For some reason, chili and cinnamon rolls go together beautifully. I’m not talking about canned chili and a cinnamon roll that came out of a tube either. I’m talking chili from scratch, and warm cinnamon rolls straight from your own oven that have come from the work of your hands.
When I first entered into the gluten-free world I was shocked by some of the baked items I found in the gluten-free freezer section of the grocery store. Seriously, who buys this stuff? On top of that, I’m also dairy-free, which adds another frightful dimension to trying to figure out what to eat. Don’t get me wrong, there are gluten-free choices out there on the shelves and in the freezer sections that are do-able. Some are even quite good. But, with that said, I typically prefer to do my own baking and cooking, control my own ingredients. And when I buy something packaged, I usually doctor it up with my own ideas.
Once I ventured out and learned the science behind gluten-free baking, it opened up a whole new world. I have always loved to cook and bake and was used to doing things a certain way. Gluten-free baking can be challenging. If you like to take gluten recipes and transform them, it can take a lot of trial and error before you come up with a satisfying recipe. But once you do, it’s incredibly rewarding! You can teach an old dog new tricks! Pat yourself on the back, do a happy dance, feed your friends and family… Anyone can throw together an easy wheat, sugar, baking powder, and butter recipe for crying out loud. It’s predictable. It does all the work for you. But gluten-free baking? It can be a wild card, it’s exciting, it makes you use your noggin’. That’s what this dinner is about. A reward for hard work and trying something new “ish”, and the great satisfaction it brings when you’ve created something special with your own hands.
Rich & Spicy Chili
1 lb. Ground Beef, I like to use extra lean
1/2 lb. Ground Hot Sausage, make sure it’s gluten-free
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Stalks Celery, sliced down the middle & diced
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper, diced
4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, smashed & diced
2 14.5 oz. Cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
6 oz. Can Tomato Paste
7 oz. Can Mild Roasted Green Chilis
2 15 oz. Cans Kidney Beans
1 15 oz. Can of White Beans
15 oz. Beef Broth, make sure it’s gluten-free, you may need to add 1/2 cup or so more during the simmering process
3 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Dried Parsley
1/2 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Dried Basil
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper Medley
1/2 tsp. Crushed Chili Pepper
Drizzle about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large Dutch Oven, heat on medium to medium high heat and brown the hamburger and hot sausage. While the meats are browning, prepare the vegetables, garlic, and gather the seasonings. Set aside.
Once the meat mixture is browned, remove from pot and set aside. Leave browned bits and drippings in pot. Add onions, pepper, celery, and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
Drain the beans, set aside.
Pour both cans of roasted tomatoes and the tomato paste in a blender and puree until smooth, set aside.
Once the vegetable mixture is sautéed, add the drained beans, green chilis, spices, meat, and sauce. Stir until combined.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and slowly simmer for 4 hours stirring occasionally.
This is what it will look like after 4 hours.
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls
Makes about 11 large rolls.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
(If you’re not dairy-free, you can use real butter. I haven’t tried it though, it may alter the outcome.)
For The Rolls:
4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Almond Milk,warmed but not hot to the touch
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp. Yeast, dissolved in the warmed almond milk
1 Cups Sorghum Flour
1/2 Cup Mama’s Almond All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
2 Cups Potato Starch
1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Sea Salt
Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer on high until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
Warm the almond milk lightly, not hot and add yeast. Stir and let rest while you’re measuring the flours, etc. Measure the sorghum flour, almond flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
To the creamed mixture, add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk/yeast mixture. Mix on medium speed scraping down bowl at least once, until combined. It will look curdled.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and scrape down bowl. Mix on high until thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes). Dough will be sticky.
Next, flour a piece of parchment paper and scoop dough out onto paper. Flour the top of the dough and pat down. Flour a rolling-pin and roll the dough into a 21×13 oblong “ish” form.
For The Filling:
4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread
1 3/4 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
Place the butter in a small dish and stir until softened enough to spread with the back of a spoon.
Once it is softened, spread carefully all over the rolled out dough.
Sprinkle the dark brown sugar over the entire surface. Smooth with fingers. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Using the parchment paper to assist you, slowly begin to roll up the long sides of the dough. As you go along, tuck the dough toward the paper so that the roll doesn’t end up too loose.
Once it is rolled up completely, pat the ends in so all of the filling doesn’t spill out and smooth out the roll a bit.
Cut into 1 1/2 inch slices and carefully place in a greased 9×13 glass dish, some of the filling will try to sneak out. Place a small dollop of dairy-free butter on each one.
Cover very lightly with sprayed plastic wrap, leaving edges loose, and let rest for 30 minutes on top of stove. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes or until lightly browned and when you press in the center it feels firm with just a little give. If you over cook them they’ll be dry, and if you under cook them they’ll deflate.
Remove from oven and allow to cool almost completely before frosting.
I like to frost mine when they are still just a little bit warm on the inside.
For The Frosting:
About 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
About 4 Tbsp. Dairy Free Butter
About 4-6 Tbsp. Almond Milk
About 2 tsp. Almond Extract
Melt butter in microwave and add to powdered sugar, add almond extract, and about 2 Tbs. of the milk. Whisk until completely smooth. Add more almond milk if necessary to make a good spreading consistency, but not too thin. Dollop onto cinnamon rolls and spread carefully with spoon. Make sure someone you love gets to lick the spoon!