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Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

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Growing up I ate cinnamon rolls from a can, with the icing from the cup out of the bottom of the rolled tube.  They weren’t the best thing I’d ever eaten, but I never knew any better.

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Until now.  Why in the world did it take me 15 years to figure out a better (not to mention, healthier AND tastier) way to eat this sweet roll breakfast (and middle of a Sunday afternoon) treat?

Start with the basics.. cinnamon, sugar, and for convenience I went for prepared french bread dough.  Made all the difference in timing.  I have a slight fear of yeast.  Its weird to me.  Probably because I have no idea how to use it well enough not to ‘kill‘ it.

After rolling the dough out into a long rectangle, skip the (real) melted butter that is classic in the cinnamon roll, and opt for a butter spray.. significantly cutting calories and fat.

Sprinkle your toasted nuts and mini chocolate chips evenly over the sugar dough.  I would definitely account for additional consumption during sprinkling.  Nuts and chocolate are a natural pair, and this dietitian will forgive you for the extra nibbling.

These take just twenty minutes in the oven.  You want to pull them out around minute 8.  The smell will be intoxicating.  Refrain from the early removal.. the extra twelve minutes will be worth it in the end.

If  you are like me, and impatient as all get out.. you’ll probably forget to allow them to cool slightly..causing a scalded tongue.


Mix together your icing:

Powdered sugar (sometimes called confectioner’s sugar.. either way, its powdery white), vanilla, and a splash of skim milk.  Almond extract would be AWESOME in this simple icing, and I had actually ventured to my pantry to search for some, but settled for the classic vanilla.

In the words of one of my sweet friend, Ashley: Holy YUM.

Beautiful.  Delicious.  Beautifully delicious. Why are you not making these, yet?

Excuse we while I go nosh away brain cells with this no-so-sinful little guys.  Lets hope the Fireman gets a taste.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 18 rolls

Serving Size: 3 each

Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls


  • 1 (13.2-ounce) tube French bread dough (such as Pillsbury Rustic French Bread)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts (filberts), toasted
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons skim milk


Remove bread dough from the tube and allow to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugar and cinnamon.  Roll dough into a long rectangle, about 16 x 6-inch, on a lightly floured surface.  Coat dough with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts evenly over dough.  Coat dough again with cooking spray.  Roll dough tightly, starting at the longer end, rolling from bottom to top.  Cut dough cross-wise into 18 small slices. 

Place rolls cut side down in 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray.    Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  While rolls are baking, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.  Remove rolls from the oven and pour icing evenly over top.  Serve warm! 

Nutritional Information:

Nutrition Information: serves 6 (3 rolls, each) Calories: 257; Fat: 5 g; Carbohydrate: 50 g; Protein: 6 g




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