Let's be clear: don't make these for dessert. They're something like the British scone of cinnamon rolls, low-key and firmly in the breakfast arena of sweetness. But you can bump up the sugar factor by drizzling on some extra glaze, which is thin and spiked with a touch of brandy.
What you get with these instead of a syrupy filling is a thicker, deeply aromatic and satisfying blend of black figs, buttery walnuts, a hit of brandy, and, naturally, cinnamon. Your biggest challenge while making these will be resisting the filling long enough to spread it on dough.
Speaking of the dough, it's the very definition of cooperative. And streamlined, to boot. With only five dough ingredients, and this much aromatherapy, your late-winter breakfasts are covered. Make a batch on the weekend (or whenever you have time to let dough rise), and pop the leftovers in the freezer to grab on any given morning. Feel pampered all week long.
(Double Brandied) Breakfast Fig-Walnut Cinnamon Rolls
yields 8 rolls
For the dough:
1 1/3 cups full-fat canned coconut milk, at room temperature
2 TBSP natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1 TBSP active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
For the Brandied Fig-Walnut Paste:
1 cup dried black Mission figs, stems removed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
1 TBSP brandy
1 TBSP turbinado (or brown) sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP full-fat canned coconut milk
1 tsp brandy
Begin by preparing the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk, sugar, and yeast. Proof 10 minutes. Add salt and flour (flour should be measure by spooning flour into measuring cup, then leveling). Mix with paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough comes together that can be kneaded. Switch to dough hook and knead until smooth and springy, 3-5 minutes.
Lightly oil a mixing bowl, add dough, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let double in size (this could take anywhere from 45-90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
While the dough rises, prepare the fig-walnut paste by simmering figs in water, covered, for 10 minutes. Grind walnuts to a fine meal in a coffee grinder. Combine figs with any remaining liquid, walnut meal, brandy, sugar, and cinnamon in a quart jar and puree with an immersion blender. Set aside.
When the dough is ready, punch down and transfer to a floured surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Oil a cookie sheet. Roll dough into a 12"x12" square. Heat the fig paste in the microwave for 1 minute to soften (it firms up as it sits), and working quickly, spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough with the back of a spoon. Roll up, pinch closed, and cut into 8 even slices. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet, cover again with the kitchen towel, and let rise until puffed and roughly doubled, 30-45 minutes (or longer, if needed).
Heat oven to 375. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. Meanwhile, whisk together glaze ingredients. Let cool 5-10 minutes and serve with glaze.