Wednesday, August 3, 2011

fig & walnut cinnamon rolls

Oh my gosh, I LOVE figs. Fresh ones have been hard to come by this season, so I've only had a precious few thus far...but if I could, I think I would eat them every day.

preferably over Greek yogurt, drizzled with honey.

I can't, though, so I have to make do with dried figs, fig preserves, perhaps even the occasional fig newton. Since I'm moving out in just over a week, so I am currently trying to eat every food item I have in my apartment (a gallon of nutritional yeast, anyone?). One of those items was a jar of fig preserves, barely touched since I bought it to pair with a wedge of brie a couple months ago.

After very little deliberation, I decided to make a healthier version of cinnamon rolls. This was determined partly by my love for all things sweet and breakfast-y, and partly by the walnuts in my freezer, the half-block of cream cheese in my fridge, and the three bags of powdered sugar in my pantry. I told you I was dead-set on eating least I didn't try to incorporate the nutritional yeast.

The resulting rolls were sweet, sticky, and wheaty enough to make me feel like I was eating something marginally healthy for breakfast (I wasn't). Even though I've painted this recipe as a pantry-cleaning endeavor, these buns are worth making regardless of your aim. I think they'll be an even better winter breakfast, when figs aren't in season, I want to eat warm and nutty things all the time, and it doesn't matter what I look like in a swimsuit. 

fig & walnut cinnamon rolls
makes 12 small rolls
per bun:  229.1 cal, 7.1g fat, 37.8g carb, 2.5g fiber, 5.0g protein, 6+ weight watchers

   1/2 c fig preserves, room
   1/2 c chopped toasted walnuts
   1 tsp ground cinnamon
   1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
   1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
   2 tbsp sugar
   1 1/4 tsp baking powder
   1/2 tsp baking soda
   1/2 tsp salt
   1 1/4 c nonfat milk
   3 tbsp butter, melted and divided
   1/2 c powdered sugar
   2 tbsp light cream cheese, softened
   1 tbsp nonfat milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 9" round pan with cooking spray. Combine fig preserves, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Combine two tablespoons of melted butter with milk in a medium bowl, and add to dry ingredients. Mix to form a ball of dough, then turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Form dough into a roughly 9 x 12" rectangle and brush with remaining melted butter. Spread preserve and walnut mixture over surface. Roll long side of dough into a pinwheel and cut into 12 rolls.

Place rolls in pan, cover with foil, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-12 minutes more, or until rolls are light brown and filling looks caramelized.

Prepare glaze: using a mixer set to medium, mix together powdered sugar, softened cream cheese, and buttermilk. Pour glaze over warm rolls and serve.


  1. These look SO good!! Do you find the dough rises fine with just the baking powder/baking soda? I've only used yeast recipes, which I often botch when I kill the yeast... so if these rise equally well maybe I should try it!

  2. They're not quite as light and airy as yeast cinnamon rolls, since they're really a quick bread. They ARE really good, though, especially if you don't have the time to make a yeast recipe!