This Easter post was sponsored by Nestle La Lechera, all thoughts and opinions however, are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support this blog!
I love that Easter has always been an all day affair. So many of our holiday celebrations are saved for the evening hours but Easter is a crack-of-dawn, rise-and-shine, no-time-to-waste kind of party.
As a kid Armando’s family would be up before dawn, freshly polished in their starched and ironed best to attend the sunrise service his father delivered at a local park. How his mother was able to not only have all five children in ironed clothing but have also prepared a full on, multi-course meal, which was served afterward, is beyond me.
Our family always attended the neighborhood Easter egg hunt that was held in a friend’s sprawling backyard complete with a tall human dressed as the Easter bunny, way too many jellybean filled plastic eggs, and lots and lots of chocolate. All the neighbors would bring an egg dish or donuts or fruit salad and we’d sit in the middle of the street on a collection of folding tables enjoying our meal.
The Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls remind me of that time. They are a morning treat that are special enough to honor the joy of the holiday and seem appropriate for spring with piles of flaky coconut on top.
How to Make the Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls
The dough is really pretty simple; you combine all the ingredients (minus the butter) in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. There’s no need to worry about proofing the yeast first, it will do it all on its own as it rises.
The dough should be very soft and sticky. It is better to add flour as you are rolling out the dough than while it is first coming together in the mixer. This is a good rule of thumb for any dough—the wetter, the better.
Once the dough has risen, evenly spread the cream cheese, Nestle La Lechera dulce de leche, and walnuts on top. I found it easiest to use my fingers to spread the cream cheese—use the tools God gave you, amigos.
Roll the dough around the filling in a tight cylinder starting at the long end. Use a dough cutter or sharp knife to cut into 15 even pieces.
Place in a greased baking dish or a couple different dishes. I didn’t have one big enough to hold them all so I separated them into three. I like to place them snug together to keep them soft on the inside. Then let them rest again for about another hour.
After they have baked and cooled spread with frosting and top with coconut. You can make the dough, roll, and cut them the night before. Cover and refrigerate, then bake the next morning. Make sure to give them about an hour to come to room temperature before you stick them in the oven.
For the Sweet Rolls:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup warm whole milk (about 105°F)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active-dry yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (13.4 ounce) can Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Frosting:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- Combine flour, warm milk, sugar, eggs, yeast, salt, and cardamom in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment. Start on low and mix until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and start adding the butter 1 cube at a time, letting the first one blend in before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, continue kneading for about 5 more minutes.
- Grease a large bowl and scrape dough into the bowl, the dough should be sticky and soft, use a little flour on your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
- Grease a 10x14-inch baking dish or two 7x11-inch baking dishes and set aside.
- Generously flour a clean work surface and place dough on top. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12x15-inch rectangle. Evenly spread the cream cheese all over the dough.
- Transfer the dulce de leche to a heatproof container and heat for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave or until it is a pourable consistency.
- Evenly drizzle the dulce de leche over the cream cheese then sprinkle the walnuts, if using, on top.
- Starting at the long end of the dough, tightly roll it up trying to make it evenly thick as possible. Cut into 15 equal rolls and place them in the prepared baking dish(s).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour. At this point you can also put them in the refrigerator and bake them the next day.
- Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Bake rolls until puffed, golden, and baked through, about 40 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.
To Make the Frosting:
- Combine butter, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the coconut milk and extract (if using). Beat until smooth. Frosting should be soft, but not runny. If it is too loose add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until it has reached the right consistency.
- Spread frosting over the rolls, sprinkle with coconut and serve.
If your milk is cold from the refrigerator, heat it for about 30 seconds in the microwave to reach the correct temperature.
One More Thing
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