Monday, June 30, 2014

Paleo Cinnamon Rolls

UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, the recipe that I linked is no longer available. :( So, thanks to a paleo Mama friend, here is a new link with a very similar recipe.

This weekend, I went to a cabin at Detroit lake with some pretty amazing women. It was our annual MOPS Steering Team (aka leadership team) retreat and it was wonderful, relaxing, helpful, lesson-building and just grand. In years past, we've gone to a camp that prepared our food for us - which was quite a luxury, but this year we opted to have everyone make one meal. It worked out quite nicely. On the last day of our retreat, my co-coordinator and myself made breakfast. We sincerely wanted to spoil our team; they worked so hard and we wanted them to know how very much we appreciate them. We had decided ahead of time what to make for food: an egg-bake dish, fruit, orange juice, and cinnamon rolls. When we found out about some of the ladies' allergies, we decided we should accommodate all of our lovely workers. (You can't really show how much you appreciate *all* of them if you don't prepare food that *all* of them can eat.)

Just for kicks, here is a picture of my amazing steering team

Paleo seems like a safe bet for most allergy-related meals...unless you are allergic to nuts...then you have to be very careful with paleo options as well.

Anyway, I decided to stick with making cinnamon rolls and found a recipe for paleo cinnamon rolls!
Photo from Pinterest

This blog may be a bit redundant since the blog linked above has all of this information, but I wanted to include pictures (from when I remembered to take them) so you could see what it should/could look like. First, I toasted the pecans. I did not use walnuts. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't know when they "start to smell delicious," since I'm not much into nuts, but these - you could totally tell when the pecans started to smell delicious. I don't think you'll have trouble figuring that out. It just smells a little toasty and almost kinda sweet...but maybe that was just what I thought. After the pecans were toasted, I made the dough. 

Once the dough was done, I stuck it in the fridge for 15 minutes. It seemed firm enough to me prior to sticking it in the fridge, but it definitely didn't hurt. After I took it out of the fridge, I rolled it into a ball so that I could more easily flatten it out. In the blog above, it recommends rolling the dough into a large rectangle. How on earth people make it into any shape other than a blob is beyond me. Ok, maybe it's not "beyond me"...I suppose if I had more patience, it might work better. ;) The other thing they recommend is putting the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper. This is one of the most ingenious ideas I've ever tried when baking! It keeps your dough from sticking to the counter and it's easier to manipulate. The one thing that I would recommend is laying the parchment paper on a towel. I didn't do this at first and my parchment paper was sliding all over the place. So frustrating! Also, laying the parchment paper on top was awesome because then nothing stuck to the rolling pin either! Genius, I tell ya!

I made up the cinnamon rolls' filling - which was incredibly sticky because of the honey - and did my best to practice self-control and not lick the bowl. I did add in the cardamom, which I think made it smell even better. All of this smelled delectable, by the way.

Smearing it on the cinnamon rolls was much easier than I expected; not like frosting a cake where it feels like the frosting kinda globs together on the spoon. 

See - a giant not-very-rectangular blob
I then added the toasted pecans. I only used a 1/4 cup of pecans rather than a 1/2 cup. I wasn't sure how many people would like the nuts in there, so I didn't want to put in too many. 

It kinda looks like a big blob of a maple bar, doesn't it?
Once this was done, I rolled up the cinnamon rolls starting with the edge closest to me. I didn't struggle too much with the edges being more blobby than rectangular - it still rolled nicely and fairly evenly. Along the way, I had to pinch and manipulate the dough so that it didn't break apart in some spots, but it really wasn't difficult to mold.

Once all of that was completed, I cut the dough and placed it on a piece of parchment paper (the one that I had already been using for rolling it) in a baking dish. 

I didn't have any coconut cream, so I skipped that step and drizzled honey over the top of the cinnamon rolls and sprinkled some cinnamon on it. 

Then I stuck it in the oven. I baked it for about 15 minutes longer than recommended, because it seemed to take a long time for it to even get golden, but it worked and I don't think they really burnt.

Not counting baking time, I'd say this recipe took about 30-45 minutes to make. Quickest cinnamon rolls ever. Once they were completed, I put the lid on them and brought them to retreat. Two days later, everybody got to enjoy them. Our ladies who needed paleo-friendly food said they were very tasty and even had seconds. Another friend tried them and said they tasted nutty, but she liked them. Unfortunately, I have to go off of just what everyone else says and not give my own personal review as I was too busy devouring my non-paleo-friendly cinnamon rolls...and those were AMAZING! (I'll post the recipe next.) I'd say this recipe was a success. 

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