Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Rolls

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Last month was our first wedding anniversary.  (Yay for us.) We spent a weekend reminiscing and revisiting our wedding location (a nearby State park).  As a special breakfast treat, I decided to makes these lovelies.  At one point while getting ready for the day while they were baking in the oven, I could smell the bananas and cinnamon and just knew it was the right way to start our day.  The recipe is a mishmash of sorts; borrowing part of one recipe and adding another from a different recipe. Oh I love Sally for her inspiring recipes. I used the short rise recipe from this recipe and the filling inspiration from this recipe.

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When looking at recipes, I try to reduce the amount of sugar, fats, and salt.  Most of the recipes don’t need them, honestly.  I can typically cut out 90% of all of the above and the recipe still works and is super yummy.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some things you just don’t mess with (chocolate cake) but there are healthy alternatives like adding applesauce to a carrot cake or muffins to replace a large amount of oil or using pumpkin puree to make a yummy cookie.  With this recipe, I cut the sugar way down.  I make up a container of cinnamon sugar to have handy in my spice rack.  It has a 3 to 1 ratio cinnamon to sugar.  I kinda eye-balled it but I don’t think I used more than a quarter cup of my cinnamon sugar mixture, just enough to make the bananas sparkle.  I definitely used more chocolate chips than Sally.  Maybe next time some peanut butter chips with a nod to Elvis’ favorite sandwich, peanut butter banana.

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My husband suggested less chocolate (shocking) and maybe raisins for a chewy texture next time, and yes, there will be a next time.  These were very simple and easy to make (even when you forget to add the egg… I call this blog The Trial and Error Kitchen for a reason) and very quick.  From start to finish, they took two hours which includes a one-hour rise and a half hour bake.  The next time I make them; I’ll do the prep work all the way to the rise the night before and pop them in the fridge.  It’s so much easier to just pull them out to rise and get a half-hour more snooze time.  I’m all about snooze time on the weekend.

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Also, they freeze and reheat beautifully so if you have a small household like me and don’t want to have a bunch of cinnamon rolls a little too conveniently eatable, just wrap them up in cling wrap and pop them in the freezer for whenever you want a special treat. Additional glaze is optional.

 

Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 9 Cinnamon buns

Modified from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/03/07/lemon-sweet-rolls/ and http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/08/16/banana-chocolate-chip-cinnamon-rolls/

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  •  2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 splash of almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp heavy cream

 

In a large bowl, toss the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together with a fork until combined. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted, but not completely . Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and stir until it makes a soft dough. It’s ready for kneading On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Place in a prepared bowl (I used non-stick spray) and let rest for about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and the softened butter together. (It’s not going to look pretty, but it’ll work.) After the 10 minutes, roll out the dough to a 8″x14″ rectangle and spoon the banana mixture as evenly as possible onto the dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly, as much or as little as desired. Distribute chocolate chips evenly over dough. Roll the dough as tightly as you can then slice with a sharp knife into 9 evenly spaced pieces (smaller if you want more rolls). Place pieces into a 9″ pie pan or an 8″x8″ square baking dish.  (At this point, if you want to bake them in the morning, stop here and place in the fridge covered with cling wrap then start back up right here in the morning.) Let rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes until the rolls fill the pan and double in size. Bake covered with aluminum foil for about 25-30 minutes. While cooling, make the glaze. Place the remaining ingredients in a spouted mixing cup and mix until combined. Either pour over entire batch while still warm or as each roll is served.

 

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