Pistachio chocolate cinnamon rolls
Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls jazzed up with pistachio and chocolate then smothered in delicious cream cheese frosting. SO GOOD!
These aren't just your standard cinnamon rolls with pistachio in the filling. No, no, my friend, these have pistachios in the actual bread dough!
I left the pistachios out of the filling this time but I found the chocolate overpowered the taste of the pistachio from the bread dough alone. I strongly recommend adding the pistachios in the filling (or at least sprinkling liberally over the frosting like I decided to do after realizing that they needed more pistachio)!
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls
For the dough:
3/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
8 g dry active yeast (one 1/4 oz package)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted but not hot
270 g bread flour
130 g raw unsalted pistachios1 tsp salt
For the filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar (100g)
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, softened (85g)
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed pistachio pieces
For the icing:
115 g cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
To get your milk to body temperature, microwave it in 15 second increments, stirring each time. Add yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or if planning to knead by hand, any medium bowl). Pour warm milk into bowl with yeast then stir to ensure no clumps stuck to the bottom. Allow to rest undisturbed for 10 minutes, the yeast should bloom in this time. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to start this step over (your milk may have been too hot or too cold). If your yeast didn't foam up and you think it's because the milk wasn't warm enough, run your tap as hot as it goes, put a bit of that hot water into a medium bowl and then set your yeast bowl over top of the hot water like a bain marie so that the hot water comes up to part way up the milk level in the bowl then let rest for 10 minutes to see if the yeast will foam up.
While the yeast blooms put the pistachios, salt and about half of the flour into a food processor and pulse until the pistachios become a fine powder. Add remaining flour and pulse to combine. Set aside for now.
After the yeast has had a chance to bloom, add in egg, egg yolk and butter. Mix on low speed with dough hook attachment until well combined. Add in pistachio flour mixture and continue mixing on low speed until a ball of dough forms (about 2-3 minutes) then increase to next speed and continue mixing for another 5-6 minutes. Dough should remain slightly sticky. If you’re doing it by hand, knead for about 8-10 minutes on a floured surface.
Oil a large bowl (ideally using a flavourless oil) then transfer dough into oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap then set aside in a warm place (or just out on the counter) to proof for 1 to 1.5 hours. Dough should double in size.
While he dough proves, make the filling by stirring together sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Line a 9"x13" baking pan or a large springform pan with parchment paper so that the parchment paper comes up the sides part way. I used a 10.5" springform pan for this.
After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down then transfer to a floured surface and roll out into a 16x12 inch rectangle. I didn't bother with a rolling pin, just floured my hands and used my hands to spread the dough out. Spread softened butter over dough (again, I did this with my hands - messy but effective), leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch margin along the edge of the long side furthest away from you. Sprinkle filling mixture evenly over butter, then sprinkle chocolate chips and crushed pistachio pieces over the filling.
Tightly roll up the dough along the long side so you end up with a 16” roll of filled dough. Using a serrated knife, but roll into half then cut each of those pieces into halves again so you have 4 pieces. Now cut each of those 4 pieces into thirds so you have 12 pieces.
Place cinnamon rolls in lined baking pan or springform pan so they aren't touching, cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for 30 minutes.
While the rolls prove, cream together butter and cream cheese, then add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined. Set aside for now.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Remove plastic wrap and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the tops. Allow them to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before frosting.