No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls for Athletes

I don’t cook. My favorite place to eat is ‘out.’ But I do bake and I definitely eat a lot. That means, generally, when I make cookies every other week, I change and modify the recipes to make them delicious (obviously) and somewhat not totally unhealthy. Or, I would be crazy large and possibly dead.

And, no one can ever tell that I modified the recipes. Though, later when you tell them the chocolate-chip cookies aren’t that unhealthy, they swear they can taste the difference. But, it’s like how when everyone swore they knew Bruce Willis was dead all along after the Sixth Sense. Suuuuuure.

One thing I made a few years ago was cinnamon rolls from a recipe I cut out of the Marin IJ. (A newspaper? Who reads the newspaper? Does anyone under 50 cut recipes out of them?) But, I lost the piece of paper and haven’t made them since.

Until this weekend!

I used a different no yeast cinnamon rolls recipe — no yeast is important, because who wants to have to deal with yeast. And, then I made changes.

They didn’t look pretty, but in your stomach it doesn’t matter. (A tip was to actually cook them in muffin tins to make them look prettier and stay compact, but I screwed up my only muffin tin trying to make upside-down cookie bowls one time. So.)

Finished cinnamon rolls with frosting.
Finished cinnamon rolls with frosting.

The primary changes I made are in ingredients:

100% whole wheat flour, Smart Balance instead of butter, skim milk, organic ingredients when possible, though I’m not totally convinced that makes a difference, and — the big one — flax seed instead of eggs.

I don’t actually think eggs are bad, but Steve doesn’t eat them, so we never have them in the fridge. And, a few years ago, a friend who was eating vegan taught me this trick. Mix hot water with flax seed in a cup and stir until it makes an egg-like consistency. Evidently, it works like a sticking agent or whatever. You then dump it in the dough when it’s time to mix in the egg, and add until the dough is sticking together right. Use your brain.

To make the rolls, first, mix the filling (brown sugar, butter, cinnamon). The filling. Sugar + cinnamon + butter.

Then, follow the directions for the dough — with the changes discussed. It’s pretty straight-forward.

Then, I had to try and roll it out on our counter. Now, it may come as a shock that I am not a person who owns a rolling pin. I know, who am I? It may also come as a shock that I’m still, like, a functioning person. Make do with cans or glass jars wrapped in wax paper.

The tricky part comes after you roll out the dough and spread the filling across it. Then, you have to make a calculation about which direction to roll up the dough to make it the right thickness and length and not have it fall apart. This is trickier than it sounds.

The rolled up cinnamon rolls don't look super awesome. But, wait.
The rolled up cinnamon rolls don’t look super awesome. But, wait.

Cut into sections. Bake. Duh.

While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the frosting. The frosting was the other major change I made from the recipe.

To make frosting:

Pour a bunch of powdered sugar in a bowl. Dribble in milk. Stir. Add milk and butter (Smart Balance) and stir until it’s the consistency of frosting/icing.

Seriously, this is all that is in frosting. And, it’s delicious.

Pour frosting over cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven. Eat.

One caveat: I don’t love super, uber sweet things, so generally my recipes are to my taste. But, Steve also thought these were good. Of course, he could just be lying because he loves me and shit.

Before baking, but still looking delicious. You can always just eat them like this.
Before baking, but still looking delicious. You can always just eat them like this.