Last weekend I made those fantastic pumpkin cupcakes, and at the end of the day I was left with every bakers worst dilemma... extra icing! I hate to just waste it, especially when the icing is of the cream cheese variety. So I started brainstorming about other good uses for this creamy, rich icing. It didn't take me long to decided cinnamon rolls would be a great way to use this icing, and going along with the change of season, the cinnamon rolls needed to be pumpkin flavor. I checked one of my favorite online baking resources, King Arthur Flour's website, and found a recipe that they had blogged about last fall.
What can I say? These were great! Rich, sweet, and intensely bad for you... a perfect fall treat. I'm actually a pretty healthy eater overall, so I almost feel guilty eating these for breakfast! But I do think these would be wonderful on a special occastion, like a holiday brunch or breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. You can make the dough the night before, and let the rolls rise in the fridge overnight. Then, let them come back to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes the next morning before you bake them.
If you want advice on this recipe, or for other great baking inspiration, check out the King Arthur Flour blog. They give great step by step instructions, and always respond to peoples questions in the comments section. You can see the original recipe there, too. Now I'm headed to the gym, to work off a few of the calories I packed on from eating these things :)
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup canned pumpkin or squash
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (plus 2-4 Tbsp) lukewarm milk
1/4 cup soft butter
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
*Adjust the amount of milk by the time of year or your climate. For summer, or in a humid enivronment, use the lesser amount of water. In winter, or in a dry climate, use the greater amount. It's always best to start with the lesser amount; you can always add more liquid a lot easier than taking it away.
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
water to brush on dough
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1) Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you've made a soft, fairly smooth dough.
This is a really easy dough, with all the ingredients going into one bowl. Less mess, yeah! I think a stand mixer makes a big difference for this dough, because it's a wetter dough that would be hard to knead by hand.
2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until it's almost doubled in bulk.
3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Roll it into a 14" x 22" rectangle; the dough will be thin.
4) Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Brush a thin layer of water over the dough, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving one short edge free of filling.
5) Sprinkle with dried cranberries.
The recipe also recommended sprinkling with crystalized ginger, which sounded great but for me meant another trip to the store. I might try that if I plan better next time. I also think chopped nuts would be nice tucked into the rolls.
6) Starting with the short end that's covered with filling, roll the dough into a log.
7) Cut the log into nine 1½"-thick rolls.
8) Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9" x 9" pan that's at least 2" deep. Set aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until the rolls look puffy.
9) Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're lightly browned and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and set them on a rack. Turn them out of the pan, and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. Towards the end of the cooling time, spread cream cheese icing over the rolls.