Pistachio Tahini Cinnamon Rolls

Pistachio Tahini Cinnamon Rolls

Active Time: 30 Mins
Total Time: 3 Hours 40 Mins
Yield: Serves 12 (serving size: 1 roll)

Delicious and not too sweet, the flavors of tahini, pistachios, and cardamom combine beautifully in a fluffy, light roll. These cinnamon rolls take a little extra time, but they’re so worth the effort—especially since most of the work is hands-off. Working with yeast is nothing to be afraid of. If you’re worried about your water being too warm or cool, use a thermometer to keep the temperature in check. These rolls would be fantastic at breakfast or brunch, but they’re also perfect for a snack or treat with a cup of coffee or hot tea. 

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 1/4 cup warm water (95°F to 110°F)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1(1/4-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, softened, plus more for greasing skillet
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Cooking spray

FILLING

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped dried brown Turkish figs
  • 1/4 cup very soft salted butter
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted pistachios

GLAZE

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 orange)
  • Chopped dry-roasted pistachios

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Dough: Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes. Beat butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add milk, lemon juice, and eggs; beat just until combined. Whisk together flour, salt, and cardamom in a medium bowl; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Step 2

Sprinkle a work surface with about 1/4 cup bread flour; turn dough out, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup bread flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands and surface. Place dough in a lightly greased (with cooking spray) large bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Step 3

Prepare the Filling: Pour boiling water over figs; let stand 15 minutes. Stir together very soft butter and tahini in a small bowl. Stir together granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg in a separate small bowl.

Step 4

Assembly: Punch Dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread tahini mixture over dough leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over tahini mixture. Drain figs, and lightly pat dry; sprinkle figs evenly over brown sugar mixture, and sprinkle with pistachios. 

Step 5

Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; cut into 12 (1 1/2 inches thick) slices. Grease bottom of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter. Place 8 rolls, cut side down, in prepared 12-inch skillet; place remaining 4 rolls, cut side down, in prepared 10-inch skillet. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake in preheated oven until rolls are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.  

Step 7

While rolls bake, prepare the Glaze: Beat together butter and tahini with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until smooth and combined. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with lemon juice and orange juice until blended and smooth; beat in orange zest. Brush cooled rolls with Glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. 

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