Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon Currant Rolls (sans yeast!)

Uh-oh. Two sweets in a row. I like to seem a little more varied and organized (and, um, healthier) than that. And I'm carb-counting, so I feel like posting about two sweets in a row undermines the seriousness with which I've been taking my G.D. diagnosis. (I have been taking it seriously. Truly.)

But here's what the rationalization that brings us today's post looks like:

1. My alternative post is about soup. It's a really good soup, but soups don't result in comments - oh, wait a minute, nothing I've posted about has resulted in comments lately - not curried tempeh, not ribeye, not blueberry bran muffins, not skillet flatbreads, not decadent (albeit vegan) chocolate pudding, not even toddler buckteeth - and I kind of live for comments (otherwise I'm just talking on the internets to myself, and while talking to myself is what I do most of the day, this blog was created as an outlet to escape "most of the day" and connect with the rest of the food-loving world) - and I think cinnamon rolls are comment-worthy.

2. Especially when they don't involve yeast.

3. Cinnamon rolls are my favorite thing in the world. Variety and organization (and health) be damned!

If I weren't going to post about cinnamon rolls or soup, I'd have to rally and make and photograph something lovely while my daughter is napping, when really, I have an enormous fetus resting on my bladder and I'm kind of winded and dehydrated and still fighting a cold, so I'd just rather sit down and post about the things on my to-post-about list, in a different order than I'd planned. That would make me feel productive as well as rested. I'm such a multitasker! Sitting and typing AT THE SAME TIME!

Did I mention that I LOVE CINNAMON ROLLS? I do. They are on the short list of temporarily forbidden foods that my husband will be required to bring to me at the hospital immediately after I've given birth. (Because, um, have you ever eaten hospital food?)

These are wonderful and they come together quite easily, especially if you have a food processor, but it's not totally necessary. (Even though I use mine every day and can attest that it is an excellent investment if you're on the fence about it.)

cinnamon-currant roll

Pretty, eh? And you can't even taste their buttery goodness by looking at the pictures.

So bring on the comments! Please. It would be good for my carbohydrate-deprived self-esteem.

blueberry bran muffins & cinn rolls 020batter for cinn roll doughready to rollbefore and after rolls

Oh, did you need some comment ideas? I can help with that because I talk to myself all day long and am well-versed in the subject of what comments I best like to hear! Here you go:

Those cinnamon rolls look fantastic! Can't wait to try them.

I've been looking for a great yeast-free cinnamon roll recipe because I share your fear of yeast. Thanks for this!

I just made these because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and they are DE-LISH-OUS. You're the best, Edith!

Do you have any left in your freezer? Can I come over and get some?

I just had an "I love cinnamon rolls" t-shirt made for you. Can you email me your address?

Sorry about the G.D. diagnosis. Have you considered adding whey protein to every meal?

I've never commented before but I LOVE your site. You remind me of [someone v. funny and charming and cute], only [funnier and/or more charming and/or cuter].

Cinnamon-Currant Rolls
Adapted from The Leftoverist
Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

For filling
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup crushed graham crackers (or another 1/3 cup brown sugar)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup dried currants (raisins or chopped nuts could be substitute)

For dough
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

For icing
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange extract or 1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest

Preheat oven to 400 and butter a 10″ springform pan.

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, currants and spices. Stir in melted butter and set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, and set aside.

In a food processor, mix cottage cheese, yogurt, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla, pulsing for about 10 seconds until just mixed and cottage cheese is pureed. Add flour mixture to cottage cheese mixture, pulsing in short bursts until dough is just starting to form a ball. (You can do this by hand too. Either blend the first slew of ingredients to make it a smooth wet blend, or just deal with the cottage cheese curds (which won't harm anything but will result in a slightly less-smooth dough) and stir the wet ingredients together and then add the dry blend.)

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface (this is important - WELL. FLOURED.), kneading a couple times with floured hands until smooth enough to form a large ball. Flatten a bit with your hand and then, using a floured rolling pin and dusting your work surface with a bit more flour, roll dough out into a 12″x15″ rectangle. Sprinkle sugar-crumb-currant-spice mixture over dough. Carefully, slowly, roll the dough up lengthwise, pinching ends. (If you'd like you can roll the log in plastic wrap and chill the dough for up to a couple days. Then, slice it whenever you're ready to bake it.) Using your sharpest knife, cut dough into twelve rounds. (If the dough is not chilled, they will squish a little bit, but don’t worry about it.)

Arrange the rolls in the springform pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Let cool for about five minutes, then whisk powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and citrus extract or zest to make your icing. Drizzle icing over buns, let cool for about five more minutes, then unmold the springform. (The icing will probably spill out when you remove your springform sides. Have a towel handy.) Serve and impress your friends.

Random home-calculated nutrition information:
300 calories / 30 g carbohydrates / 5 g protein


  1. I AM sorry about the GD diagnosis!!! No Bueno! You are being a trouper about it and I know you are doing so well for your little baby to be!! :)

  2. I'm also sorry I haven't commented lately as I have been in Musical Theater Boot Camp (which truly seems never ending, though I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel)!!!

  3. OMG, you are the funniest writer ever. You remind me of NPH (Neil Patrick Harris, for those of you TLA challenged), only funnier.

  4. I would LOVE to come over and eat your food/see you/see Sadie/catch up/hangout/coffee/tea/me....in three weeks, maybe a bit less!!! Keep fingers crossed because I really miss you ladies!!!

  5. And finally, I love you and I love your blog! I came here today for some dinner inspiration (and I have done that many times before, if I haven't mentioned that, this is a good time to do so)!!!

    YAY. Back to work...Break over!! ;)

  6. Leave it to you and your G.D. diagnosis to come up with a healthy cinnamon roll. Nothing comes between Edith and pastries!

    I think you're like a young Catherine Zeta Jones only more talented in the kitchen and sexier at the Cell Block Tango.

  7. PS. Guess who's getting a T-shirt for their next birthday?!?

  8. P.S. When I did do the Cell Block Tango, in Birmingham, which nobody who reads this blog had the pleasure of seeing, I don't know if I was awesome but I had an awesome time. Even though I was a little fatter than Ms. Zeta Jones. Probably because of my kitchen talents. I played the girl whose husband ran into her knife ten times. That was a 10-minutes piece and it kicked my ass. I can't imagine what you're going through Lisa and can't wait to see the show in two days!

  9. Someday I will make these cinnamon rolls, but not while I am on the "Lose 18lbs in 2.6 Months" diet. (I'm working on the copyright.) But they look lovely and you are lovely and I can't wait for Cameron Baby 2.0 to arrive so you can stop counting calories. (Oh, and also so you can have a new member of your family and all that.)