Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Best Date Cinnamon Rolls - Whole Wheat and Sugar-Free

**These cinnamon rolls are my favorite of all the sugarless baked goodies I've been making over the past almost 2 years. They are incredibly sweet and perfect.**

As I write this, a sweet fragrance lingers in my kitchen and has visited me in my living room work space. It is the smell of pineapple juice, which my dates have been cooked in and soaking in for the past few hours. Today is a perfect day to make cinnamon rolls. It is rainy and foggy--my usual view of the Capitol is covered in layers of beautiful fog. The leaves are the only colorful thing I see out my window--reds, oranges, yellow and still a lot of green.

I was given this recipe for date cinnamon rolls a while back but have waited for that perfect chunk of time to dawdle in my kitchen, listen to music and leisurely play with yeast dough. As usual, I have tampered with the recipe quite a bit, to try and make my existing ingredients work instead of having to go out to buy new. The original recipe also called for refined sugar and larger amounts of ingredients than I needed to use. I substituted pineapple juice for apple juice and the smell is amazing. As I was taking the pits out of my dates, I looked at the nutritional value and thought it was interesting:

Date Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: 5-6 dates
Calories 120
Potassium 240 mg
Total Carb. 31 g (10% daily recommended value)
Fiber 3 g (14% daily recommended value)
Sugars 29 g
Protein 1 g
Calcium 2% daily recommended value
Iron 2% daily recommended value

Here is my recipe:

Date Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 C. pineapple juice
2 packets active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 C. white whole wheat flour
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsps. cinnamon

1 C. pitted dates
2 C. pineapple juice
1 C. raisins
2/3 C. chopped walnuts/pecans

1/2 C. sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Step 1: Warm pineapple juice in a small pan. Transfer to large mixing bowl and add one packet of yeast and honey. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes. Add eggs and enough flour to form a thin batter (about 1 cup). Beat until smooth. Clean down sides of bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 30 minutes. In another bowl, add yeast packet, 1 tablespoon flour and about 1/8 C. tepid water. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.

Step 2: While dough is rising, make filling. Place dates in small pan and cover with pineapple juice. Heat to a simmer, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool. Puree in blender and set aside.

Step 3: Place raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soaking them will plump them.

Step 4: Return to dough. Add small bowl of dough to large. Beat in butter, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Begin adding flour to yeast mixture. When it is too hard to stir, place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean and oil bowl. Place dough in it, cover with plastic wrap, then a towel, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough into a rectangle. Spread half the date puree, strained raisins and nuts on the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up from the side like a jelly roll. Cut into 1-inch slices and place cut-side-up on an oiled cookie sheet or in muffin tins. Repeat with other half of the ingredients. Bake for 15 minutes.

While rolls are baking, place all ingredients for icing in small bowl and whisk together well. When rolls have baked 15 minutes, spoon some of the icing on top of each roll and bake another 10-15 minutes.


Funny, I forgot to puree the dates, but it didn't really seem to matter at all. I don't think it's necessary now that I've forgotten, especially since this would save one messy step. I also forgot to sprinkle cinnamon on the dough before rolling them up, but it didn't thwart things at all. I didn't realize I missed this step until I began to type out the recipe.

I froze half the batch, so I'll see how those turn out when I have guests over or I can't wait any longer for more for myself. I've had three for lunch today with lots of added icing. They are absolutely heavenly. I can't wait to try them out with my morning mug of joe tomorrow.

-Original recipe courtesy of: www.feedingfamily.com


Leslie Richman said...

I would love to veganize this! I wonder if egg replacer would work? Tofutti makes vegan sour cream, so that part is covered.

My Year Without said...

Hey Pixipine! You know, I thought about this, but being my first time to make it, I thought I would use the milky ingredients and eggs this time.

However, I bet egg replacer would work, as well as tofu sour cream and probably even earth balance for the butter.

If you try it, will you let me know?

Leslie Richman said...

Surely- this seems like an experiment with a great payoff!

Alisa said...

Oh so much fruity goodness in these, they sound delicious!

Emily said...

OK, I am glad to see the icing. I have found cinnamon rolls that work with our allergies around here, but without the icing they only sell so far with Mr. Picky. I just wasn't sure how to make an icing without sugar. Thanks!!
Great blog. You know, I had fertility issues with child one and two. I gave up sugar when my second child was a year and a half. Two months later, I was unexpectedly pregnant with number three. I have been on and off the wagon, but I know I function so much better without the white stuff.

My Year Without said...

Emily-I agree--the icing is everything. These chewy sweet rolls get even better when you slather them with this icing. Even though the icing is just 3 ingredients, and sour cream is one of them, it turns out surprisingly delicious....and I don't even like sour cream!

Ariana Anderson said...

Oh my! These look delicious! My mother makes cinnamon rolls every year for new years but I can never eat them due to food intolerances, especially the sugar-intolerance part. Now, I can finally make these! They look amazing...and I'm wishing I hadn't just run out of raisins and had dates on hand right now! Mmmm....these may have to be made very soon! :) Thanks for such a great recipe! I love that it is whole wheat too and uses dates instead of date sugar which I think are easier to find and less espensive and more "real" food like...:) Thanks again! I love your blog too and will have to post this on my also-sugar free blog (www.thefrugallyrichlife.wordpress.com) soon once I try it! :) Thank you again!