Last weekend was the last weekend for the Cherry Creek farmers market here in Denver. The fact that the market was coming to a close had completely escaped me, as I have not attended this market as frequently as in years past. The event has become extremely popular, and is most often over-crowded with folks pushing baby strollers and walking dogs while talking on cell phones, paying no attention to anything or anyone, which for me takes some of the pleasure out of perusing the produce. However on this particularly beautiful fall day while out running errands, I found myself passing the tents and food trucks that fill the parking lot that turns into this carnival of fresh produce and gourmet treats. My sister happened to be in town and had joined me on my mission to run errands. As we passed the event, we noticed that the crowd was much smaller than usual. So on this glorious Colorado blue sky fall day, and with no particular schedule to keep, we decided to throw caution to the wind and stop.
As we strolled the festival we stopped, looked, and sampled at all kinds of wonders. Tables full of wonderful looking root vegetables, fresh picked apples, pumpkins, and squash. Beautiful hand crafted scarves, soaps and lotions. Jars full of pickled produce of all sorts, spice blends, sauces, dips, honey, and jams and jellies. We admired baskets of beautiful baked goods, and sampled many tasty treats. After deciding upon a plate of pierogi from the Polished Tavern, we felt as though we had seen enough and should be on our way. As we were walking to the car, we passed a vendor with some very interesting looking jams, so of course we just had to try one more. I landed on a Colorado Bourbon Cherry Deliciousness that was simply remarkable, while my sister felt the Absinthe Orange was the bomb. We thanked the nice woman and headed on our way. As we were walking, we discussed how interesting, unusual, and delicious the jams from the Red Camper Picnic Supply were. I mentioned how I would love to incorporate some of them in a recipe. So on a whim, we spun on our heels and went back to grab a jar, and I am so glad we did. On our way again, we discussed the many ways our new treasure could be enjoyed. Warmed and served over ice cream immediately came to mind, but since I love to bake, a pastry type item was also speaking to me.
I decided to try one of my favorite bread recipes for cinnamon rolls, using some of the jam for the filling. I added a few dried cranberries to the filling to bulk it up just a bit. The results were outstanding, and I can hardly wait to try another experiment.
Cooks note: I used a bourbon cherry jam that I stumbled upon at a farmers market for this recipe, however you could certainly use any flavor to make these rolls.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry yeast (one packet)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup scalded milk
- 1/3 cup butter or shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
- 8 ounces of Bourbon Cherry jam (or your choice)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or other depending on jam)
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside to bloom.
In a large bowl mix scalded milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs. Add two cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and stir.
Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes.
Place in well-greased bowl, in a warm location out of drafts and cover with a tea towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
When doubled, punch down dough. Roll out on flour surface into a 15×9 inch rectangle. Spread the dough with the jam stopping several inches away from one of the long edges in order to seal the roll. Evenly sprinkle the dried cranberries and cinnamon over the jam.
Roll the dough into a log and pinch to seal. Spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with non-stick spray. Cut the log in to 1½ slices and evenly space them in the baking dish. Cover and allow to rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
While the rolls are rising, heat your oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool.
To ice, place the powdered sugar in a small bowl, add the almond extract and only enough water to make a thin icing. Drizzle over the rolls with a spoon or piping bag, sprinkle with slivered almonds, and enjoy!