Sugar & Spice Holiday Sweet Rolls

These decadent sweet rolls are irresistible, with crystals of brown sugar and spice, currants, and pecans with each yummy, gooey, delicious bite! We have made these pull-apart rolls for Thanksgiving morning every year that I can remember and they’re such a special treat that we find ourselves counting down to the holidays! They’re so tasty you’ll wish every day was a holiday.

Sugar & Spice Sweet Rolls

These sweet rolls are coated in cinnamon and cardamom brown sugar goodness with currants and pecans in every single bite! They are well worth the effort of making this yeast dough from scratch for the holidays. If you’re afraid of yeast bread, don’t be. You can do this! All you need is a little patience to knead the dough and let it rise. Once you get past the dough, let the family chip in. Form a little assembly line, and the sweet rolls will be ready to bake in no time. They also freeze well, in case you want to plan ahead. Reheat in the morning and they are just like fresh-baked. 

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick
  • 2 eggs

Toppings

  • 1 cube butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups currants or raisins

Filling

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine 2 ½ cups of the flour and yeast and mix well.
    Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan stirring all the while until butter almost melts and mixture reaches 110-115 ⁰ F. (Do NOT boil.) Add milk mixture to dries and stir to incorporate with a wooden spoon.
    Add eggs and beat by hand or with electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Beat for another three minutes on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Add enough of the remaining flour, (half cup at a time), and mix by hand to form a soft dough.
    Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5-8 minutes. You may need to add a little bit of flour as you knead the dough, and you’ll need to sprinkle the work surface with extra flour, too, as you go.
    When the dough should be slightly elastic, and bounce back when you pull at it.
  • Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place it in a large greased bowl, turning once to lightly grease the top of the dough.
    Cover top of the bowl with a slightly damp clean kitchen towel, and place in a warm, or sunny spot (not in a heated oven), for about 1¼ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile grease a 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Melt the butter and let it cool slightly.
    Mix sugars and spices in a medium bowl. Finely chop the nuts. I like to moisten the currants by pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit for about 20 minutes.
    Then wring the water out of them. This prevents the currants from drying out during the baking.
  • When the dough has risen, punch a little hole in it to let it deflate.
  • Divide the dough into approximately 36 balls, each 1-1½ inch in diameter.
    Roll each of the balls in the melted and cooled butter and transfer into sugar mixture.
    Roll in sugars and place them in the bottom of the tube pan. (I like to use a slotted spoon for taking the dough balls out of the melted butter and dropping them into the sugars and a separate spoon in the sugar mixture for coating the butter-dipped dough balls.)
  • When you have a full layer, sprinkle 1/3 of the nuts and currants over the butter-dipped dough balls.
    Repeat for two more layers, (you may only get 2 ½ layers, but that is no problem) ending with nuts and currants. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled, approximately 1 hour.
  • Bake in 350 ⁰ oven for 35-40 minutes.
    Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Invert onto a plate, removing tube pan. Serve warm.
    Can be made ahead and refrigerated or several weeks ahead and frozen. Wrap in foil and reheat before serving.
First rising of the dough in a warm cozy place in your kitchen
Now, you’re ready for the second dough rising. The dough has been rolled in melted butter and in sugar and spice mixture, with pecans and currants tossed in between the rolls.
Heck, why not make three batches at once and have plenty on hand for your next Sugar & Spice craving!

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