Ever since moving back to Texas I have been stunned at how quickly the seasons move around here. Well of course, with the exception being summer, since summertime lasts forever here. My thought process here has been "Oh, finally winter!" and then 2 hours later thinking "oh I guess it's summer again" and vice versa. For example, yesterday hit 80 degrees but this morning it was in the low 40s. While I never know lately if I can wear boots or flip flops outdoors what I do know is that I haven't really been missing those February snowstorms in NYC!
It got me thinking about it because yesterday on Facebook one of those memory things popped up on my feed and it was a photo of me inside an igloo in Yonkers, NY! I remember that day perfectly: It was a Saturday, and one of our first weekends since our big move. Kyle and I had walked to brunch at a diner and gone to a nearby park, where we then spent over an hour building an igloo out of ice chunks. (This was the point in time where snow/ice in any shape was still v exciting to us.) A bunch of neighborhood kids starting watching us and wanted to play inside it so we left, and began trudging back in the snow to head back to our 5th floor apartment walk up. I then remembered I had a box of leftovers from brunch that I had set on a nearby bench, but went back only to find it had been stolen (!?). I mean, come on, who steals somebody's leftovers. Those were some crazy times.
I always kind of roll my eyes at the topic of Valentine's every year but then when the actual day comes I get really excited like when I was a little girl. Didn't you think Valentine's Day was one of the funnest days when you were in elementary? It was one of my favorite holidays as a kid because 1) lots of pink everywhere 2) candy 3) Disney Princess valentine cards 4) hopes that my third grade crush would give me a valentine card. I would spend a long time dividing up who in my class got which tear-out Disney card, because it would be a complete and total disaster if I had accidentally given one with a love message to a boy, amiright?
So while I know this is the time of year for chocolate, I'm here celebrating with something sweet, cinnamon-y, and bright pink. One of Kyle's favorite treats are those Pillsbury orange cinnamon rolls in a can, and so I was thinking about it for awhile the other day and thought, why not make them with blood oranges? Plus, the glaze comes out in the prettiest shade of pink, which is perfect for Valentine's imo. Serve this for your valentine/galentine for a romantic breakfast in bed, for a big brunch this weekend, or just for yourself, because you deserve it. ❤️
I know making cinnamon rolls from scratch can be super intimidating, but trust me, these are so easy! I did a lot of research beforehand to make this as simple as possible, and I think the end result was delicious. Using blood oranges make the cinnamon rolls not taste too citrusy, but if you wanted a more pronounced flavor you could use regular oranges instead. You just won't get the pink glaze!
Easy Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 packet instant/rapid rise yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Zest of one blood orange
- 2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. sugar, divided
For the glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbl. blood orange juice
In a large bowl, microwave the milk, blood orange juice, and 3 tablespoons of butter in 30 second increments until warm and butter is melted (approx. 110°F).
Sprinkle in the yeast and let activate for 10 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in the blood orange zest, 1 tbsp. of the sugar and the salt. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Dough should be sticky.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead for about a minute until you form a loose ball.
Grease a large bowl with oil, and place the ball of dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Dust more flour on a smooth surface and roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 tbsp. melted butter and evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top.
Tightly roll up the dough, and slice into 1.5 - 2 inch sections. You should have about 10 rolls.
Grease an 8” square or circle pan and arrange rolls inside. Pour 2 tbl. of melted butter on top and cover.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover the rolls and let them rise while the oven is preheating.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with glaze. Serve immediately!
To make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar and fresh blood orange juice until smooth.