I won’t tell you how many times I had to test this recipe. I will tell you it rhymes with schmix.
A labor of love is what it is. Sometimes recipes are just like that.
The vanilla nut filling is what kept me going. It’s so delicious I’m already trying to think of more ways to use it.
The inspiration for these quick vanilla nut rolls came from a pastry I had at my favorite bakery in Cedarburg, WI.
It was called russenzopf and it was a cinnamon roll made with the flakiest croissant dough and filled with a slightly sweet nut filling instead of cinnamon sugar. I still have dreams about it sometimes. Kidding….. not kidding.
I knew I had to recreate it after only one bite.
While the original was made with croissant dough, I found that the nut filling is just too thick for puff pastry. I ended up with a flaky outer layer and the rest a bit of a dense, undercooked blob. How’s that for appealing? Not.
The next option I considered was sweet bread dough, like you would use for cinnamon rolls, but I knew that would take much longer than I wanted.
I finally arrived at a biscuit dough which is a little more dense but still has a bit of flakiness. And bonus – it’s much faster to make.
If you make this recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram. Use #thesimplefoodie, I’d love to see it!
Quick Vanilla Nut Rolls
For the vanilla nut filling:
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 c. mixed whole nuts (I recommend hazelnuts, pecans, and almonds.)
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
For the dough:
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 1 c. white whole wheat flour (can use another cup of all purpose instead)
- 2 T. granulated sugar
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold butter
- 3/4 c. milk (can use soy or almond milk)
For the glaze:
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- splash of vanilla extract
- small pinch of salt
- just enough milk to create a runny consistency (approx 2 T.)
- Heat oven to 425°. In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients for the vanilla nut filling and blend until smooth. (If using a blender, add the egg whites to the blender first for easier blending.) Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the cold butter into cubes and use clean hands to cut the butter into the flour until there are only pea size chunks of butter left. Add the milk and fold in. The dough will be shaggy; use clean hands to knead the dough a few times until it all comes together.
- Turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle about 7″ tall by 12″ wide and 1/4-1/2″ thick. As you roll the dough, make sure it isn’t sticking to the surface. Sprinkle flour on the surface, top of the dough, and rolling pin as needed to keep it from sticking.
- Use a knife to cut clean edges for the rectangle. Then evenly spread the vanilla nut filling all over the rectangle, reserving a small portion for the excess dough cut from the rectangle. Cut 6 even strips the length of the dough (approx 1″ wide), you should end up with six strips about 1″ wide by 12″ long. Roll up each strip and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the fridge.
- Combine the excess dough and repeat the process. Form a rectangle (as best you can), spread the remaining vanilla nut filling, cut into long strips and roll up. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake all of the rolls at 425° for 18-20 minutes.
- While the dough is baking, stir together all of the ingredients for the glaze until smooth. Set aside. Once the rolls are done, drizzle with glaze. Best served warm.
Dough recipe adapted from Taste of Home.