Monday, November 14, 2011

Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Yes, the cinnamon roll munchies strike again. This is actually a recipe I first made up a few years ago when Sawyer was still a tiny baby, at which time I made it with peanut butter. If there are no nut or peanut allergies in your family, feel free to sub PB or almond butter. Now that I have stopped eating peanut butter for the most part, I find that I prefer sunflower seed butter, though.

For the bread dough:
¾ cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. non-dairy milk + 1 Tbsp. vinegar (I like coconut or hemp)
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup maple syrup

5 c. whole wheat flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ c. soy-free Earth Balance, softened

For the filling:
1  1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips

For the Icing (Optional, but good):
4 Tbsp. soy-free Earth Balance
¼ c. sunflower seed butter
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ c. cocoa powder
½ c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp.non-dairy milk

1. Fill a mug or small bowl with the water and gradually sprinkle in the yeast, constantly stirring with a fork to dissolve.
2. Whisk together the non-dairy milk plus vinegar, OJ, and maple syrup in a medium bowl.
3. Sift together flour, salt, and cocoa powder in large bowl.
4. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in yeast and milk mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Add additional water or flour to form a kneadable consistency.
5. Knead for 12-15 minutes, working in Earth Balance about 1 tsp. at a time as you go.

6. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl to rise in a warm place with a damp towel covering the bowl for 1-2 hours, until a wet finger poked into the middle of the dough leaves an impression without filling in. If the dough sighs, it has risen a bit too long. (I turn the oven on to 400 for a few minutes, turn it off, open the oven, and place the bowl on the door. Once the oven cools down a bit, I place the bowl in the oven.)
7. Once the dough is ready, wet your fingers and gently deflate the dough. Using a rubber scraper moistened with water, dislodge the dough from the sides of the bowl. Reform it into a ball and let it rise for another 45 mins. to an hour, using the same finger poke test to determine when it is ready to be deflated again.
8. Grease either both a 9x 13in pan and an 8x8 in pan or one 11x 17 inch pan. Deflate the dough again, form it into a ball, and cut the ball in half with a slightly damp knife. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, about 9x13 in. Keep the other half of the dough covered while you deal with the first half.  Spread 3/4 c. sunflower seed butter evenly over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and ½ c. chocolate chips.  Roll up tightly starting on one of the short sides. Cut into rolls about ½ inch thick and place close together in the pans. They should all be snug with no space in between. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
9. Let the rolls rise again, covered with damp cloths, for about 45 mins. After about 30 mins., turn on the oven to 400. When the rolls are puffy and sagging at the edges, pop them in the oven for 18 mins.
10. Cool on wire racks. While cooling, if you would like to ice them, prepare the frosting by whipping together all ingredients with an electric mixer. Frost cooled rolls and enjoy while still a bit warm and melty. Freeze extras; they don’t stay fresh for long if left out on the counter.

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