I'm pretty sure your sick of seeing pictures of cinnamon rolls.
Well, I'm pretty sick of making them.
Don't get me wrong...I love cinnamon rolls, but I told my self after this FOURTH try that if things didn't work out....
I wasn't going to try any more...or at least for a while.
It's not that I was giving up, but I didn't feel like running to the store to buy more flour, cinnamon, and well...chocolate.
Chocolate is my version of alcohol.
And trust me, four trips to the grocery store in one week to buy more than my weight in dark chocolate only makes for weird looks and lots of judgement from the cashier lady....(screw you cashier...I'm eating my sorrows.)
But you see, I wasn't just trying to make any regular old cinnamon rolls. I wanted them to be more natural, healthy, and wholesome. No white flours, just whole grains. No artificial or processed sugars like white and brown sugar, and no butter or vegan butter substitute,and something a little more plant based. It wasn't easy....
So as I gathered my ingredients once again, and said a quiet prayer in my heart...(Yes...I prayed for the cinnamon rolls AND my sanity ...)
Then I began to bake.
And well...I'm glad I did, because my stomach was starting to ache from all that chocolate.
adapted from :Bakingdom
*Whole grain, natural sugars, healthy fats=No big butt
* These could most likely be made Gluten Free too. For those of you who do well with baking gluten free, I would assume the switch wouldn't be too hard! If you try it, let me know!
For the filling:
1/2 c. coconut sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
1 TB. melted coconut oil
For the dough:
3 c. (whole grain) spelt flour (Plus another 1/4c-1/2 c. for kneading.)
3 TB. coconut sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. coconut milk(from carton) mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar-(makes 'buttermilk')
6 TB. melted coconut oil (will not be used all at once, so dived into three-2 TB.)
1/3 C. pure maple syrup
For the icing:
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 c. silken tofu
1/2 tsp. molasses
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
When I first started out to make cinnamon rolls I tried a yeast version. Yeast baking is a pain in the 'you know what.' Along with proofing the yeast with water that is the perfect temperature, you sometimes have to wait hours to let the dough rise.
When your a mom with a two hour nap window, you don't have 4-5 hours to cook cinnamon rolls. So when I was researching recipes, I found one on a beautiful website called Bakingdom. Not only is Darla super cute, but her pictures and food are beautiful and mouth watering. She made no yeast Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls that look completely to die for delicious! And the best part, was that they seemed super easy to make, and NO YEAST!
So I got to work, and switched out a few ingredients for different ones, and got to work.
I used a new ingredient that I wasn't too familiar with, which was coconut sugar.
It's a great alternative to regular sugar in baking. It's low on the Glycemic Index, so it's great for diabetics, and it's made from the dry sap of the coconut blossom. You can buy it at any health food store. If you can't find it, you can substitute date sugar, sucanant, or brown sugar/white sugar.
1. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Next, start off by making your filling for the cinnamon rolls. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a fork. The mixture will be crumbly like sand.
2. Next start on the cinnamon roll dough. Using a large bowl with a sifter on top, sift all your dry ingredients together. (3c.flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt)
Sifting flour, especially whole wheat and whole grain ones adds air into the flour. This makes it lighter and not as dense, as most whole wheat/grain flours are. I also tried using whole wheat pastry flour for these rolls, but it seemed to be too much of a dense flour. Spelt flour worked out perfectly! You can buy spelt flour at any health food store.
3. Next pour your maple syrup, 'buttermilk' mixture, and JUST 2 TABLESPOONS of melted coconut oil. LIGHTLY stir mixture with wooden spoon until all flour is incorporated. The mixture will be very sticky!
4. Next using about of 1/4 c. of spelt four, sift it over your counter for the dough kneading.
5. Lightly knead the flour into the dough. This isn't going to be an arm workout, like most kneading it. Spelt flour is very delicate, so you don't want to over work it. Just lightly incorporate the flour into the dough, to form a smooth ball. (It will still be somewhat sticky.
6. Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover and set in fridge for twenty minutes.
7. After 20 minutes, remove from fridge. Dust counter surface with a sifter, using about 1/4 c. of spelt flour or less, like so:
8. Next, roll out the dough to desired thickness.
9. Melt 2 TB. of coconut oil, then brush all over rolled out dough. It's ok if you don't use all the oil. Save it, because you can use it in the next few steps.
Then sprinkle your filling mixture on top of melted coconut oil. Add any additional toppings you prefer. I LOVE raisins in my cinnamon rolls, but I am also weird. Try coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, etc...
10. Now, carefully roll your dough up. Do this slowly, since the dough might be a little sticky underneath. The more careful you are, the better :-).
Cut roll into rolls using a knife, or my favorite way, which is using floss. Just slide some string underneath the roll, cross at the top and pull. It will cut a perfect roll for you without any mess. I cut my rolls about 1 inch thick.
11. Next, brush your pan with remaining coconut oil. Place your cinnamon rolls in greased pan fairly close together. Next, melt the remaining 2 TB. of coconut oil. You can combine your unused oil with the last two TB. Brush the tops and sides of the cinnamon rolls with the oil. Make sure to coat every roll.
12. Throw the rolls in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Just enough for the edges to crisp up, but the center is still soft. :-)
13. While the rolls are cooking, make your icing. Melt your oil and maple syrup over the stove until oil is fully melted. Add the melted ingredients, plus the rest of the icing ingredients, and throw them into a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy.
14. Once rolls are done and fresh out of the oven, pour icing over the rolls.
Your goal is to coat all the cinnamon rolls to the point where everyone won't know what's underneath that icing....
15. This is the final and most important step.
Eat dem' rolls.
Especially when they are hot!
I thought I was day dreaming when I took a bite. It could have been the overdose of chocolate...But I am pretty sure it was because these rolls were everything and MORE than I expected.
Sometimes we think we have to sacrifice things that taste good when it comes to making food healthier. I know I have said this time and time again, but it isn't true. Food that is wholesome and natural is even more delicious. You can actually taste the ingredients, and they aren't just masked in butter an sugar.
Ok...I'm now going to go eat something savory because I am in serious sweet tasting overload.
I think there is a tub of hummus calling my name! :-)