I have had this insane craving for cinnamon rolls for about a week. What’s not to crave? The delightful cinnamon and sugar flavor combined with the gooey dough and the melty icing, pretty much perfection! Oh, and throw some pecans, walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, almost anything, it only adds to the deliciousness. So it’s clear why I was craving them, because they are a totally cravable food. But if I am going to make a batch of cinnamon rolls I better have someone to give them too. Or this could be a real gluttonous disaster!

A friend at work is pregnant, and baby wanted some cinnamon rolls. SOOO, who does she ask to make her some, ME.

“Jules, do you think you can make some ‘healthy’ cinnamon rolls?”

“Probably not. Cinnamon rolls aren’t healthy, ever. BUT, I can make something with a few hundred less calories per serving then the ones you would buy”

“Deal”

Pregnancy craving wins. I got in the kitchen that night when I got home from work and started on the dough. One thing I love about cinnamon rolls, besides the taste of them, is how easy they are. You can make the dough the night before, throw them in the fridge overnight and take ‘em out in the morning and just pop them in the oven. So no kitchen mess or clean up the next morning. The ‘hard part’ is already done and now you can just sit back and enjoy them!

Recipes Adapted from Baking Bites

Makes 12 Cinnamon Rolls (or 15 if you make them a tiny bit smaller)

Cinnamon Rolls
2 1/2 tsp (.25 oz) active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 cup warm water, about 100-110F
2 cups whole wheat flour (if you have white ww flour, you can use that for all the flour
1- 1 1/2 cup white flour (I used exactly 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (I didn’t let mine cool, oops)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt

Cinnamon Filling
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp coarse sugar/regular sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl (I use the bowl to my stand mixer), stir together active dry yeast and warm water. Let stand for about 5 minutes, until bubbly.

Add in 2 cups whole wheat flour, sugar, buttermilk, melted and cooled butter, vanilla and salt. Stir well, until dough is smooth. (I used my dough hook to stir it)

Gradually add in remaining white flour until dough comes together into a slightly sticky ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (about 5 minutes). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth (about 2 minutes). Add additional flour if dough becomes too sticky. Dough should be “tacky” but not wet.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
*If your kitchen is not warm, turn on the oven (to around 300 degrees) and put the bowl near or on top of the oven so it can get some heat to help it rise)

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press dough gently into a rectangle. Roll dough out into a sheet about 12 x 16-inches.

Spread rolled out dough with softened butter, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, and pecans.

Working with one of the long sides, roll dough up tightly into a log. Pinch the seam down to seal. Divide log into 12 even pieces and cut with a very sharp knife (or use dental floss, it cuts it very nicely), taking care not to smush the log.

Transfer slices into the prepared pan, making rows three down and four across. Leave equal spacing between the rolls.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place refrigerated rolls on the counter for 1 hour (I put my rolls on top of the oven so the heat would help them rise quicker)
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Glaze
1 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
4-6 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Add additional milk or confectioners’ sugar, as needed, to make glaze pourable.
Drizzle over cinnamon rolls while still warm.

My favorite breakfast, in the whole world, might be a hot cinnamon roll with lots of glaze and cup of coffee. If that wouldn’t make me eligible to be a contestant on The Biggest Looser, I would probably eat that every morning. But for now, I will just eat 1, and only occasionally!