It’s beautiful in the City today – I took a hike out to the bluffs overlooking the golden gate above Marshall beach and played hide and seek with Goldie and Karl. It was a supremely lovely way to spend a few solo hours.
Karl seems to have followed me home too, he’s lurking just over the Lone Mountain ridge where it drops down into the inner Richmond. I LOVE fog. Just in case there was the slightest bit of doubt that I don’t love the crap out of this city… fear not.
Also today I made these apple, date & walnut cinnarolls! Highly recommend if you’re like me and love a good cinnamon roll but not the usual gut bomb nature of them. Not to say that these are health food pe se, but they have a much lighter profile than standard cinnamon rolls – without sacrificing any of the things we love about them.
These are whole grain & refined sugar free (could easily be vegan/dairy free; see recipe notes) – they’re cute and fluffy and “frosted” (let’s use that term loosely) with straight coconut butter.
I love them for breakfast or dessert and all the snacks in between – arguably they make a great snack since they’ve got all the things: protein, whole grain carbs, healthy fats etc etc…. but I leave that up to you.
Happy weekend, friends! I hope it’s treating you well.
Apple, Walnut & Date Cinnarolls
Whole grain & refined sugar free; easily dairy/vegan – see notes below. Yield: ~10 rolls. Adapted from this recipe.
For the dough:
1.5 c + 1.5-2.5c whole wheat pastry flour, divided
1/2 c + 1/4c almond flour, divided
2 1/4 teaspoon (.25oz packet) rapid rise or instant yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup warm oat/almond/milk of choice (approximately 110º F – I used whole milk)
1/2 cup warm water (approximately 110º F)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
For the filling:
3 small apples, peeled & diced
6-7 medjool dates, diced
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c butter (use coconut oil or plant-based butter for vegan/dairy free), melted
3 tbsp coconut sugar
For the frosting:
1/4 c coconut butter, melted
In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute apples and dates in butter or coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of water and cover, simmering until the apples are just soft. Stir in 1/2 tsp cinnamon, walnuts, and vanilla, and remove from heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together 1.5 c whole wheat flour and 1/2 c almond flour, plus yeast and salt. Add in warm milk, water, olive oil, and extracts, and stir until smooth. Knead in the remaining whole wheat & almond flours a little at a time (you may not use all the whole wheat listed; I usually don’t) – I add it about 1/2 c at a time; you want to be careful not to add too much, or the dough will be tough. It will gradually get less sticky and form a soft dough; a photo of mine is below. You’ll be able to pick it up without much stickiness but it should still feel soft. You might use more or less of the additional flour – go with your gut! Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, grease a dish of choice – I use a 9″ pie dish but I’ve also done this in a 9×9 square pan – basically, you just want these guys to sit snuggly up against one another. Roll out the dough into a rectangle and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the coconut sugar, followed by the remaining cinnamon. Spread the sauteed apples/dates/walnuts evenly over the dough, right up to the edges. Starting at the long edge, roll the dough up tightly into a log. I like to cut it with dental floss – it cuts SUPER cleanly and doesn’t squash the rolls, but you can use a knife or a bench scraper if you like those instead. If you’re using floss, scootch the floss underneath the roll, cross the ends and pull tight to cut through the roll. Set the cut rolls into the prepared pan, cover and let rise somewhere warm for 30 min.
Once they’ve sat for 30 min, preheat the oven to 350, and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and let cool a bit before frosting – which is literally as easy as drizzling melted coconut butter on them. Slice and serve!
Leftovers keep well covered on the counter or in the fridge overnight; reheat before serving.