1/4 cup half-and-half OR light cream (for brushing on rolls)
** Filling **
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter OR margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon orange peel
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 teaspoons orange juice
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
Combine 2-1/4 cups of the flour and yeast in a large bowl. Heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt until very warm (120° to 130°F). Add to flour mixture with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a spoon or dough hook, stir in remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 to 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover, let rise in a warm, draft-free place about 1 hour until double.
To make the filling: Combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough. Top with apricots and cranberries. Roll up jellyroll style and pinch seams to seal. Slice roll into 18 pieces. Arrange 12 dough slices; cut side up, in a greased 13 x 9-inch pan and the remaining 6 slices in a greased 8 x 8-inch pan.
For immediate baking, let rolls rise in a warm place until nearly double, about 45 minutes. To bake later, cover dough loosely with plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. Refrigerate rolls for 2 to 24 hours. Uncover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush dough with cream, reserving some. Bake in a 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown. If rolls are browning too quickly, cover lightly with a piece of foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove rolls from oven and brush again with cream. Allow to cool in pan.
To make the icing: Beat cream cheese, butter, orange peel, powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make a good consistency. Ice rolls and top with almonds, if desired. Serve warm.