ComicCon Flashback: Arc Reactor Rolls

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man  Sweet Rolls

In honor of San Diego Comic Con, this week Kitchen Overlord is posting all your favorite Superhero themed recipes. Today, we’re assembling the avengers to make these heroically tasty rolls while Tony sleeps off another bender.

If you’re jealous of all the folks in San Diego, you can always win a little superhero swag of your own by entering Kitchen Overlord’s Superhero Contest.

You’re essentially making two different flavors of cinnamon(esque) rolls plus two different icings, then topping them off with a tasty slice of fried banana. Since they’re honestly a bit of a pain to make, consider doubling the recipe so you’ll have enough for the entire helicarrier and maybe a couple stowed in the freezer in case you need to break out a super solider of tastiness in case of emergency.

Mango Orange Interior Dough

1 cup mango-orange juice blend
⅓ cup warm water
1 tbsp yeast
½ cup sugar
½ cup whole cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
4 – 4 ½ cups flour
4-5 drops yellow; 1-2 drops red food coloring

Filling:

½ lemon
½ cup sugar
½ stick melted butter for filling

Icing:

½ cup mango-orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup water, 1 tbsp cornstarch

Strawberry Exterior Dough:

¾ cup strawberry syrup
⅓ cup warm water
1 tbsp yeast
½ cup whole cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
4 – 4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp red food coloring

Filling:

½ cup sugar
½ stick melted butter for filling

Icing:

⅓ cup strawberry syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch

Fried Banana Topping:

2 bananas, sliced into rounds
2 tbsp butter
1 shot vanilla vodka (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Start by making your orange-mango dough. Sure, you could start with the strawberry dough, but if you need to reuse bowls, it’s always best to go from lightest color to darkest.

Mix your warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl if you’re technologically impaired.) Let the two flirt for about ten minutes. When you come back, you’ll find the yeast is frothy with desire. Sweeten it up by adding the sugar then give it a nice fake tan with the food coloring. Toss in the salt while you’re making things interesting.

You think you want to add the rest of the liquid now, but you’re wrong. If you dump all that cold juice and cream into your yeast, it’ll wither faster than Loki comparing the girth of his spear to the Hulk’s. Instead, give the wet mix a nice whisk, then dump the flour on top of it. Now, with a nice buffer between them, add your juice, cream, and beaten egg.

Mix everything into a dough. If you’re using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook, set it to the leisurely speed of “2” and sit back while the machine does five minutes of heavy lifting. If you’re kneading by hand, spend the next 10 minutes working out. I bet you have amazing forearms.

Roll the whole thing into a ball, put it in a large, greased bowl, and cover it with a clean kitchen towel.

Now, if you’re an efficient multi tasker, you could mix the yeast and water for the strawberry dough before you started kneading the orange mango dough. That way, it will be happily bubbling away in a separate bowl and ready for action as soon as you cover the orange mango dough. You want to be that efficient. I know you do. But if you’re just now mixing the second batch of yeast, don’t worry. Your strawberry dough might not rise as much, but you need less of it anyway.

Once your stand mixer (or favorite big bowl) is empty of orange-mango dough, dump in the frothy yeast mix for the strawberry rolls. Add the sugar, salt, food coloring, and store bought strawberry syrup. You can find this stuff in the pancake aisle next to the various artificial maple syrup substitutes. It’s cloyingly sweet on its own, but super efficient at producing a strong enough strawberry flavor to stand alongside the orange-mango.

Give it all a good whisk, once more add your flour, then top it off with the cream and beaten egg. Mix everything into a dough, hook it for five minutes or hand knead it for ten. You should end up with a shiny mass of dough the color of Tony Stark’s suit. Put it in a greased bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel.

Walk away for an hour. Let your yeast turn into powerful CO2 factories, inflating your doughs to twice their size.

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

When the doughs are almost ready, prepare your filings. This is pretty easy. Melt half a stick of butter in one bowl. Melt the other half a stick of butter in a second bowl, but this time, add the juice of ½ lemon. That’s it.

Sprinkle a clean counter with flour. Punch down your orange mango dough, then roll it out flat on the counter. Paint the butter and lemon mix over the interior. Now sprinkle ½ cup of sugar over the doughy expanse. Rub the butter and sugar into the dough. Now roll the whole thing up like a jelly roll (or sandworm) and set it aside.

Repeat the process with your strawberry dough.

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

Now things get interesting.

Cut your orange mango rolls into ½ inch thick segments. Cut the strawberry rolls into ½ inch thick segments. Gosh, it’s like you’re trying to make them the same size.

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

Now unroll one of your strawberry rolls and wrap it, sugar side facing in, around your orange mango roll. Start right where the orange mango roll ends, make a single loop, and leave about 1 inch of extra strawberry roll. You may think you want the strawberry edges to line up perfectly, but the roll will expand in the second rising then expand again in the oven. If you don’t leave a little tail, you’ll end up with a gap in the outer section. You don’t want your arc reactors to look like Tony is suffering from a crack in his armor.

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

You now have a couple of options. If you want the perfectly round arc reactors from the first movie (both the easiest and most attractive, in my opinion), space each roll about 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. If you want a triangular effect (like the armor in the second movie) use your hands to shape the dough into rough triangle shapes. Arrange them about 1.5 – 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet, one facing point down, the next one point up, making a diamond pattern. They’ll grow together slightly when rising and baking. This is good, as it’ll help reinforce the triangular shape.

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

Regardless of what shape you prefer, let the dough rise for about an hour. Right before baking, you can liberally sprinkle the tops with table sugar if you’d like to add a little extra sweetness and shine.

Preheat your oven to 350 and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check near the end. You don’t want these to get too golden brown. Better to be slightly underdone (which makes for a moister, gooier roll) than overdone (which discolors them.)

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

While the rolls bake, whip up your icings.

In both cases, put all the relevant icing ingredients into a bowl and attack them with a whisk. It’s that simple. These are meant to be slightly thin icings, really more like a glaze. They’ll enhance the color and flavor of the rolls without obscuring the interior.

You also want to fry your banana slices, which will act as the glowing interior core of your arc reactor. Melt your butter over a medium-high heat. When it stops being foamy, add your banana slices in a single layer. Let them cook away, powering up their sugars to a whole new level. After about six minutes, gently flip each one over. They should smell nearly irresistible. Make the temptation even worse by deglazing the pan with a shot of vanilla vodka. It’ll sizzle and quickly burn off in about a minute. Now go ahead and eat a few slices from the pan. This is why you needed to slice up two bananas. If you know you can’t stop at 3-4 slices, go ahead and just make another banana. You deserve it. (If you’re using vanilla extract instead of vanilla vodka, add that to the pan when you add the butter.)

Once the rolls come out of the oven, it’s assembly time. If you tried to make triangular rolls, some of them will be unfortunately misshapen lumps. All experiments have their ugly early phase. You must eat them now in the name of science.

Once the weak have been culled, use a pastry brush to paint the orange glaze in the middle of the worthy survivors. Use a second, clean pastry brush to paint the strawberry glaze around the exterior. Don’t just slop it on with a spoon. If you do, the colors will run and you’ll end up with a confusing look not even drunk Tony could love.

Once you’re done glazing, add a single slice of fried banana to the center of each roll. If making two types of dough, two types of icing, and pan fried vanilla slices is a bit ambitious, you have my permission to just slice up a banana and put the unfried slice in the middle. It’ll still be clean, sleek and gorgeous. Serve it on a bed of strawberry syrup to evoke the arc reactor glowing from the middle of Iron Man’s armor.

Look down. You’ve just recreated Iron Man’s glowing arc reactor in delicious pastry form. You are a god. (Well, if your name is Loki or Thor. Otherwise, you might be a scientist, or a soldier, or the kitchen staff onboard a Helicarrier.)

Now assemble your own team of culinary avengers to eat these arc reactors.

Kitchen Overlord Iron Man Sweet Rolls

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