April 24, 2011

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

Easter breakfast


Neater than expected


Up close and personal



Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
I put a range for amounts of sweetener in the because it depends how decadent and dessert-like you want these rolls to be.  Also, the above picture of the filling shows the addition of unsweetened coconut flakes but I've omitted them from the recipe below because I couldn't taste them. 
Adapted from Healthy Food for Living

1 cup almond milk, warmed
2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (or one .25 oz packet) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup grated carrots (2 large carrots will give you about 1 1/2 cups-- use about 1 cup for the dough and save the remaining 1/2 cup for the filling)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached bread flour (plus up to 1/4 cup for kneading and rolling)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2- 6 tablespoons sugar, depending on desired sweetness
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/3- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins

1/3 cup neufchatel (1/3-less-fat) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1- 2 tablespoons almond milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Set aside.

Scatter yeast over warmed milk and allow to activate for about 10-15 minutes, or until frothy. Meanwhile, whisk together both kinds of flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl. When yeast and milk mixture is bubbly, stir in the melted butter and grated carrots. Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until incorporated.

Transfer dough onto a clean lightly floured surface and knead until soft and smooth, adding enough extra flour (up to 1/4 cup) to keep dough from sticking, about 2 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Lightly flour work surface again and roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness, about a 12-inch x 9-inch rectangle.  Mix the maple syrup and half the melted butter together in a small dish and then brush the mixture onto the surface of your dough.  Next, evenly sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup of grated carrots and the brown sugar, followed by the walnuts and raisins.

Starting at one end, tightly roll the dough jelly roll-style, making sure the filling doesn’t come out at the sides. Gently pinch seam closed. Cut the roll into 8 even pieces and place in prepared pan.  If you are making the rolls ahead of time, cover the pan and place in the refrigerator overnight.  If you are planning on baking the rolls today, preheat the oven to 350 F.  Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Remove the towel and brush the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter over the tops of the rolls.  Bake rolls at 350°degrees for about 20- 25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.

While cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese glaze. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients together until smooth.

Remove rolls from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. The easiest way to do this is to run a knife around the outside of the rolls, place a large plate over top, and invert the cake pan so that the rolls fall out into the plate. Place the rack on top of the rolls and invert the plate so that the rolls are right side up on the rack. Drizzle with glaze and serve warm.

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