This weekend has been a busy one so far. Yesterday, I spent the day shooting at Starved Rock Park with some friends for a client lifestyle photoshoot. Then I gallivanted off to Galena to meet up with the family for the holiday week. Now with just days until Christmas, I am so excited to be sharing not one, not two, not three, but FOUR holiday recipes to get you into the baking spirit! One of the recipes including these absolutely delicious Danish Cardamom Rolls with Hazelnut Frangipane! Perfect to feed a crowd this Christmas!
A recent client of mine had requested a Kringle for their photoshoot and since I had never heard of the pastry before, I had to do some digging. I learned that the dough recipe is adapted from a Danish pastry recipe used to make the Kringle. Kringle is a Scandinavian pastry popularized by a bakery in Racine, Wisconsin in the early 1940’s and has been a holiday staple every since.The dough is very similar to constructing a croissant dough with the lamination of the dough, but more brioche-like than flaky croissant texture. After making an original oval-shaped Kringle with raspberry preserve, I fell in love with the buttery and rich dough and knew it would be incredible as a cinnamon roll base.
I wanted to somehow elevate the traditional cinnamon roll, and I believe this is it! You get a flaky, buttery and rich dough that spirals around the homemade hazelnut frangipane (which is essentially a fancy name for ‘nut paste’, but nut paste just sounds raunchy!). Then a simple glaze on top helps round out all of the warm winter flavors of this sweet holiday dessert.
Danish Cardamom Buns with Hazelnut Frangipane
Original dough recipe from King Arthur Flour
Frangipane recipe adapted from The Spruce Eats
454g unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
659g all-purpose flour
67g granulated sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, if you use salted butter, reduce this to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
227g cold whole milk
1/3 to 1/2 cup (76g to 113g) lukewarm water*
2 large eggs
80g unsalted butter (softened)
100g granulated sugar
100g ground hazelnuts meal
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
18g all-purpose flour
320g confectioner’s sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
60g whole milk (or half and half)
For the Dough. Begin by cutting 1/4" butter off the end of each of the 4 sticks in the pound; leaving you with about 2 tablespoons butter. Set them (and the remaining butter) aside. You'll be using the 2 tablespoons butter immediately, but won't need the remaining butter until after you've made the dough.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, cardamom and cinnamon. Add the 2 tablespoons cold butter, working it in with your fingers until no large lumps remain. Add the vanilla, milk, water, and eggs. Mix and knead on a medium-low speed to make a cohesive, but quite sticky dough.
Transfer it to a floured work surface and form into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest on the work surface for 10 minutes while you prepare the butter. This gives the dough a chance to relax before we start working it out.
On a cutting board, cut each stick of butter in half lengthwise, to make 8 long rectangles. On a piece of floured parchment or plastic wrap, line up 4 of the butter pieces side by side, to form a rectangle. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and cover with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
Gently pound and roll the butter until it's about 6" x 9" (if you’re extra fancy, you can use a tape measure to be precise). Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces of butter. You should now have two butter rectangles, about 6" x 9" each. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12" wide and 24" long. Place one of the butter pieces onto the center third of the dough. Fold one side over the butter to cover it. Place the other butter piece atop the folded-over dough, and fold the remaining dough up over it. You now have a rectangular "packet" of dough-enclosed butter. Pinch the open ends and side closed as best you can.
Turn the dough 90°, so a 12" side is closest to you. Roll the dough into a 10" x 24" rectangle (approximately). Fold each side into the center; then fold one side over the other to make a rectangular packet about 6" x 10". Dust the surface of the dough with flour, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and again roll it into a rectangle about 10" x 24". Fold it into a packet as you did in step #10; it'll be about 7" x 12". Roll one final time, fold into a packet, and flour the dough lightly. Wrap loosely (but completely) in plastic, and chill it for 2 hours, or up to 16 hours; we prefer the longer refrigeration, as it gives the dough a chance to relax and rise.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to 12” x 24”. Using an off-set spatula, spread the hazelnut frangipane over the dough, covering it up to the edges. Starting at the 24” side, roll up dough and pinch the edge together to seal. Cut the log in half and transfer each to a lined baking sheet. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. This will yield more defined swirls, which is everyone’s dream.
Use a knife, slice the log into 1”- inch pieces. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the Danish lightly with greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for about 1 hour; they'll become slightly puff.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small bowl, whisk together egg + 1 tablespoon milk or water. Using a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash onto each of the buns. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake the pastries for 15 to 18 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Add glaze once buns begin to cool.
For the Frangipane. Place the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together. Add in the hazelnut meal and mix to combine, then add the egg and vanilla, gently beating until all is mixed. Finish by adding the flour and combining until well mixed. Transfer to a bowl and cover until needed. You can put the frangipane in the fridge if prepping overnight.
For the Glaze. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, vanilla, milk and cinnamon until combined. Pour over warm rolls and spread.