It's October. We eat pumpkin in October. At least I do. And I try to pumpkinize as many foods as possible. Pumpkin bread, pancakes, oatmeal, ravioli, bagels, cream cheese, soup, yada yada. But there are certain things that take on a whole new being when pumpkinized. These pumpkin cinnamon rolls with spiced cream cheese frosting just bring it home. I cannot convey to you in writing the magic of these cinnamon rolls. You will jump for joy. You will scurry off to rake leaves. Your eyes will get all squiggly swirly because these cinnamon rolls will mesmerize you. Heed this warning: They do not come without some work. While a dough hook on a mixer will work just fine, and the dough setting on a bread machine will suffice as well, they are so much more satisfying when you roll up your sleeves, take your rings off and knead the heck out of the dough. Not to mention you'll feel immensely less guilty when you plop two rolls down on your plate and slather them with cream cheese frosting. Trust me on this. Knead them by hand. Without further ado, let's bake some rolls.
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
3 2/3 cups flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
A tad of milk
1. Dissolve yeast in the warm water in large mixing bowl.
2. Add flour, pumpkin, milk, melted butter, sugar and salt.
3. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
4. Knead the dough with a dough hook for 6 minutes or by hand for 10 to 12 minutes. Add about a cup more flour a little bit at a time until the dough becomes elastic.
5. Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl.
6. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place. A really good way to do this is turn your oven on briefly, turn it off then put the bowl inside. Let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
7. Punch down and let rest 5 more minutes.
8. Roll dough out on a floured surface to make a large rectangle. About 12-by-13.
9. For filling, mix together the flour, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
10. Generously brush melted margarine on dough. Cover surface in brown sugar. Don't skimp on this. Evenly sprinkle flour mixture over the brown sugar. Finally, sprinkle cinnamon over the top of it all. I just do this by sight. It all depends on how spicy you want your rolls. Don't go too heavy on the cinnamon.
11. Roll the dough along the long edge. Roll it tight so you get out all the air bubbles. Pinch ends and seam to seal.
12. Cut into 1-inch slices, or however large you want the rolls to be.
13. Line an aluminum pan with parchment paper, and line the slices up so they touch.
14. Heat oven to 375.
15. Cover pan and let rolls rise 25 minutes. (I usually just put them on top of the warm oven.)
16. Bake 20 minutes or desired brown.
17. Beat all frosting ingredients together until smooth. Adjust thickness by adding milk a little bit at a time.
18. Let rolls cool then frost.
Experience pumpkiny cinnamon roll bliss.