Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Fall weekends just beg for cozy food.  On those mornings when it starts to get cool and all I want to do is stay in pajamas and socks, cinnamon rolls are pretty  perfect.  And since it’s October, what do I feel like adding to pretty much everything?  Ah yes, pumpkin.  The two together? Brilliant.  They make for a fun fall weekend breakfast.

These take a bit of time, since they are made with a yeast dough and have to rise twice.  If you feel like actually eating them in the morning without waking up super early to do so, I’d make them the night before, and then just bake them in the morning.  Commence the pumpkin binge…

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls  (inspired by and adapted from the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, a fabulous blog full of the sweetest treats)

  • Rolls
  • 1/3 c whole milk
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 c pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/4 t active dry yeast (or one standard-sized package)
  • 2 1/2 flour
  • Filling
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 6 T butter, softened
  • Glaze
  • 1/3 c butter, melted
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Hot water

Make the dough:  Gently warm the butter and milk together, just until the butter is melted (if it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast).  Set it aside.  Mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.  Add the warm milk/butter mixture and beat it all together until combined.  Add the egg then add the yeast, and beat it all together.  Add the flour in three batches, beating slowly after each addition, and then beat the whole mixture until combined.

Place the  dough in a bowl (I like to coat the inside of the bowl with a very thin layer of olive oil or cooking spray to make sure the dough doesn’t stick).  Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise, until it doubles in size (about an hour).  (I usually let my doughs rise in the oven.  If you have a gas oven, there is usually a bit of residual heat that makes it slightly warm.  If not, you can preheat your oven to 200 or so, then turn it off before you put the dough in.)

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and place it onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough a little bit, adding flour as needed to make the dough easier to knead (I probably added about 1/3 cup of additional flour).  Roll or press the dough out into a rectangle (I am bad at estimating size but I’d say mine was probably 18×10 inches or so.)

Make the filling:  Combine the softened butter, brown sugar, and spices in a small bowl.  Spread the mixture all over the dough.

Assemble:  Roll the dough into a log.  (Start rolling from the shorter/narrower end of the rectangle–that way, you’ll have more spirals of filling.)  Use a sharp knife to cut the log into rolls (mine were probably 1 1/2 or 2 in thick).

Coat the inside of a pan (I used a ceramic pie dish, mostly because it had a ruffled edge, and was green and pretty) with a thin layer of olive oil or cooking spray.  Arrange rolls in the pan.  Again, let the rolls rise until they double in size (about an hour).  (This is when you can stop the night before, and let them rise overnight to be baked in the morning.)

Bake the rolls:  Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake rolls for approximately 25 minutes.  Keep an eye on them for browning, and cover loosely with aluminum foil if they are browning too much (I covered mine after about 18-20 mins).

Make the glaze:  While the rolls are baking, mix the melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Add 1 T of hot water at a time until glaze reaches desired consistency.

Let the rolls cool a little bit after they come out of the oven (I feel your pain–this is difficult).  Spread or drizzle the glaze over the rolls, and enjoy one (or three) with a cup of coffee.  Yay weekends!

summer fruit, yogurt, and granola

Happy weekend!

This isn’t as much of a recipe as just a celebration of summer fruit. A yogurt parfait is the perfect way to highlight that deliciousness, particularly I think, if the yogurt is fruity, too. For these, we used peaches and strawberries–I could smell them just by walking by the farmer’s market stands and they tasted as good as they smelled.

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Here in the Indy area, we have a great place to get local dairy: Traders Point Creamery. It’s a family owned, organic dairy farm and their products are sold in a lot of local markets around town. Their yogurts are particularly good–they’re the type that are quite liquidy, almost the consistency of very thick cream, which makes them great for pouring over things like fruit or cereal. (They also freeze really well into popsicles.) Traders Point describes the yogurts as European-style and drinkable–whatever they are, they’re yummy! We used raspberry for these, but my other favorite is the banana mango.

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Topped with some extra crunchy granola, these make the perfect light weekend breakfast. I like the warm flavor of vanilla with fruit, so we used french vanilla almond granola from The Fresh Market for these. And I put them in my favorite glasses from Crate & Barrel (“happy” morning!).

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