Someday, when my kids are grown, and our holiday traditions are a bit more fine tuned, I want to be that family that has our big feast over brunch. It’s my favorite meal by far, and I’m never without endless inspiration for brunch menus full of fizzy drinks, egg bakes, different varieties of hash etc…. And of course there are all the pastries, coffee cakes, and sweet rolls. Are you in? Do you do a holiday brunch instead of dinner?
These beautiful chocolate-y swirled rolls were even more delicious than when I imagined. A true sucker for cinnamon rolls, I didn’t know how these could compete. But, I had a vision of something Pain Au Chocolat inspired and these totally fit the bill. The dough was sweet and tender, with a swirl of bittersweet chocolate that was neither hard or totally gooey, kinda soft and semi melty. In short- almost a dessert but still an acceptable breakfast for a special occasion. (Right??)
These come together just like cinnamon rolls, but instead of spreading cinnamon sugar onto butter-topped dough, finely chopped dark chocolate gets pressed onto the dough and rolled up. After rising and baking to perfection, the rolls get drizzled with a simple vanilla glaze and are ready to be enjoyed. (Ideally alongside a cup of hot coffee.)
Nothing makes me happier when an opportunity to work with a brand I truly love comes along. I’m always trying to be more conscious of where the things I wear, use and eat come from, and buying/baking with ethical chocolate is something I’ve been working at for awhile. DAGOBA Organic Chocolate has been crafting organic chocolate from responsibly-sourced ingredients since 2001. This year, the brand began a nonprofit initiative to empower women living in the communities where DAGOBA’s cacao beans are grown. (Isn’t that great?)
In celebration of their mission and nonprofit initiative, DAGOBA wants to inspire their brand fans and my readers to enter their Empowering Women Sweepstakes. They’re asking us to reflect on a time that they felt empowered by another woman and to share that story on Facebook and/or Instagram and include the hashtags #EmpoweringWomen and #DAGOBAChocolate.
Each post will enter that person – and the woman they share about – into a drawing to receive a free box of assorted DAGOBA chocolate gems. They will award two free boxes of gems to an “empowered woman” every week for the duration of the campaign. At the end, one lucky winner will be chosen to receive a larger prize of DAGOBA Organic Chocolates as well as two $500 Visa gift cards (one for the entrant, and one for the woman who empowered the entrant).
My Empowering Women Story: When it comes to women in my life who have empowered me, I have several to choose from. I’m from a family of them, with 4 unique sisters and a Mom who raised us to be strong and independent. Her mother, my dear Tata, left me with so much in her long life. She taught me to be tough, but also validated my emotions and feelings. She always had an open door and a listening ear, so joyful to hear from me and whatever adventures life was bringing. No matter what idea or artistic endeavor I mentioned, Tata had my back.
She lived her life as an excellent example, leaving the convent after 10 years to to find a better life path, standing up for what was right for her and what wasn’t. A talented artist she painted well into her 80s, and had endless creative endeavors up her sleeve. I started my blog 6 months before she died and she was my biggest fan from the start. Tata was a true chocoholic, so I know this whole thing would be right up her alley.
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 egg
- 6 oz. DAGOBA Dark or Semisweet Chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in butter; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2¼ cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; whisk together. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well with an electric mixer. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to stir well after each addition. (dough will be too thick and sticky to use the mixers at this point.)
- When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, or alternately use the dough hook in a stand mixer. When ready, the dough will spring back when lightly pressed.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest on the counter for 10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle. (use your muffin tin as a guide.) Using the back of a spoon or a butter knife- slather the dough with the soft butter. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate all over the dough, using the back or your hand to press the chocolate down into the butter slightly.
- Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut into 12 equal size rolls and place in a 9x13 baking dish, or 12 well muffin pan. Cover and let the rolls rise in a warm place* until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then drizzle them with glaze. (directions below) Serve warm.
- Stir ingredients together, adding 1 tablespoon of milk first and adding more if needed, depending on desired consistency.
This post is sponsored by DOGOBA, but thoughts and feelings are always 100% my own.