Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day Six: Vegan Strawberry Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls!

Day Six of the Valentine’s Day Challenge is Vegan Strawberry Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls! These are a cute twist on the ever popular cinnamon roll which can be made with the strawberry filling like I posted or the more traditional cinnamon and brown sugar filling. The heart shape is so easy to make and takes only a second. I know the recipe may look daunting at a first glance but that’s only because I wanted to explain each part of the process as clearly as possible so you could understand.  The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise!

These adorable cinnamon rolls would be a great breakfast treat for the ones you love! I hope you enjoy them!

- Alexis ♥

Strawberry Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • ¼ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Yeast Mixture
  • 1 package yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • ½ cup warm water (around 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, softened (not completely melted)
  • 1-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Vanilla Extract for the glaze
  • Pink Food Coloring for the glaze
  • ¼ cup brown sugar to sprinkle over the top of the rolls before baking

Mix together the flax meal and water and set aside until it becomes gelatinous.

Mix together the ingredients for the yeast mixture and set aside for 10 – 15 minutes to let the yeast bloom (this just means it will start to bubble which is a sign that your yeast is alive).

In a small pot, combine the sugar, milk and vegan butter on a low flame and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. This mixture shouldn’t boil and should be cooled before adding to the flour so you don’t kill the yeast.

In a large bowl, add the flour and salt and then with a wooden spoon mix in the flax egg, yeast mixture and cooled butter mixture and mix until it starts to form dough. It will look rather raggedy and much like it won’t become dough but this is where you turn it on onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

After you’re done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for two hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

When it has risen, roll it out into a rectangular shape about a ¼” inch thick and brush with the softened butter. In most cinnamon roll recipes they will tell you to leave at least an inch border between the filling and edge of the dough but don’t do that here. Spread the strawberry filling across the entire surface and slice in long strips. THIS WILL BE MESSY! I know the filling will be liquidly and seem like it won’t work at all but trust me it will! Try to keep as much of the filling in the cinnamon roll as possible when rolling it and the extra filling that has seeped out will be spooned over the top of the cinnamon rolls.

To make the heart shape: Instead of just rolling from one side like traditional cinnamon rolls evenly roll in both sides until they meet in the middle and there you have a heart shape! Simple as that!

Lay the cinnamon rolls flat in a greased baking dish and let them rise again for another 45 minutes. (If you plan on making them the next day, after rolling them you can cover them in plastic wrap and let them rise overnight to be baked the next morning.)

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Once your cinnamon rolls have doubled in size once again bake them for 18 -25 minutes or until golden brown.

After baking, let them cool for 2-5 minutes before topping with the strawberry glaze.

For the glaze

Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, strawberry preserves and pink food coloring if using and whisk until it becomes a smooth and creamy mixture. If you prefer a thicker consistency, use more powdered sugar.

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