So, this is another post that should’ve been up WAY sooner, but life conspired otherwise. I ended up screwing up the recipe when I was making the dough – I added 2 1/3 c of pumpkin when it should’ve been 2/3 c, so that required adjusting the flour quite a bit and giving the dough longer to rise. Once I got the rolls rolled and cut, I ended up throwing them in the fridge, intending to get to them within a day or two. Well, then I realized that I didn’t have the cream cheese I needed to do so, and after getting sick for most of the week, these ended up staying in the fridge until late last night, when I finally was able to get the cream cheese to make the glaze.

Happy to say though that despite all the fuckery involved, and staying in a fridge for the better part of a week, these turned out pretty damn good.  I didn’t use the typical plain cream cheese for the glaze, either – one of the local grocery stores had a cinnamon and brown sugar cream cheese for fall, and I think it turned out pretty damn good.  This is a long recipe, so I recommend making these the night before you want to have them.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Makes enough to fill two 9" cake pans

Ingredients

Dough

  • 6 T butter
  • .5 c warm milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2.25 t total)
  • 3.5 c flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • .25 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • .5 t cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch cardamom
  • dash ginger (whoops, forgot this)
  • 2/3 c canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • .75 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t cinnamon

Glaze

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used the brown sugar/cinnamon from Philadelphia for this, you could probably use any other flavor too)
  • 2 T milk
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Melt your butter – Deb is a big fan of browned butter, so she recommends doing it wherever possible.  I ended up doing it here.  Melt your butter in a small pot, and cook it on medium just a little beyond the melting point, until it starts to smell nutty and you get brown bits at the bottom of the pot.  Remove from heat once that happens.

While you’re doing that, warm your milk (I nuked mine for about 45 seconds) and add your yeast, mixing in a small bowl, and letting it sit for five to seven minutes.  It’ll get a bit foamy during this time (see pic 1), and that’s how you know your yeast is good.

Combine all your dry ingredients while the yeast activates – flour, sugars, spices – in the bottom of a large bowl.  Pour two-thirds (.25 c) of your browned butter into the dry ingredients, and leave the rest for roll assembly.  Stir to combine, and add your yeasty milk, pumpkin, and egg, and stir more to combine.  Your dough should be slightly resistant at this point, but still a little sticky.  Knead for five minutes (or, if you’re one of the lucky bastards who has a stand mixer, put a dough hook on it for five minutes). Cover your dough, and let it rise for an hour, until doubled(ish) in size). 

After an hour, flour your counter well and roll out you dough, until it’s roughly the size of an 11 x 16 pan.  Brush the remaining browned butter over the dough, and combine your filling ingredients, sprinkling them over the buttered dough. 

Then, you start your rolling.  I started from the shorter end, as it was way more convenient for me; Deb recommends rolling from the long end.  Filling will spill out the ends; it happens.  

To cut your dough while keeping the spirals (mostly) intact, use a bread knife and saw back and forth gently (don’t put pressure on the dough) to get near perfect spirals. Cut them however thick you like. Of course, if you jam them in the cake pan like I did, it won’t matter much (see pic 5), but it’s the aesthetic thought that counts.  Each pan can fit about eight or so rolls.  Cover the pans and let rise another 45 minutes.

However, if you’re like me and you covered them in plastic wrap and threw them in the fridge overnight (or close to a week) at this point, when you take them out, let them rise closer to an hour to warm up and finish the rising process.  

Preheat your oven to 350 (mine was at 325), and throw in your rolls for about a half hour, until they’re puffed and golden.  While you bake these, make your glaze – beat your cream cheese until light and fluffy, and then add your powdered sugar and vanilla, followed by your milk to get the consistency you want (less = thicker, more = thinner). Once your rolls are done, let them rest a bit and then drizzle the glaze on.

And then, ENJOY YOUR MIGHTY LABORS.

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