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Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Nothing screams Christmas morning breakfast like a batch of warm, fluffy, gingerbread-spiced cinnamon rolls! Easy to whip up and made in a small batch, these rolls are perfect for cozy, small family gatherings and delicious brunch spreads.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE DOUGH:
  • ½ cups Low-fat Milk, Warmed To 100-105F
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Instant Yeast
  • 1 whole Extra Ripe Banana, Mashed (about 1/4 Cup) And Warmed Slightly
  • ¼ cups Coconut Sugar
  • 1-½ cup Plus 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour, Plus More For Dusting
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Grass Fed Butter, Melted And Cooled
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • ¼ cups Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Grass Fed Butter, Melted And Cooled
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsulphured Molasses Or Maple Syrup
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ¼ cups 2% Greek Yogurt, At Room Temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup Or Honey
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt

Preparation

Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl or stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the warmed milk and pour the yeast on top. Cover with a warm, moist towel and let sit for about 5–7 minutes. If the mixture appears bubbly, it is ready to use. If it is flat, the yeast did not proof correctly or may be outdated. Discard and start again with fresh yeast.

To the milk and yeast mixture, add warmed banana (heat it in the microwave for 20–30 seconds), 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter, and coconut sugar and stir until combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir flours and spices. Working in batches, slowly add dry ingredients to the wet and mix after each addition. Knead on medium-speed for about 5–6 minutes, or until most of the dough pulls away from the bowl. Some of it will remain sticky, most likely towards the bottom of the bowl, and that is okay.

Turn dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for another 6–7 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or the surface. Continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. Keep in mind that it is a moist dough and should remain that way throughout the whole process, but not so sticky that you can’t transfer it from place to place without it completely sticking to your hands.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a warm, moist towel. Proof in a warm environment (about 75-85ºF) for 1–2 hours, or until doubled in size. While dough proofs, prepare the filling by stirring together ground cinnamon, ground ginger, sea salt, and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Set this aside until ready to use.

One more time, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 8 inches wide and 4-6 inches long. Brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the surface and sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture. Make sure to sprinkle as close to the edges as possible! Finally, drizzle the molasses or maple syrup over the top and roll the dough tightly lengthwise. Use unflavored floss or thin twine to slice the dough into as many rolls as you’d like, 4 larger rolls or 6 small-medium rolls.

Transfer the rolls to an 8×8 baking dish, lightly greased with butter. Leave about 1/2 to 1 inch of space between each roll to allow for them to rise in the second proving stage. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for anywhere from 12–24 hours.

When ready to bake, remove rolls from the fridge 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 350ºF and bake for 22–24 minutes. The rolls will be a deep golden color on top and soft to the touch. Let them rest and cool completely in the pan before removing them to frost.

While the rolls cool, prepare frosting by whisking cream cheese, Greek yogurt, maple syrup or honey and sea salt until smooth and fluffy. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. This recipe makes extra frosting, so save the rest for toast, muffins, bagels, etc. It’s a healthy frosting!

When rolls have cooled completely, remove them from the pan and frost generously. Frost only the rolls you plan on eating immediately. Store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat in the microwave or oven and frost before serving again.

Enjoy!

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