Baklava inspired cinnamon scrolls



I love baklava and its close relatives. Baklava is Turkish in origin and refers to a very particular kind of pastry – diamond shaped, layered with honey and pistachios/cashews. It’s close relatives refer to anything from finger shaped pastry, bird’s nest shaped pastry, semolina cakes etc. While it is Turkish in origin (or so says Wikipedia), you will find it regularly at Greek, Lebanese and Moroccan restaurants so I suspect it is more a regional dish than a country-specific one.  Some of the flavours I associate with these sweets are rose water, orange-blossom water, sugar/honey (lots of it) and cinnamon. These flavours are what inspired this experiment of mine.

Enough about baklava and more about the scrolls – I was chatting with a friend on Google Talk when I saw him chomping on some cinnamon scrolls that his wife had made for him. It reminded me of “Cinnabon” in American and their stonkingly sweet buns full of sugar and cinnamon. I thought that I could give them a try and actually control how sugary I make them and then thought of making them with rosewater and nuts, like a baklava.

So I went searching for a recipe and found the pioneer woman’s recipe. Ree’s words about the impact this dish would have on its consumer was so very inspirational that I set off on my own journey to conquer the hearts of all I know.Boy, was I disappointed. The rolls were too crispy, too crunchy and not at all like I’d been imagining them all day. I couldn’t really taste much of the cinnamon which was also disappointing.

I don’t think it is the recipe that was at fault – just some of the things I did that I shouldn’t have. Hope I can pass on some tips that will mean that your scrolls are a lot fluffier and tastier than mine turned out. I baked these in March this year and it has taken me this long to gather the courage to write about them. Learn from my mistakes and tell me if you make a fluffy baklava-inspired cinnamon scroll!

Baklava inspired cinnamon scrolls

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Gingernuts are my favourite tea biscuit! The word ‘gingernut’ always reminds me of a dear German friend. Like me, she too loved gingernuts. So when we set off on an Easter road trip through the North Island of New Zealand we made sure we were well stocked with gingernuts. Half way through this trip, a conversation about gingernuts lead me to inform her that there weren’t any nuts in gingernuts. She felt a bit let down by this but her love for gingernuts lived on (I think).

This particular recipe is from one of my ex-colleagues. She brought them to a meeting once and I loved them so much that I annoyed her until she parted with the recipe. She said that the biscuits never taste the same twice  and I have discovered that this is indeed true. Sometimes they are soft like gingerbread and other times hard and crunchy and great for dunking into a cup of tea/coffee/milk. I hope you like this recipe as much as I do.

Gingernuts and tea

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Moist Banana and Walnut bread



Notes: It does make a very very moist banana bread


1. I made a flatter loaf and 6 regular muffins with the same batter

2. I used 2/3 cup of brown sugar and a tablespoon of golden syrup for sweetening

3. I used half a cup of chopped walnuts to add crunch

4. I used 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice instead of cinnamon

5. For the muffins, I made a lemon- cream cheese icing. Combine the rind of 1/2 large lemon, juice of half a large lemon, 2 tablespoons cream cheese and 1/2 cup of icing sugar. Mix well until no lumps remain. Spread on muffin/cake of choice.


Baked good in their trays; Sliced very moist banana bread; Muffins with lemon icing
Banana bread and muffins