They say when you have a baby, something in your life has to give. Unfortunately, that thing in my life has been the blog. I feel like a madwoman just trying to juggle work, household duties, and mommy-hood. On the bright side, at least my house is clean.
I actually started working on this blog post weeks ago. One Sunday I woke up with a craving for coconut and cinnamon rolls. So I went on a search for a recipe that incorporated coconut into cinnamon rolls. Here’s what I came up with:
- large baking dish
- butter for greasing
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast (Rapid rise yeast is ok too, just see the note at the bottom of the post!)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter (divide into 2/3 cup and 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes sweetened
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes for toasting
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds (You could even roast these.)
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter-softened
- almond extract to taste
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk (or canned milk if you want it extra creamy)
Substitute: If you don’t want to use cream cheese substitute with ½ cup butter.
Begin by by adding the yeast to two cups of the flour and set aside. In a small saucepan, put milk, 1/3 cup of butter, granulated sugar and salt on medium heat, allowing butter to almost melt and the temperature reaches about 120-130 degrees. Stir occasionally so the sugar will dissolve. You are better to have the liquid on the cooler side than on the hotter side.
Once warm to desired temperature, add liquid mixture to flour and yeast and mix, along with the eggs and almond extract on medium speed for thirty seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, and then mix on high speed for three more minutes. Add in the rest of the flour (2 cups) a little at a time until it’s fully incorporated. If you are using a KitchenAid, make sure to use the hook attachment for this step. If not, then use a wooden spoon and do it by hand. Once incorporated, place dough on a floured surface, and knead for a few minutes, adding any extra flour that you could not incorporate into the mixing step. Form into a ball, place dough ball into greased bowl, cover and let double in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours.*
While it’s resting, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of flour into a small bowl. Heat the remaining 2/3 cup butter in the microwave to melt, and set aside. Once the dough has rested, roll out into a rectangular shape, but the ends will come to more of a point. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. You can make it thinner, it just depends on how thick you want your rolls to be.
Use a pastry brush, or just a spoon, and spread the melted butter evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/2-1 inch of space on each side. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over butter. Use a spoon to make sure it’s evenly dispersed. Now sprinkle the coconut evenly over filling, and then sea salt on top of that. Roll the dough starting at the bottom point, and rolling towards the top point. It will be full, so try and roll tightly, but be careful not to rip the dough. Once rolled, pinch the ends that do not have any filling in them, and use a bread knife to cut them off. Carefully cut the dough into about 1-1/2 inch (again, depends on how thick you want your rolls to be and how many) pieces. Place each piece into the baking pan, cover in a warm place for about 40 minutes to an hour to let them rise.
While you are waiting, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once heated, place coconut flakes on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, watching closely so that the coconut gets toasted and not burned. Remove from oven. Continue to let dough rise.
For the icing, cream together butter, cream cheese, and milk on high. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Incorporate almond extract to taste.
Once rolls have risen, place in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly, then spread icing over rolls. Serve warm, and add toasted coconut and almonds on top.
*If using Rapid Rise Yeast, let rise for 10 minutes. Punch down dough, then follow steps above like the rest of the recipe.
Recipe adapted from Bonnie the Baker