Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Tomorrow is a day of true indulgence. We’ll pile our plates high with turkey and stuffing and sides, eat until we’re on the brink of explosion, then go back for dessert. Unbuttoning our pants and falling asleep on the couch are perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged behaviors. And as punishment for uttering that dirty, four letter d-word, “diet”, our mouths are washed out with pie. It’s a day where calories don’t count and seconds and thirds are mandatory. So why not start the day with a truly indulgent breakfast as well? How about a batch of delicious, gooey pumpkin cinnamon rolls?

They’re soft and fluffy and full of warm spicy goodness. And Oh. So. GOOD! Believe me when I say these are seriously incredible. I made smaller rolls because I had every intention of taking them to work to share, but it was dark by the time I got around to taking pictures (darn you, Winter!) so I had to wait until the next day to shoot. In the meantime, I ate a couple. And then a couple more. And a few more after that. By the end of the night, I’d eaten about a quarter of the pan. Oh darn.. Now I don’t have enough to share. Guess I won’t take them with me to work.. Over the next couple days, I ate them for breakfast. I ate them for dinner. I ate them as a midnight snack. I ate the entire pan. by. my. self. And I thought about making more.

In addition to tasting incredible, they’re actually incredibly easy to make. There’s no kneading involved. Heck, I didn’t even use my mixer! At all. For any of it. I did every bit of it with a whisk and a rubber spatula. Even the frosting. So there’s no excuse not to make these! I’ll even give you my secret proofing tip if it’ll help convince you. My house is always freezing cold. (seriously. I JUST turned the heat on a couple days ago when the thermostat finally dropped down to 55 degrees. Inside my house.) That’s exactly how I like it. So that “warm” place to let your dough rise doesn’t really exist in my house. My trick? I put it in the oven and turn the preheat on for about 30 to 45 seconds, then turn it back off. Makes a perfect little warm spot for my rolls to do their proofing. And now you truly have no excuse.

Cinnamon rolls take some time to put together, and you’ve already got so much to do for Thanksgiving, so make it easy on yourself by doing most of the work the night before. You can do up through most of step #5 tonight. Instead of allowing to rise in a warm area the second time, cover the dish and put them in the fridge to proof overnight. In the morning, pull them out of the fridge, let them finish rising in a warm area for about a half an hour, then pop in the oven to bake! Just make sure to snag a couple before everyone devours them to pack as a snack to enjoy while you’re standing in the early morning Black Friday lines! Gotta keep your energy up!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything and My Baking Addiction
Makes 12 large rolls or 24 small rolls

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1. Make the rolls: In a small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons of butter until just warm and butter is almost completely melted; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together bread flour and all purpose flour; set aside. Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together pumpkin, sugar, spices, and salt. Add milk mixture and beat until combined. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and yeast. Add half of flour mixture and beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the other half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. (Dough will be soft and sticky still, but should hold together in a ball.) Turn dough out into the greased bowl, and lightly spray top of dough with cooking spray.

3. Cover bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour. With floured hands, deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently a few times to create a smooth dough. (It will still be sticky, so keep your hands floured.) Sprinkle dough with enough additional flour to make it easy to handle, and roll out into a 12x10 inch rectangle. (For smaller rolls, divide dough in half first, then roll out each half to 12x5 inches.)

4. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Brush surface of dough with melted butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture, leaving about a quarter- to a half-inch of the top long edge clear of brown sugar mixture. (This will make it easier to seal the dough later.)

5. Starting with the long bottom edge, roll the dough up into a log. Pinch the seam to seal. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into twelve 1-inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, into a greased baking dish (for large rolls, a 9x13 baking dish; for smaller rolls, either a 9-inch round cake pan, or an 8x8 square baking dish). Cover dish and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake rolls until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes.

7. While rolls are cooling, make frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup and beat to combine. Add cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency. (If frosting is too thick, add a little bit of milk, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency. If it is too thin, add a little more confectioners’ sugar.)

8. Drizzle or slather frosting over still warm rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Anonymous said...

Oh...my...goodness! Those look wonderful! Found you via a goofy google video internet search from another blogger that hasn't blogged since early 2010! Glad I did! Please check out my blog as well...


Sarah Fennel said...

I'm obsessed with cinnamon rolls. These look delish!

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