Monday, July 13, 2015

Mint Sticky Rolls with Lemon Glaze

My monster mint is on a rampage yo. My spearmint is currently the biggest culprit but other varieties I grow in my garden are proliferating to science fiction proportions.

Those of us who grow our own herbs know that, unless contained, fresh mint can run rampant in a garden. It returns every year with a vengeance. Mine even escapes the raised bed in PA, then it jumps outside the garden enclosure and starts rooting on the lawn outside. It's a mint war at my place I tell ya.

When I expanded my mint variety to include, apple mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, orange mint and spearmint, I made sure I grew these in large pots instead of planting them in the ground. I do this both in NYC on our terrace and in the country because if mint has space, it will take it and run.

I am constantly pulling out the extra mint that snakes out of the enclosure and looking for ways to use it up. This German style sticky roll recipe is a great way to do just that.  As most German go, this one has significantly less sugar but I made up for that by pouring a sweet lemon glaze over the finished rolls. 

You can also substitute the mint with another herb or a mix of fresh herbs. Whatever grows abundant in your garden or whatever variety you have on hand.

Mint Sticky Rolls with Lemon Glaze
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes 
Yield: 16 pieces 

For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar (I used white granulated sugar scented with vanilla bean pods) 
  • 1+1/2 packets of active dry yeast 
  • 2+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1+1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 large egg

For the mint filling:
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond flour (You can make your own, see how* below)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Glaze:
  • 1+1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 +1/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
  • Add two tablespoons of the white granulated sugar to the milk and heat to a lukewarm temperature. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk. 
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and the remaining white granulated sugar.
  •  Cut 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the flour. 
  • Add the yeast-milk and the egg and knead everything into a smooth dough.
  • Knead in the fresh lemon zest. 
  • Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a dishtowel and stow away in a warm place for 30 minutes. 
  • Rinse the mint leave and pat them dry. Place the mint leaves, vanilla extract, almond flour, freshly squeezed lemon juice, vegetable oil, and agave or honey in a food processor and pulse into a purée. Taste and add more agave or honey for additional sweetness, if desired. 
  • Grease an 8" x 8" pan and set aside. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead once more, adding flour a bit at a time as you go as the dough will be sticky. Roll the dough out into a rectangle (approximately 12x16 inches) 
  • Brush the mint purée onto the dough, leaving about a 1/2 inch frame of dough on all sides. 
  • From the longer side of the rectangle, tightly fold over the end and gently roll the dough into a long log. 
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the log into about 1-inch pieces. Tuck the rolls in next to each other in the greased pan. Cover the pan with a dish towel and once again, let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Melt the remaining tablespoon of unsalted butter and brush it over the surface of the unbaked mint rolls. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the rolls become golden brown on top. 
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool completely in the pan. To glaze the mint rolls: 
  • In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Remove the pan from the stove and place on a trivet. Whisk in the fresh lemon juice and zest. Whisk in the powdered sugar a little at a time until combined completely. You want the glaze to be thin enough to pour but not too thick where it would be difficult to cover the sticky rolls. If the glaze is too thick or thin, just add more powder and/or lemon juice to create the proper consistency. As a last step, if desired, whisk in a dab of yellow food coloring to bump up the yellow tint of the glaze. 
  • Pour the warm lemon glaze over the cooled mint rolls. Again, make sure they are cool to the touch. Otherwise, the glaze will melt and run all over the place. 
  • Let the glaze set before serving. If you want to transfer the rolls to a serving platter, do this before pouring the glaze, making sure you transfer the rolls in one piece. Alternately, pour the glaze over while the rolls are still in the pan and serve the rolls right out of the pan. 
*You can grind your own almond flour by placing whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.

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