Cinnamon Rolls are always a favorite for breakfast and as a mid-morning snack but how about changing it up a little. Here we have switched out the butter and sugar for some healthier, but just as delicious options. The filling is very simple to make, not too sweet and compliments the soft pillowy rolls exceedingly well.
For the Chocolate Filling
1 cup walnuts
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp milk (non-dairy or regular)
For the Rolls
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp Anita’s Organic Coconut Sugar
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
2 1/4 cups Anita’s Organic All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups Anita’s Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm (not hot) milk (non-dairy or regular)
1/4 cup neutral oil (sunflower/canola etc)
1/3 cup Anita’s Organic Coconut Sugar
For the Glaze
1/3 cup Anita’s Organic Icing Sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tsp water or orange juice
For the Chocolate Filling
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides a few times to make sure everything is incorporated. Set aside while you make the dough for the rolls.
For the Rolls
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer – mix the warm water, 1 tsp of coconut sugar and the yeast together. Set aside until the mixture forms frothy bubbles. This takes about 10 minutes.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the flours and salt. Set aside.
When the yeast mixture is ready, add the warm milk, oil, coconut sugar and mix well.
Slowly, half a cup at a time, add the flour to the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Keep adding all the flour until it forms a shaggy dough, use your hands to mix if you need to. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and soft. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
** Alternatively, if you are using a stand mixer use the dough hook attachment and set the machine to a slow speed while you add each addition of flour. Once you have added all the flour let the mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes until a smooth, soft dough is formed. **
Tip – If the dough is super sticky add a little more flour, it is supposed to be a soft dough so try not to add too much. It should be dry enough that is doesn’t stick to your hands/work surface, but not too dry that it is no longer soft and supple.
Leave the dough in the bowl and cover. Set the dough aside in a warm spot in your kitchen to double in size. This will take about an hour.
Once the dough has doubled in size remove from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a 12″ by 10″ rectangle and evenly spread the Chocolate Filling mixture over the dough leaving about 1/4″ border around the edges with no filling.
Lightly brush one of the longer edges with a little water. Take the opposite long edge and start to roll the dough up into a log shape. The edge that was brushed with water will be the seam and the water will help it stay together.
Divide the roll into 12 equal (as possible) rolls. The easiest way to do this is to cut the roll in half – make sure your knife is sharp so as to cut a clean line. Then score each half in 3 places evenly. Cut in those 3 places and then cut each of those 3 pieces in half again.
Lightly oil a 12″ by 10″ pan and preheat the oven to 375F. Arrange the rolls evenly in the pan. There will be gaps but as the dough rises again the rolls will expand in size. Cover and allow the rolls to double in size, this will take about 30 minutes.
**Alternatively, if you have large muffin trays (bakery size) and would like perfectly round rolls then line each cup with a 6″x6″ piece of parchment paper. Place 1 roll into each of the lined cups and cover until the dough has doubled in size again. **
When the rolls have doubled in size place in the preheated oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool further.
Make the drizzle by mixing the icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of the water/orange juice together. Only add the 3rd teaspoon of liquid if the glaze is too stiff. Drizzle over the rolls while they are still warm. Best eaten when still slightly warm.