Friday, July 20, 2012

fantasy friday: cinnamon rolls from the burbanks' kitchen

Darsie obediently got up, took the sugar bowl and went out to the kitchen. After a long long time he came back to the breakfast table with a plate of cinnamon rolls.
"What are these for?" his father said. "And where is the sugar?"
"Sugar?" said Darsie. "What about sugar?"
"I told you to fill the sugar bowl," said Mrs. Burbank.
"Oh," said Darsie, "I thought you said, 'Get the cinnamon roll.'"

from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald


The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series is full to the brim with references to classic American foods like sugar cookies, root beer floats, and peanut butter sandwiches. I read all of the books (multiple times) as I was growing up, and true to my foodie tendencies, I was often distracted by the foods described at the characters' mealtimes, parties, or garden club meetings.

Written in the 1940's and 1950's, it's no surprise that these classics pop up through all the books. This was a time of economic abundance and the growing popularity of pre-packaged foods. The most vogue recipes were the ones that included brand names. So it was a time when a lot of American classics were born.

And it doesn't get much more classic (or delicious) than cinnamon rolls.


My rolls are stuffed with plenty of cinnamon and pecans, so they are reminiscent of pecan spinwheels. Made completely with whole wheat flour, I was afraid these would be a bit too heavy or chewy. But while they're not as cake-y as their white flour counterparts, the texture is actually really lovely, like a soft bread.

Um, also? Vegan.

I couldn't bring myself to make them without real icing and a candied center though, so you'll find that these call for brown and powdered sugar. But compared to a typical recipe, they require only about half of what's usually used. And if you'd like to make it even healthier, you could substitute palm sugar for the brown sugar, and try this date syrup as icing.

I'm pretty sold on this version though. Even J, who is notorious for his rejection of sweet snacks, couldn't keep his paws off of these.


Cinnamon Pecan Rolls

Ingredients:

For the dough...
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 packet active yeast
2 tbsp, + 1 tsp brown sugar
3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature

For the filling...
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp, + 2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup pecans

For the icing...
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
small amount of almond milk

1. Heat the milk in the microwave until 100-110 degrees (about 1 min). Sprinkle 1 tsp of the brown sugar and the yeast over the milk. Stir, then set aside to proof for 5-10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, combine the 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Form a well in the mixture, then pour in the yeast and applesauce. Stir until holding together, then add the rest of the flour a couple of tablespoons at a time. When stirring is no longer possible, begin kneading the dough, adding more flour until you have a ball without stickiness. I needed the full 3 cups of flour...you might even need a bit more.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 12" by 18" rectangle, about 1/4" thick. Combine the four filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Spread evenly over the dough, leaving about 1" empty on a long edge. From the opposite edge, roll the dough up, then pinch to seal. You will have a long tube of dough.
4. Cut the ends off, then cut the dough into 12 pieces. Grease a baking dish and carefully place the pieces in it, with the cinnamon spirals facing up. Cover with a warm dishtowel and place in a warm place to rise, about 45-60 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes. Allow rolls to cool for at least 10 minutes before icing.
6. To the powdered sugar, add a very small amount of almond milk (less than 1 tsp). Stir until well combined, and add more milk as needed, until desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla, then drizzle over the cinnamon rolls.


15 comments:

  1. These from scratch cinnamon rolls look tasty. How much better are these than the Pillsbury tube cinnamon rolls that account for 99% of my "baking?"

    Oh, and as much as I like breakfast, "Fantasy Friday" is a bit of a stretch for cinnamon buns. :)

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    1. =) Yes, agreed. But how else would I get Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle into the mix?!

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  2. Ooey gooey, looks awesome. Thanks for reminding me of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I loved her and her upside down house as a child

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  3. how good are these looking to me right now!? I can almost smell them.....!!
    xo,
    nancy

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  4. first of all, these will be the first thing i bake in our new oven.
    second of all, it has been forever since i've seen your space (i always get/read your email updates) and i LOVE your new design!
    third of all, your photography is awesome.
    fourth of all, i am so proud of you.
    fifth of all, i love you.

    xox. t.

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  5. CLAIR!!! MISS PIGGLE WIGGLE BOOKS WERE MY FAVORITE!!! Oh it makes me SO HAPPY that someone else knows about them. NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THEM! My Mom read them to me growing up and now she has become a bit of a "Miss Piggle Wiggle" herself. (She's a retired elementary school teacher turned nanny). Such a treat. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. =))) Your happy makes me so happy! I'm definitely on the same page as you. I have all of them on my bookshelf to this day, and I read them so.many.times.

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  6. YOWSERS! Those look incredible!! As always, I love your healthier take on things. Another great recipe, thanks Clair! Great work.

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  7. MISS PIGGLE WIGGLE! I always got distracted by the descriptions of food in those books, too- it all sounded so good!

    Now I'm definitely going to have to make these cinnamon rolls.

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  8. DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. Holy guacamole that picture of the inside goo! Heavenly heavenly HEAVEN. I'm going to file this one away under "healthified versions of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS".

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  9. Um, those look seriously amazing. Your recipes always make me so hungry, especially when they look so gooey and delicious! :)

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  10. clair, can we PLEASE! have baking parties next year? i got a children's book cookbook (with recipes from all kinds of british children's books!) and i'd love for you to teach me your ways. :)

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  11. Umm... You know cinnamon rolls have been calling my name the last few weeks.... and since I haven't had one in almost 3 years - I think I should just have a cinnamon roll - and it it too! ;)
    These look super yummy ;) xoxo

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  12. Oh I like it so much...........

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    There are so many Betty MacDonald and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fan club fans all over the world.

    Did you know that Mrs. Burbank in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's magic is Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett?

    Alison Bard Burnett's son Darsie is a Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.

    Thank you so much.


    Linde Lund

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Thanks for making me smile. =)