I’m so thrilled to share a recipe from an author I admire and love, Jodi Picoult. Jodi was kind enough to read my first novel, The Violets of March, and share some lovely words for the cover, and I will never forget her incredible generosity to me. Jodi’s new novel, THE STORYTELLER, is coming out on February 26, and I am so excited about this novel. It takes place in a bakery (swoon) and involves long-buried secrets (my favorite kind of story!). If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy, you can do so here.
And, super exciting for my readers and friends over on Books & Bites (like us HERE on Facebook if you haven’t already!), Jodi kindly shared the recipe for the chocolate-cinnamon buns that are featured in the book, and I’m so over-the-moon excited about being able to share them here. I made them recently with my boys, and let me tell you, they were absolutely divine (seriously, big-smile-I’m-in-heaven good). I photographed them on my great-grandmother’s china (imagine the stories that these dishes could tell from a century of family Sunday dinners!).
Jodi Picoult’s Chocolate-Cinnamon Buns
(As written about in The Storyteller, coming on February 26 in bookstores everywhere!)
1/2 cups warm milk, 110 degrees
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar, plus a pinch
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and muffin tin
1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped or shaved (note from Sarah: I ground the chocolate in my mini food processor)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (note from Sarah: I used a bit more—I love cinnamon!)
1. Butter a large non reactive bowl for dough-set aside.
2. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin-set aside.
3. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
4. In a bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.
5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated.
6. Change to the dough hook. Add 3 tablespoons butter, and knead on low speed until flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated, about 10 minutes. Dough will be sticky. (Note from Sarah: I added some extra flour at this stage–just a few tablespoons.)
7. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Set aside in a warm place to rise until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
8. If dough is not in a warm area it may take longer to rise. A simple trick to help warm your dough-place a large pan of boiling water on the lowest rack in your oven and place bowl of dough on the next highest rack. This should help the dough rise.
9. Prepare filling: Place chocolate, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Add 3 tablespoons butter and toss to combine. Alternately, place chocolate, cinnamon and butter in food processor and pulse to combine. Set aside.
10. Once dough has doubled, turn on to a well floured surface and deflate. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
11. With rolling pin, roll dough into large rectangle shape. Sprinkle filling over dough; roll the dough into a log and slice into 2’ pieces. Place each slice in muffin cup. Cover muffin tin with plastic and let sit for 15-20 minutes or until dough rises slightly.
12. Pre-heat oven to 350.
13. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
14. Share and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! And, happy reading! I can’t wait until The Storyteller is out!
P.S. New to my novels? You can learn about them here. The Violets of March was a Library Journal Best Book of 2011, and my most recent novel, Blackberry Winter, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. I hope you enjoy them! My new novel, The Last Camellia, will be out on May 28! You can pre-order it here.