Well, it’s already mid-week you guys so I was thinking by now it would be okay to share something slightly sinful………
I was trying to wait since I know so many of us had our huge Thanksgiving feasts last week and some might have needed a few days to recover from it all. You know, like a grace period. But now I’d say it’s probably safe to share something on the indulgent side of things, and um, this definitely qualifies!
So am I the only one feeling a little bit behind on Christmas shopping all of a sudden? I mean, December starts tomorrow and I seriously don’t know what happened to the year. Anyone want to become my personal shopper in trade for treats?
Okay, so does anyone want a cinnamon roll? My idea was initially to make just chocolate cinnamon rolls because that’s something I make that I’ve been wanting to share with you anyway. When I make cinnamon rolls I like to do some all chocolate ones because I’ve got cinnamon haters in the house and I like to please everyone if possible. Besides, no one could ever complain about too much chocolate, so it’s a safe choice.
The chestnuts were an afterthought because, as I just told you Monday, I’ve got lots of them on my hands they just seemed like they’d be the perfect festive touch that these sweets were missing. I love the combo of flavors when you put them with chocolate, and in this case I also added cinnamon for good measure. Super yum!
Here’s the thing though, if you don’t want to, or don’t have access to, use chestnuts, I’ve done this recipe with other nuts too. I think almond flour is the perfect replacement but because chestnuts are a little bit starchier than other nuts I’ll add a bit of arrowroot starch. Just read the recipe notes, lol. Truth is, I actually prefer nuttier nuts because it ends up tasting like nutella!
I’m picturing these on a crisp winter morning with a tall mug of coffee and some Christmas music in the background. Sounds perfect, no? Well, that’s a bit of a stretch for me right now when a white Christmas would on par with believing in flying reindeer, but I can dream can’t I? The fact is, these are something you can enjoy in any season, time, or place and I really think you should. I hope you love them!
Chestnut Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls
Surprise your loved ones on Christmas morning (or any morning) by making these delicious and oh-so-chocolatey cinnamon rolls!
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups full-fat coconut milk warm but not hot
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons oil plus more for greasing pan
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 1/4 cups flour plus more for work surface
- 1/2 cup chestnut puree *see note
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 coconut oil melted
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup about 150g semi-sweet dark chocolate chips or chunks
- Fudge layer for pan:
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup 1/2 stick vegan butter, softened (or more coconut oil)
- 1/4 coconut cream **see note
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut cream **see note
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in sugar, oil, and salt until combined. Add flour a cup at a time until your dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of bowl. Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and have it ready for a quick breakfast. Just pull it out about an hour before you want to use it.)
Meanwhile, make your filling and prep your pan. Combine chestnut puree, sugar, cinnamon, coconut oil, cocoa, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
Now in a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted coconut oil, cream and cocoa and stir until smooth. Pour into a 13x9 inch glass pan (alternatively you can use 2 8x8 inch or 2 10-inch round cake pans) and spread to coat the bottom of pan(s).
Divide dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1/2 of the chestnut filling in an even layer on top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Starting from the short end, roll it up until you have a log of sorts. Then using a sharp knife, cut into 6 (or 7 spirals if using a round pan) and place in prepared pan (spiral facing up). Repeat with other half of dough until you have 12 rolls. Cover pans and allow them to rise for about 1 hour until nearly doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Bake for 30 -40 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove pan(s) from oven and allow the to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
For the icing, whisk ingredients together in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Serve on top of the warm rolls.
*Chestnuts or chestnut can be purchased whole or canned in puree from at specialty and gourmet food markets. Most places that carry them also sell them in puree form. However, if you prefer to use an alternative, I've used different nuts in their place many times. Replace the 1/2 cup of chestnut puree with about 1/3 cup finely ground nuts (any kind, I like almonds) plus 1 tablespoon arrowroot or corn starch.
**If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.