I found these little beauties online. At first I was skeptical whether they would work or taste good. I found something out; jam knots are delicious! They are creamy because of the cheese, and gooey because of the jam. Plus, they have the distinct ability to make you feel like a child. The frosting gets all over your fingers and the jam drips down your hand. It is like eating a cinnamon roll. Eating it with a fork wouldn’t give it justice no matter how messy you get.
- 4 1/2 cups (22.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs (7 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cup hot water
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) powdered sugar
- Zest of a lemon (about a teaspoon)
- 1 to 2 cups strawberry jam, depending on how jammy you want them
- 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons milk, add more if needed
- Splash of vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl (to allow for about 7-8 cups of dough to double in bulk), whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- I used my measuring cup to form the well. It makes a simple and perfect well.
2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and pour them into the well. Use the same measuring cup for the hot water. Pour it around the edges of the well (not directly on the eggs), then add the melted butter to the bowl. Use a large spoon to mix the ingredients together until a soft, rather wet dough is formed. It won’t look like traditional cinnamon roll dough, it will be much softer. It’s ok if it looks a bit lumpy. Magic happens overnight, I promise.
- There are two types of yeast: wet yeast and dry yeast. Wet yeast is used by mixing the yeast in warm liquid. Dry yeast is used by mixing the yeast into the dry ingredients. No matter which one an article calls for, you can use the other. You just have to mix it into the correct ingredients.
3. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for 8-10 hours.
- This may seem like a long time, but it gives the dough time to rise. Most doughs rise better in warm temperatures. You may have even heard of a proofing drawer which allows the dough to rise even faster.
4. When ready to roll out the rolls, prepare the filling: In a blender or with an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon zest together until smooth and creamy.
- I use a whisk. It helps me gauge when the filling has reached a creamy consistency.
- It also helps to warm the cream cheese in the microwave with a wet cloth on top for no more than 30 seconds. This will help it cream easier.
5. Using about 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (more or less), dust a clean counter top. Lightly punch down the chilled dough and roll it out on the floured counter into a long, skinny rectangle (about 24 inches long and 7 or 8 inches wide).
- Most times I can eye how big I need to roll my dough out, but it helps if you know the size of your counter top. This should just be something tucked away in your memory. For precision’s sake, you can always use a simple measuring tape.
- When rolling out dough, you always want to start in the middle and go out. Never start at one end and go all the way across.
6. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the rectangle, spreading evenly with an offset spatula or knife. Dollop spoonfuls of jam across the top and spread into a somewhat even layer – the exact amount of jam you use will depend on how luscious and jammy you want the filling. The more jam you use, the messier the rolls will be to twist, but it can be done.
- I used apricot jam. It’s not that I don’t like strawberry jam, but since you don’t do anything to the jam, I say use whatever kind is your favorite.
7. Fold one long edge of the rectangle up to meet the other long edge so the dough is folded in half – it may want to slip and slide around because of the jam; just do your best. Use a pizza cutter or knife and cut the dough into 1-inch strips. With each strip, hold an end in each hand and twist it up several times, rolling it around the center into a circle. Place the rolls on a large, rimmed baking sheet (11×17-inch) lined with parchment paper (about 12 per tray). The filling might be a little messy and want to squeeze out as you twist – don’t stress about it. If it oozes out, just pat it back in or on top of the rolls after they are shaped.
- When I was putting all the filling in, I left a small border. I thought this was best. The only problem was the first and last piece were pretty much just dough because of this. I would say it was still a good idea, but maybe just have the border on the top and bottom of the sheet, not the ends.
8. Cover the trays with greased plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until puffy and doubled. This should take an hour or so.
- You may be thinking, I already let it rise overnight. Why do I have to let it rise again? This is because once the yeast gets warm again from being out of the refrigerator it will start rising again. If you still don’t think waiting that long is necessary, remember that if the dough doesn’t rise enough it will be dense. Have you ever eaten a dense roll of any sort? It isn’t good, no matter how much sugar you put on top.
9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden on top (don’t over-bake or they’ll be dry).
10. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Add more milk as needed until the glaze is thick but pour-able. Let the rolls cool for 5 or so minutes before drizzling with glaze.
I was able to bring these Jam Knots to my church on Sunday. They went over very well, and not only with the children. One person even told me they were dangerously delicious. Apparently he had to force himself not to eat all of them. These are definitely going to be made again.