Sweet Walnut Rolls Recipe
This nut roll recipe is something my mom taught me to make (she’s an amazing cook), and I’m happy to share it with you. It’s great with coffee or a glass of cold milk for the kids.
Makes: 2 rolls (approx. 16 in long)
Time: 2 1/2 hours for dough to rise + 15 min. hands-on + 30 min. baking.
This particular recipe results in slightly more dense & subtly sweet dough.
1 (1/4 oz) instant yeast packet, highly active rapid-rise
1 cup warm whole milk (2% is fine too)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick melted unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups white flour
4 cups ground walnuts (grind nuts with Kitchen Aid food grinder attachment/ a food processor)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
*Additionally you will need a couple small handfuls of flour for rolling out dough & 1 more egg for brushing the rolls.
*Tools used: Rolling pin, large cookie sheet, parchment paper & Kitchen Aid dough mixer (not a must).
- In a large mixing bowl stir & slightly dissolve entire yeast packet with a tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 cup warm milk. Let sit for 15 minutes or until yeast activates (foams up a bit).
- In a separate bowl using a fork, beat 2 eggs with 1/2 cup sugar. Add in 1/2 stick melted butter, 1/2 cup warm milk & 1 teaspoon vanilla extract . Pour and combine into bowl with activated yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Slowly mix in 3 1/2 cups flour into all of this. Dough will be sticky and hard to handle. If you prefer to save time and effort, use a Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook. I like to pre-mix my flour into it using a wooden spoon before letting the Kitchen Aid knead it for a good 3-5 minutes following that.
- Cover well-kneaded dough with towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. After it rises, gently pat it back down by carefully pushing the sides down. Cover and let it rise again for another 1 hour, in a warm place.
- Yay! Your dough is ready. Divide it into 2 equal parts. Coat your working surface & rolling pin with flour (a couple small handfuls). Avoid pounding too much flour into your dough while you’re working it.
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg. & repeat the following steps for each dough half:
- Roll out the dough into approx. 1/4-inch thickness, maybe a little less. It will be a bit stretchy & sticky. Try rolling it to a more rectangle shape (aim for 14-16 inches length). You don’t want it so thin that it will tear under the weight of the filling later, but not too thick either.
- Evenly spread close to 2 cups ground walnuts onto the rolled out dough. Use an open palm to pat it all down. Cover the nuts with an even layer of white sugar – half of your filling sugar (about 3/4 cup).
- Roll up the dough jelly-roll style, into a log shape, by taking the edge of a longer side and tucking it up and over with your fingers, quickly & evenly rolling it up. Try tucking the roll in a little snug and conserve as much filling as possible, some will fall out.
- Transfer the roll, seam down, onto a greased parchment-lined large cookie sheet. (Can be hard to do – try using any extra parchment paper to help transfer it by sliding it under and rolling the log onto cookie sheet).*
- Brush the top and sides of each roll generously with an egg. Sprinkle the top with any leftover ground walnuts (for looks).
- Bake in pre-heated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes. The rolls will be a beautiful dark golden color. Sometimes the rolls split in the oven – it’s not a big deal. Allow the rolls to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Carefully slice & enjoy with a cold glass of milk. Try dusting some powder sugar over it. Your kids will love you.
—Stores well 2 to 3 days in room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.
*Variations: Because of how hard it is to transfer rolls onto the cookie sheet, I think making shorter rolls, 3 or 4 of them, instead of two large ones – could solve the problem. However, I’ve not tried this method.
*Do you have honey on hand? Drizzle some into your filling or over the finished rolls for serving. It’s hard to go wrong.