16 May 2012

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

First, I'd like to take a moment to extend a most heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake in last week's SO Much to Love recipe contest. I'm grateful and sincerely humbled by the support and effort extended by each and every one of you!
I did not offer recipes for this or next week's voting, but So Delicious did select my other recipe to be included as well. It will be featured in the final (dessert) week of voting. I will post details (and the recipe), when the voting week begins :-)

Because you are all so amazingly awesome, I would like to express my appreciation with cinnamon rolls! Well... Cinnamon Roll Muffins, to be precise.



I suspect I must have had a traditional cinnamon roll, at some point before adopting a Vegan diet; although, I honestly cannot remember. They definitely weren't a foodstuff we made/bought when I was growing up. By the time that cinnamon roll franchise began popping up in every shopping mall, I was already well into veganism.
As I write this, I'm struck by the feeling that I did try a vegan (albeit gluten-y) cinnamon roll many many years ago. If that did happen, I suspect it was probably dry and lackluster, or I'm sure would have sought out more of them.

I'm rather fond of cinnamon. I love the scent that permeates the area around those aforementioned cinnamon roll franchises - despite not being even remotely vegan-friendly. I'm certainly not alone. I don't know anyone who dislikes the scent of cinnamon.1 Studies have shown that the scent of cinnamon elicits positive, warm feelings, and other studies indicate that some people find the scents of cinnamon, vanilla and lavender sensual.2
 


Well, there is no lavender in these muffins, but there is a touch of vanilla and plenty of cinnamon. In addition to evoking all those lovely, warm feelings, cinnamon (when consumed) has proven to balance blood sugar levels.
Buckwheat flour gives the muffins an additional fiber and protein boost. It is is also a great source of Manganese, Magnesium, and Iron. Pretty cool for a little groat.3
With additional fiber, protein and EFAs from the chia, and MCFAs from the coconut oil, the result is a filling, nutritionally-packed muffin that you could (more) confidently serve for breakfast.

I mean, let's face it; muffins (especially store/cafe/restaurant-bought) are generally not much more than glorified, oversized cupcakes masquerading as some sort of "healthy" breakfast food option.
I certainly don't mean to slam muffins.4 They can be done right, as a once-in-awhile breakfast option... and ideally when home-made.
But let me get off this soapbox, and get down to the recipe.

Naturally, these muffins contain no refined sugars, and, although cinnamon could help balance the effect of those unrefined sugars, they can also be made free of sugars - I've included those mods below.
Part of this batch was experimentally topped with an impromptu maple glaze (as seen above). The actual intent was to add an icing.5 However, the consistency remained syrupy, as I ran out of a crucial ingredient, so glaze it remained. I went non-traditional6 and used it anyway, although I will wait until perfect it, before I post any directions for it.
Still, the sweet-toothed BFF gave it a thumbs up. I thought the muffins were delicious sans glaze.

Cinnamon Roll Muffins
(makes 6 muffins)

Batter:
  • 1/2 Cup (70g) Sorghum Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (70g) Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (60g) Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Chia or Flax Eggs (2T Ground Chia or Flax + 6T Filtered Water)
  • 1/4 Cup (80g) Maple Syrup (OR 30-40 drops liquid stevia + 3T non-dairy milk)
  • 2 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk (I used So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut)
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Virgin Coconut Oil (gently warmed to liquid)
  • 1 Tbsp (15g) Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract (optional)
Cinnamon Paste:
  • 1/4 Cup (80g) Maple Syrup (OR 1/3 Cup [60g] Coconut Palm Sugar & omit Coconut Flour. For Sugar-free option use: 3T non-dairy milk + 20-30 drops liquid stevia)
  • 2 Tbsp (15g) Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22g) Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Oven: 350F/180C
Bake time: 25-30 minutes

Lightly coat a muffin tin with coconut oil, or line with muffin cups.

Prepare the chia/flax eggs and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the Cinnamon Paste. Mix well, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients for the batter. Add the remaining wet ingredients - including the chia/flax egg - and mix well.
The resulting mixture should have a consistency somewhere between batter and dough - it should be thick and retain some shape but also still sticky and slightly "loose".


OK now for the fun part. You can swirl the cinnamon paste in however creatively you like (dollop it on to 7/8 full muffin cups, and swirl with a chopstick... whatever works for you!)
In order to get the spiral/swirl and maintain more definition between the muffin and the cinnamon, THIS is what I did:

Lay out a sheet of parchment paper.
Scoop approximately 1/2 Cup of muffin batter onto the parchment, and spread it out to approximately 6" wide; the length should be approximately the height of the muffin tin cups - more or less rectangular, but doesn't have to be perfect.
Gently and evenly spread a heaping tablespoon (or so) of Cinnamon Paste over the batter blob.
Using a (silicone/rubber-style) spatula or spoon, carefully roll the batter over onto itself to form a roll - you can use the parchment to help keep it together.
As soon as you've formed your roll, scoop, slide or plop your roll into a muffin cup. If you work quickly but carefully, you can maintain the integrity of the roll.

Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.

ENJOY!


1. I'd certainly be interested to know of anyone who has an aversion towards it.
2. Lavender really surprised me, to be honest.
3. Which, again, is not a grain :-)
4. Trash muffins in a muffin recipe post?? I'd never! Not to mention doing such a thing on a blog with other muffin recipes.
5. Cucina Libera-style.
6. When making non-traditional cinnamon "rolls", I suppose it does make more sense to just ditch tradition entirely.

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