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This Sunday, families all across this country will be gathering to honor their mothers (and grandmothers, too). Some do this with flowers, plants or gifts of fancy soaps. Others make reservations well in advance for special brunches at favorite restaurants.
In my family, we tend to go the homemade route, with a nice brunch at home. This saves on money and on the frustration of restaurant dining on a particularly busy day. The menu typically includes eggs of some kind (a quiche is always good), a green salad, roasted potatoes and some kind of sweet bread.
I like to switch up the sweet bread each year — to keep things interesting. Last year I made cranberry orange scones, and the year before, bear claws (that was not my most successful venture). This year I decided I wanted to do a sweet roll of some sort and settled on The Pioneer Woman’s Orange Sweet Rolls.
It’s a lightly sweetened, yeasted dough that you fill with melted butter, brown sugar and plenty of orange marmalade. Rolled, sliced, tucked into pans and allowed to rise, these rolls bake up into a most-fragrant, gorgeous treat.
If you’re still planning your Mother’s Day meal, consider adding these to the menu. And if you’re going out on Sunday, these rolls make the nicest Weekender ever.
Before you start baking, read these tips:
— When it comes time to roll out the dough, flour your board lightly. It’s not included in the instructions, and I so wish I’d dusted my counter-top just a little.
— These rolls are incredibly sweet. If you like you morning desserts to be a little less cloying, consider reducing the brown sugar in the filling. It will do no harm to the final product and will take the sweet down bit.
— The recipe doesn’t specify what size pan to use for these rolls. I made them in a 9×13 pan, and I got nearly all the rolls in it. I had three that didn’t quite fit, so I tucked them into a mini loaf pan I had in the cupboard. It worked perfectly and was pretty darn cute, too.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.