These chocolate walnut cinnamon rolls are baked in a muffin tin for easy portioning. Since these rolls are packed with so much flavor from the chocolate walnut filling, any additional icing or glaze is unnecessary.
Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Add 1 tsp sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow mixture to bubble and activate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add dissolved yeast mixture, milk, remaining sugar, salt and egg. Once combined, add 1 cup of flour. Use the hook attachment to mix together. Add another cup of flour, follow with coconut oil. Add last cup of flour. Knead until dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. If dough is too sticky, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for 60 minutes.
Chocolate Walnut Filling: Meanwhile, combine softened butter and vanilla paste. Stir together. It should resemble the consistency of mayonnaise. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together ground walnuts, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured working surface. Roll dough into a 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread softened vanilla butter over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border around all sides. Sprinkle ground walnut mixture over butter. Top with mini chocolate chips. Gently press filling into dough.
Roll dough into a tight log, starting with the long side. Slice log into 12 equal slices. Place cut slices into a lightly greased muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap and let roll rest for 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls for 28-30 minutes until golden brown and internal temperature of rolls hit 185 degrees F. Let rolls sit in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Serve warm.
These rolls are best served warm. If you happen to have leftovers, just pop them in the microwave with a cup of water for about 45 seconds. The will help to ensure that the bread doesn't get all chewy and rubbery.