Thursday, October 24

Cardamom Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting (updated freezer instructions Nov 11,13)

I have been on a zucchini kick for a little while. So... before I dive into the second half of my Rachael Ray list I wanted to share with you an awesome gooey & delicious zucchini cinnamon roll recipe. This mouthwatering recipe is amazing! You can make it the night before, throw it in the fridge, and bake it the next morning. There is no reason to get up at 5 am to get these done in time. Or you can make it on the sunday night (thinking that you are being clever), forget to bake them on Monday, run out of time on Tuesday, and they will turn out great on Wednesday. Truth: in my crazy household these beauties hung out in the fridge for 2 days. If you want to plan ahead on purpose you can freeze a batch for up to a month - probably longer - I just haven't tried longer than a month. Anyone who has cinnamon rolls in their freezer for longer than a month has more will power than I do! The texture of the dough is fluffy, moist, tender, and incredible. Pair it with some sweet maple frosting and your morning and coffee - its like christmas in your kitchen. 

I was so relieved when the cinnamon rolls from the freezer rose and baked properly because that means no more huge pans of cinnamon rolls around my house. I can make batches of my favorite rolls, and freeze the extras. I have made this recipe 4 times since I found it earlier this year. Happily, the whole wheat flour and extra zucchini makes it a bit healthier. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! 

This picture is a half of a batch. So good!!!

Cardamom Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls 
with Maple Frosting

makes 12 in the whole batch - easily halved or doubled

recipe adapted from creative blogger crazy for crust
You should absolutely make her bacon cinnamon rolls!

Ingredients for the dough:
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
3/4 cup of warm non-fat milk 
1/3 cup of white sugar
3 Tbs butter, unsalted, softened
1/2 tsp salt, 
1 egg
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat white flour
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Ingredients for filling: 
1/2 cup of butter, unsalted, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of shredded zucchini, water squeezed out
2 Tbs whole wheat white flour
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Ingredients for the frosting:
1-2 Tbs nonfat milk (or whatever kind you have)
6 Tbs butter, unsalted, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp maple extract (light hand = super strong)
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for the dough:
1. Heat the milk in a cup in the microwave for approx. 25-45 seconds aim for 120 degrees.

2. Add the yeast to the cup and stir. Let it sit and for about 5 minutes to get cloudy and foamy (activating the yeast). 

3. In a mixer bowl or large mixing bowl cream together the sugar butter, salt and egg. It may be slightly chunky thats okay.

4. Pour the yeast mixture into the butter mixture. Stir or mix on low for about a minute. 

5. Add the flour and ground cardamom slowly over low or medium mixing speed. If you are using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment until the dough starts to stick to the paddle then switch to the dough hook. Using a dough hook over low speed continue mixing until the dough forms a ball in the middle of the bowl. 

6. While the mixer is mixing spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Put the dough ball into the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 1-2 hrs while it rises. It should double in size. 

Making the cinnamon rolls:
1. Shred your zucchini and wring it out with a towel or strong paper towels over the sink. Its amazing how much liquid this veggie has! Note (from experience) if you use a towel the liquid that comes out is green and it may turn your towel green - don't use a white one. 

2. In a bowl combine the filling ingredients the zucchini, brown sugar, butter, flour, cardamom, and cinnamon. Stir until it forms a paste. 

3. Once the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour onto your work area or counter. Roll the dough out to a large rectangle. 

4. Spread the filling out evenly over the entire surface. 

5. Roll up the dough into a log as tight as you can. 

6. Slice it in half and with each half make 6 cinnamon rolls for a total of 12. 

7. Spray a cooking pan with nonstick spray and place them side by side giving them a little room because they will rise considerably. I use two round cake pans for this. Wrap the tops with plastic wrap. 

8. If you are baking them immediately let them rise on the counter for a second time for 30 minutes - 1 hr. They should be large and fluffy. Note: They will not get much bigger than they are when you put them in - so while I write 30 minutes in the directions I recommend 45 if they are looking small or your kitchen is cold. 

9. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

10. Whip up the frosting. Combine all the frosting ingredients in a mixer and mix away. Add more milk if needed. The texture should be creamy but not runny. If it seems stiff and hard to spread then add 1-2 Tbs additional milk. 

11. Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls the moment they come out of the oven. Let it melt and get in all the cracks and get super gooey. 

12. Enjoy warm with your fav people and coffee (of course)

How to do the make ahead part:
Follow up to step 8. Complete step 7, and put them in the fridge until the morning you are going to bake them. If you are putting them in the freezer I highly recommend double wrapping them with plastic and then with foil just to be sure. Use a post it note or a piece of paper with a marker to label them with the cooking time and temp for easy baking later.

Baking frozen cinnamon rolls
Pull them out of the freezer and let them fully defrost in the fridge overnight. The morning you want to bake them, grab a baking dish, and fill it with water. Put the cold pan of water in the oven on the same level as the cold pan of cinnamon rolls you have in the fridge. Let the rolls rise in the oven at 170 degrees for 20 minutes. Check on them. When they are big and fluffy start baking. Increase the oven temperature, you don't have to take the rolls out of the oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes until they are golden. While they bake make the frosting - super easy 3 minutes :)

I love this maple frosting! 

from my kitchen to yours 

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