Cinnamon Rolls (grain-free, dairy-free)

This morning, I was up a little earlier than usual which allowed me to get an unusual amount of things done before the boys were up.  I thought there would be no better way to wake up on a weekend morning than to the smell of cinnamon rolls throughout the house.  So, I attempted this recipe from http://urbanposer.blogspot.ca/2012/04/best-almond-flour-cinnamon-rolls-paleo.html.  I must admit I was reluctant because I thought it might end up being quite messy having to roll the dough and all.  I was pleasantly surprised when the recipe turned out to be quite simple and easy.  My boys loved them!

Ingredients:
For the biscuit rolls
  • 3 cups plus 2 TBSP super fine almond flour (I make my own flour by first putting sliced almonds through the food processor.  Make sure you re-measure the amount of flour after the sliced almonds have been ground.  You may have to add a little more to make the desired amount of flour).
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or just slightly under that amount)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 large room temp eggs
For the filling
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey (depending on how much sweetness you like)
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans/walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins (we used currants, a little lower on the glycemic index)
  • 1- 2 TBSP ground cinnamon
For the icing
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter at room temp (I bought my coconut butter at Planet Organic, I’m sure they have it available at most health food stores.  I heated mine slightly in a saucepan, just enough to lightly cover the few that we were going to eat at the time.  A couple of drops of vanilla stevia mixed in with 3-4 TBSP of coconut butter made it perfectly sweet).
  • optional honey for drizzling or stevia
In the spirit of keeping things lower in the sugar department (since there is already honey on the inside), we like to drizzle the cinnamon rolls with warmed coconut butter. When we want something a bit sweeter, we also drizzle a little honey on them or add some stevia to the coconut butter. However, if you try mixing the coconut butter with the honey, you will just get a thick paste.
Directions:
  1. Preheat heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt and baking soda
  3. In a seperate bowl, gently beat together the coconut oil, honey, and eggs. If the eggs are too cold, they might cause the coconut oil to harden.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the almond flour mixture. Mix (knead) until a decently smooth dough is formed.
  5. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out into about a 9×13 rectangle. Use a little almond flour, if needed, to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.
  6. Drizzle the 1/4-1/2 cup of honey evenly over the dough, then carefully spread it around to cover the whole surface. Honestly, I use my fingers to do this. I find that I am less likely to tear the dough this way.
  7. Sprinkle the raisins, grounds pecans and cinnamon over the surface of the honeyed dough.
  8. Now you’re ready to roll it up! Starting at the end closest to you, begin to roll the edge of the dough away from you. Try to start a tight roll from the beginning. Continue rolling until you have a nice uniform log. Use the parchment paper to help you roll if needed. Be gentle and careful when rolling up the dough. It is not as workable as a gluten based flour would be.
  9. Now roll the whole log of dough gently, lengthening it out just a bit (like making a snake out of play-dough). It is a good size when it is about a 4 inch round log.
  10. With a good bread knife, cut the roll into about 2 inch thick slices. I use the width of two fingers as my guide. Then lay them cut side down on to a parchment lined cookie sheet. They do best spaced a few inches apart, but not connected.
  11. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 min. I suggest staying close to the stove and checking a few times while they are baking, as everyone’s oven cooks a bit differently. The rolls should be golden with a little browning at the top and the dough toward the center of the roll should be soft but not to doughy. If they bake too long they WILL become like hockey pucks! If cooked just right though, they will be heavenly.
  12. When ready, remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 min. If you try to move them before then, they might break up. But if you wait for them to cool they will hold together beautifully.
  13. Drizzle with coconut butter and/or honey just before serving.

Makes about 9-10 cinnamon rolls.

What to expect? These cinnamon rolls, if baked right are soft and lovely. Since it is not a yeast or gluten based dough they will not have that ‘stretchy, pull apart’ feel that a yeast/gluten based roll would have. I would consider them to be more of a soft ‘biscuit’ style cinnamon roll and less sweet than the traditional cinnamon roll. Also, under baking slightly is FAR better than over baking as almond flour can burn and dry out if over baked. Everyone’s oven acts differently, so keep an eye on them and they should perform amazingly for you.

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