This is the “Quick Orange-Walnut Sweet Roll” recipe from the Magnolia Table cookbook. I edited it down for just two people … quite frankly because I got tired of zesting oranges. And also quite frankly this recipe isn’t quick.
“But - but - are they worth it?” you ask on the edge of your seat.
And the answer is a resounding yes. These are the best darned orange rolls I’ve ever had.
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, room temp
1/3 brown sugar lightly packed
2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated and lightly packed (about 1 navel orange’s worth for me)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can crescent roll dough (I like Pillsbury’s honey butter flavor, which I use for everything)
1/2 cup walnuts
1.5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated and lightly packed (Again, about 1 navel orange’s worth for me.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup orange juice (1/2 orange provided this.)
Preheat to 375°.
To make the rolls: In a medium bowl, use the back of a sturdy spoon to mash together butter, brown sugar, 2 tsp orange zest, and cinnamon.
Unroll the crescent dough onto a work surface and pinch perforations together, making a solid rectangle of dough.
Spread butter mixture evenly over the dough with a silicone spatula.
Sprinkle walnuts on top.
Roll the dough longways into a log (hotdog style if you remember that from school).
With a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 10 pieces. Place dough pieces into a greased baking pan or pie plate.
Bake for about 20 minutes then loosely cover with aluminum foil to protect the tops from being burned. Replace in oven and bake for 5-10 more minutes. Tops of rolls should be a deep golden.
To make the glaze: whisk powdered sugar, remaining orange zest, and vanilla. I love how she says this bit: “Whisk in just enough orange juice to make a soft glaze that drips in a wide ribbon off the whisk.”
Let rolls cool in the pan almost completely before serving with glaze. (Glaze will practically disappear if put on hot-out-of-the-oven items!)
This part is vague so let me clarify: You’ll need two oranges. You’ll zest two and use the juice from 1/2 of one. So you’ll be left with one and a half naked, vulnerable oranges with no clear purpose.
Be careful when cutting the log into slices. Mine wanted to fall apart so I got a sharper knife and that helped a little.
Store in airtight container at room temp up to two days.
Today is the day that - many years ago - my grandmother passed away. My mother was taking down Christmas decorations much like I am this week when she received the news. I named my grandmother Memommy because my mom was explaining, “I’m your mommy… She’s my mommy…” and you can see where my little mind ran away with the concept.
Lots of January fifths have come and gone but I miss my grandmother. She taught me imagination. She gave me brown curly hair. And I inherited a sense of creativity from her. The mixing bowl you see in a couple of these photos is hers. I thought it would be a lovely homage to her today to bake something.