Monthly archive for September 2009

Cardamom-Lemon Sweet Rolls

I am obsessed with recipes.  Cookbooks, magazine cutouts with recipes, a new recipe hastily scribbled down on a piece of napkin,  recipes I memorize for  dishes I see demonstrated on a grocery store monitor while waiting for my items to be scanned—you name it—they all tickle me immensely and lure me into the kitchen, oftentimes when I am supposed to work on recipes to go in my own cookbook.

Why I am rambling about this? Oh, yes. I just received new recipes, or new magazines with tons of recipes, to be precise. Actually I’ve adopted them. Here’s how. The other day my friend Victoria’s neighbor was cleaning her house to get rid of clutter, and she asked Victoria if she would like to “rescue” some cooking magazines that she, the neighbor, had accumulated over the past few years. Victoria’s answer was, “No. But I know somebody who will have a loving home for them.”

Sure enough, soon after that conversation, Victoria was standing on our doorstep, holding a huge stack of Cooking Light magazine issues from past two years. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. More recipes? Sure, why not, although this was happening at a time I vowed not to buy any cookbook or food magazine until I was done working on my own cookbook. But I didn’t buy them, so I easily justified (to myself) my “hospitable” behavior. I eagerly made room for the magazines on the already overcrowded book shelf.

I went through all of the issues on the same day, bookmarking the recipes I would love to try one day. One recipe read Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls and it didn’t need any bookmarking. There is cardamom in these rolls and to me, that says it all.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know that I suffer from an untreatable case of cardamom addiction. So sure enough,  I was soon heading over to the kitchen to make these rolls. And I made them. Glad I did. They turned out absolutely delicious. Not overly sweet, just the  way I like my rolls. And the aroma of cardamom emanating from them? Pure delight! I made half of the rolls with the original filling, and the other half with ground nuts added to it. Both variations turned out great. The rolls became history as soon as they were out of the oven while the recipe became a keeper. Couldn’t be otherwise. There is cardamom in the name. And I am addicted.

Cardamom-Lemon Sweet Rolls
Adapted from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2008. Recipe by Jackie Mills.

Yields 24 rolls

Note: The original recipe calls for lime but I used lemon, simply because I didn’t have lime in my pantry. Feel free to use either.


For the Dough:
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat ok)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2  1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 10  1/2 ounces / 300 g), divided

For the Filling:

Option 1
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (or lime)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

Option 2 (here I am adding ground nuts to the filling)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup ground walnuts or almonds
2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon (or lime) juice


1. To prepare the dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

2. Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture.  Add 2 cups of the flour to sour cream mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes; add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).

4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place,1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

5. To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, rind, and cardamom. If making variation 2, add grounds nuts too. Dive dough into two equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a 12-by-10-inch (30-by-25-cm) rectangle. Brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle half of filling over dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Repeat procedure with remaining dough, 1 tablespoons butter, and filling. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch/2.5 cm) slices. Place slices, cut side up in a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-22-cm) baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

7. Uncover dough. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack.

8. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

Step 1