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Coconut Pistachio Banana Rolls with Cardamom Cream Cheese Glaze

“Is this on?”  (tap tap SCREECH) “Oh! Sorry about that.” (laughs nervously)

“Anyway, welcome, welcome! I see some of you are still shambling to your seats, but we better get started. I hope you understand if I want to be home before nightfall. As a reminder, for both your safety and mine, the fence I stand behind is electric and will shock you if you touch it. And after last week’s near incident (slight shudder) I have taken the precaution of stationing snipers around our test kitchen. Should we have any other ‘abstainers’ who forget themselves, the snipers are instructed to shoot you in the head. They’re the ones in the riot gear, if you didn’t notice on your way in. Due to the lack of fired shots so far, I can only conclude that all of you were able to resist the temptation of, er, ‘canned food.’ Kudos!” (applauds)

“I think I seem some new faces–that is, if I’m not just mistaking increasing rates of decay for new faces–so welcome to our little group. If you’re new, you might be interested to know that last week we focused upon walnuts, commonly referred to as “brain food” both for their appearance and their omega-3s having positive effects on brain function. Now, I can’t imagine that walnuts actually taste like brains–I wouldn’t know since I’ve never tried–but then I’m guessing most of you don’t have much left in the way of taste buds, so it’s a moot point. But for those of you whose eyes are still more or less in working order, the walnuts’ appearance might help provide some mental satiation, as it were. And really, I think many of you would also be happy to have a bit of cognitive boost, eh? Just so long as you don’t use it to better track human prey! (high-pitched titter; clears throat)  In any case, you may speak to me after the class–through the fence, mind–if you’re interested in purchasing a DVD of last week’s session.

“With that, let’s get started! Welcome to Week Two of Coping Strategies for the Abstinent Zombie. I will reiterate what I said during the walnut session–these recipes I present to you are meant as ‘stepping stones’ to get you away from the horrible, horrible habit of consuming human brains. The intent is to redirect your cravings. But if instead you feel that brain-like foods will only “fuel the fire,” so to speak, your best bet is probably going cold turkey–”

(muffled due to riot gear) “Or let us shoot you in the head and burn your bodies, foul demons from hell!”

(raising voice) “–which is outside of the program I’ve set up here. If that is you, you would be well-advised to go through the full 12 Step program offered at City Hall. (covers microphone) And how many times do I have to tell you, Steve, if you can’t keep your opinions to yourself, don’t come!”

“Say that again when they swarm over your little fence and claw out your eyes.”

(glares, uncovers microphone, and returns attention to audience) “Today we’re moving in a slightly different direction. What I have for you here is a yeast roll based upon a cinnamon roll, but with a filling that bears a somewhat disturbing–er, appetizing, I should say–resemblance to gray matter. This is achieved by sauteing bananas in some butter–really brings out the flavor!–until they become soft and almost pudding-like. I already have some cooked here. (holds up pan) Mm, smell the aroma! The bananas are then whizzed in a food processor with some pistachios– Oh, I see a raised hand. You there, with the excessively putrefying left forearm. What’s your question?”

“Aro warrauts?”

(pause) “Er, forgive me. Your abnormally distended jaw and perhaps decomposing tongue make it a bit difficult for me to understand you. I think you were asking why I used pistachios and not walnuts. Is that correct? Nod if so.”

(clatter clatter)

“Whoops! Lost your jaw there, heh-heh! But to answer your question, the green tinge of the pistachios combines with the banana and coconut–which I hadn’t yet mentioned–to yield the grayish color. I have not attempted this recipe with walnuts, but I don’t believe it’d give us the color we’re going for, which is this.” (holds up bowl of banana-pistachio-coconut goo)


“Oh, I do hope that is a cry of approval and not– Sir–or ma’am, whatever you are, you really ought to remain in your seat–”


(repeated buzzing of electric fence amidst angry snarls. sniper shots)

“What’d I tell you, Constance?”

(dives under table) “Shut up, Steve. Shoot them in the head. In the head!”


Sorry. I really don’t intend for every recipe to have a story about zombies. But the one I started out with wasn’t working. And so.


Coconut Pistachio Banana Rolls with Cardamom Cream Cheese Glaze
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time: 8 hours
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 8 hours 20 mins
Serves: 12
Unattractive but tasty filling of coconut, pistachios, and bananas in a roll, topped with cardamom cream cheese glaze (do not skip the glaze)

For the dough

  • 282 g (2 1/3 c) white whole wheat flour
  • 192 g (1 1/2 c) all purpose flour
  • 3 g (1 tsp) instant yeast
  • 35 g (3 tbs) sugar
  • 14 g (2 tbs) dry milk
  • 9 g (1 1/4 tsp) salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ~175 g liquid whey* (~ 1 c)
  • 28 g (2 tbs) soft butter

For the filling

  • 240 g banana (about 3 small)
  • 21 g (1 1/2 tbs) butter
  • 20 g (1 tbs) honey
  • 60 g (3/4) roasted pistachios (I used unsalted)<br>
  • 42 g (1 c) flaked unsweetened coconut
  • melted coconut oil–approx. 28 grams (2 tbs)

For the Cardamom Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 84 g (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 30 g (2 tbs) milk
  • 156 g (~ 1 1/2 c) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  1. Mix and knead all the dough ingredients in a stand mixer (or be dough and do it by hand) until you have a soft, smooth-ish dough. Put it in a greased container, cover, and put in the fridge to rise overnight.
  2. Prepare your filling by sauteing the banana in the butter on medium heat. Add the honey when bananas start to soften. Continue cooking until bananas reach an almost pudding-like consistency. Some chunks are OK.
  3. Toss your cooked bananas in the food processor. Add the pistachios and coconut. Blend until you arrive at an unattractive gray color that makes you wonder what you’re doing.
  4. Turn out your chilled and risen dough onto a lightly greased work surface. Roll into a rectangle about 11 x 20 inches. Spread a think layer of melted coconut oil (or butter) over the dough. On the short side nearest to you, leave about 1″ oil-free.
  5. Take your pistachio-banana-coconut gunk and slather it over the oil as best you can to cover the rectangle, keeping that 1″ oil-free border clean. Think that it looks a bit better out of the work bowl.
  6. Start with the long edge that has filling, and roll the dough into a log. Use unwaxed dental floss to loop around the dough and slice into 12 pieces, or use a serrated knife.
  7. Put rolls in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover and let rise for another 45 to 75 minutes, until puffy.
  8. Preheat oven to 350. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 min, then turn out onto plate to cool to slightly warm before glazing.
  9. While the rolls cool, cream the softened cream cheese using a hand mixer. Add the milk, then mix to combine. If you dislike lumps, sift the powdered sugar into the cream cheese mixture. If you couldn’t care less about lumps, pour right in, but slowly, and mix. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the cardamom.
  10. Pour over rolls. Drool over cardamom goodness. Taste. Feel relief that the rolls aren’t a disaster after all.
*Liquid whey is what you get from straining yogurt. You can substitute water, but if so, increase yeast to 6 g (2 tsp). Whey has lots of stuff in it that yeast likes, so you get a better rise when using it. Water won’t have the same oomph. 🙂


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