Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls with Vanilla Bean Icing

Submitted by Bella Smith

About the cook: I grew up in Tennessee before moving to the Pacific Northwest. My cooking is inspired by both of these places I’ve called home. I love sharing recipes that remind me of home, that were passed down to me by my mom. I also love experimenting with the flavors of the Pacific Northwest and using new ingredients and flavor combinations that I’ve never tried before.

About the dish: Soft, sweet bread dough filled with rich dark chocolate and a generous amount of hazelnuts, beautifully topped with a luscious vanilla bean icing.

National Origin: American

Serves: 12

Estimated Time: Over 2 Hours


1 cup milk, divided
2 7 g packages of active dry yeast
4 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp milk
1 cup powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract


Make the dough:
In the microwave, heat milk until it is warm, but not hot, to the touch (about 110-115° F). Add yeast to the warm milk and let sit until bubbly and frothy, about 10 minutes.
In a mixer with the dough hook attached, combine sugar, salt, eggs, and melted butter, and whisk slightly to combine. Add milk and yeast mixture and about 1 cup flour.
Mix on low, adding flour, about one cup at a time, until dough comes together and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth.
Lightly grease a large bowl with baking spray, butter, or vegetable oil. Place dough in the bowl, flipping to cover it with the oil. Place plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel over the bowl. Let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
While doing is rising, make the filling. Use a food processor to combine hazelnuts, chocolate, and sugar until chocolate and nuts are chopped into small pieces.
Add butter and pulse until butter is just incorporated. If you have a hard time getting the butter smooth in the food processor, use a spatula to finish combining.
Prepare a 9″x13″ baking pan by spraying with nonstick baking spray or lining with parchment paper.
Punch down the risen dough, and roll it out into a 10″x18″ rectangle on a clean surface.
Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
Roll the dough up lengthwise. Trim the ends, then cut the dough into 12 even rolls.
Place the rolls in the prepared baking dish, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 350F about 20-30 minutes before rolls are ready to bake. Meanwhile, make the icing by combining, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean. Stir until it forms a thick, smooth icing.
Once risen, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown.
Drizzle the icing over the rolls while they’re still warm. Enjoy!

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