This recipe holds a special place in my heart as it is one of my favorite childhood memories. Every Christmas my mother was in charge of making pies for the family. Even better than the pies themselves were the Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls. Made from the pie crust scraps, my brother and I would look forward to their ooey, gooey goodness on Christmas morning.
This past Christmas I decided to add them to our list of healthier versions of traditional favorites. The timing was perfect as my brother and his lovely family were visiting, and many thanks to him for helping improve the recipe.
I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free, wheat-free pie crust mix for the dough. Not only did this make these a gluten-free option, but also made a prep that was already fairly simple even simpler. I replaced the butter with Earth Balance soy-free, vegan “buttery spread” making them vegan as well.
The ingredients used in the filling can be adjusted based on taste preference. If you love cinnamon – add more cinnamon. If you have an enthusiastic sweet tooth – add more coconut sugar or coconut nectar. Maple syrup can also be used in place of (or in addition to) the coconut nectar if you like the added dimension of maple flavor in your sweets. You just can’t beat all the great health benefits of cinnamon! Raisins and nuts make tasty additions as well.
Join me as I walk through how to turn these few ingredients into these sweet, flaky treats that you won’t be able to get enough of.
1) Pour pie crust mix into food processor or bowl and spoon in butter, cut into tablespoon size chunks.
2) Pulse ten to twelve times, or if using a bowl, cut in butter with pastry cutter.
3) Pulse or mix in ice water one tablespoon at a time until dough comes together in small clumps.
4) Pour into medium size bowl and form dough into a ball. Flatten into a disc approximately 1-1/2 inches thick. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (note: if dough doesn’t stick together well, 1-2 additional tablespoons of ice water may be added)
5) Remove dough from plastic wrap. Sprinkle countertop area with rice flour or remaining pie crust mix and roll out dough into a circle 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
6) Spread softened butter on dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar. Drizzle on coconut nectar or maple syrup.
7) Using a spatula or butter knife gently loosen the edges of the dough from the counter as you roll into a cylinder. Seal the edge and ends of the roll by dabbing on the ice water and gently pressing together.
8) Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. For conventional baking preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake approximately 35-40 minutes. For convection baking preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake approximately 30-35 minutes. Let cool 25-30 minutes before slicing.
After cooling you can slice into desired thickness. One inch slices will yield approximately 12-13 slices. You can optionally add a drizzle of coconut nectar or maple syrup. Nothing left to do but enjoy! Pairs perfectly with a hot cup of coffee, English Breakfast tea, or a warm cup of apple cider.