. You can also allow it to rise at room temperature for about an hour if you want to make these right away.

When you’re ready to make the rolls, lightly spray a work surface with non-stick cooking spray and roll the dough out into a rectangle that’s about 6×18″.

Ginger-Pear Cinnamon Rolls-13If you’d like to peel the pears, you can…I did. But pear skins are so thin that they’re pretty unobtrusive. To peel them super easily, bring a pot of water to a boil and fill another bowl with ice water. When the water is boiling, drop the pears in it for 20 seconds, then plunge them into the ice water and their skins slide right off.

Ginger-Pear Cinnamon Rolls-10Then you can just cut out the core and chop them up! You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of chopped pears, which is about 3 medium pears.

In a medium bowl, mix the pears, the juice of half of a small lemon (about 1 teaspoon), Ginger-Pear Cinnamon Rolls-11ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.

Ginger-Pear Cinnamon Rolls-12In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar Spread the butter mixture over the dough

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and then top with the pear mixture.

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Roll up tightly, making a log about 18″ long. With a very sharp knife or dental floss, trim off about 2 inches on either side.

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Using dental floss or a sharp knife, mark the dough into 12 equal pieces. Use the dental floss to cut the dough along the spots that you marked (grab about 8 inches of floss and slip it under the log. Cross the top pieces and pull, so it cuts the dough.) Place the dough pieces, cut side up, in the pan.

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Cover and rise for 30 minutes. Bake the rolls for 15-22 minutes or until golden brown and the innermost rolls are cooked through.

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If the edge pieces are getting too brown, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to prevent further browning.

When done, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting. For cream cheese frosting, click here; for brown butter frosting, click here. When the rolls have cooled, spread the frosting over the rolls. Makes 12 rolls.

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Pear-Ginger Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 12
If you want to mix up your cinnamon roll game a little, these rolls are filled with gingered pears (plus other fall spices) and topped with either cream cheese or brown butter frosting!
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Ingredients
  1. DOUGH
  2. 2 c. whole milk
  3. 1/2 c. canola oil
  4. 1/2 c. sugar
  5. 1 package active dry yeast
  6. 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  7. 1/2 heaping tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/2 scant tsp. baking soda
  9. 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. FILLING
  11. 1 1/2 cups diced pears (about 3 medium pears; you can peel them if you'd like; please see instructions in this blog post)
  12. Juice from 1/2 small lemon
  13. 1 teaspoon ginger (fresh or dry)
  14. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  15. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  16. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  17. Pinch of salt
  18. 6 teaspoons melted, salted butter
  19. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  20. 1/4 cup white sugar
  21. Brown Butter or Cream Cheese (see instructions on this recipe for links)
Instructions
  1. To make the dough, combine the milk, sugar, and oil In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.
  2. If you’ve got lots of ice handy, dump all that you have into a clean sink and then place the pan of scalded milk over the ice. This way, the milk mixture cools quickly and the melted ice just drips down the drain.
  3. When the milk is warm (around 105-115 degrees), remove from ice and sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Stir. Mix in 4 c. flour and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour.
  4. Mix remaining 1/2 c. flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to a few days. You can also allow it to rise at room temperature for about an hour if you want to make these right away.
  5. When you’re ready to make the rolls, lightly spray a work surface with non-stick cooking spray and roll the dough out into a rectangle that’s about 6×18″.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix the pears, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar Spread the butter mixture over the dough and then top with the pear mixture. Roll up tightly, making a log about 18″ long. With a very sharp knife or dental floss, trim off about 2 inches on either side.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  10. Using dental floss or a sharp knife, mark the dough into 12 equal pieces. Use the dental floss to cut the dough along the spots that you marked (grab about 8 inches of floss and slip it under the log. Cross the top pieces and pull, so it cuts the dough.) Place the dough pieces, cut side up, in the pan. Cover and rise for 30 minutes. Bake the rolls for 15-22 minutes or until golden brown and the innermost rolls are cooked through. If the edge pieces are getting too brown, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to prevent further browning.
  11. When done, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting. When the rolls have cooled, spread the frosting over the rolls. Makes 12 rolls.
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9 comments

  1. These sounds like a perfect treat for conference weekend.

    I have a question that might be weird but I’m so intrigued that I have to ask it. Why do you use both yeast and baking soda/powder? I know soda & powder are different, but often used together so I’m treating their combination as one thing for the purpose of this question. They are all for leavening but I always thought it was kind of an either/or situation (as in either yeast or some combination of soda & powder). The only thing I can figure out is that lots of roll recipes use eggs to make them lighter, so maybe in the absence of eggs you need the powder/soda combination to make the rolls lighter than just regular bread? Is there another reason?

  2. Oh boy ! This is really something good ! But tell me, where on Earth did you get that blue plate ? I am looking for that color for months ! Thank you !

  3. These look amazing! Have you ever tried making and rolling them, then putting them in the fridge overnight? I’m wondering if they would do their last rise in the fridge or if they wouldn’t rise at all (or too much). I’d love to make these, but I can’t see myself having 90 minutes in the morning to prep and bake them. Thanks for any input!

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