I am so in love with this new recipe for Cherry Chocolate Hot Cross Buns and have a feeling you will enjoy too. I decided to take my traditional hot cross bun recipe and jazz it up with tart dried cherries, chocolate, and apricot jam. Cute little buns that scream springtime.
I am always one to break rules with cooking and tradition. Don’t get me wrong, tradition is nice, but sometimes some flair is even nicer. That is how I feel about this recipe. Two of my favorite flavor combinations is cherries and chocolate, and this recipe does not disappoint. The apricot jam makes the dough even more flavorful and tender. I have made this recipe a few times, and have used chocolate pieces as well as cocoa nibs. I prefer the nibs as it does not come out as sweet, just flavorful.
The recipe comes together easily so you still have time to run to the store, pick up the ingredients and enjoy the Easter holiday!
Cherry Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
** inspired by this recipe
1/2 cup warm whole milk (100 – 110 degrees)
1/4 cup warm buttermilk (100 – 100 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apricot jam
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dried cherries, cut them into halves
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or use cocoa nibs
extra butter for pan and forming rolls
1/2 cup flour – for cross
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa – for cross
6 – 7 tablespoons water – for cross
1 egg, beaten – for egg wash
1 teaspoon cream – for egg wash
1/3 cup apricot jam – for glaze
1 tablespoon of water – for glaze
In a bowl of a stand mixer combine the buttermilk, milk, and yeast, let stand until the yeast has softened about 10 minutes. Add the egg, granulated sugar, butter, salt, and apricot jam. Beat on medium speed until blended, about 3 minutes.
Using a dough hook, blend in 3 cups of flour. Add just enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly tacky – sometimes I use the entire 3/4 cup and other times I only need 1/2 cup. Reserve 1 tablespoon of flour to mix with cherries. Beat the dough on medium speed until it is smooth and stretchy, about 15 minutes.
Mix the dried cherries and the 1 tablespoon of flour; this helps separate the cherries and prevents them from sticking together in the dough. I place them into a small bag with the flour and shake.
Add the dried cherries and cocoa nibs or chocolate if you are using that, give a couple whirls of the mixer and then continue to mix with your hands to distribute. Return the dough to a buttered bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough. With buttered hands, shape into 16 smooth round balls (about 2.5 ounces each). Evenly space apart in 2 buttered 8 or 9 inch round or square pans. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix the paste that will be used for the cross. Place the flour and cocoa into a small bowl and between adding the water to form a thick paste. I had a couple tablespoons at a time until I reach the thickness I want. You do not want it too thick or too thin. If too thin, it will run and if too thick it will be globy.
Mix the egg with the cream and then brush the buns. Pipe the cross paste onto the buns. Bake until a golden brown, about 15 minutes.
While the buns are baking mix the apricot jam with the water. This will be your glaze.
Remove the buns from the oven and immediately glaze with the apricot/water mixture.
Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes.