Merry Christmas! What better way to begin a wonderful day! I made them a few days prior and froze them uncooked…thank-you Smitten Kitchen!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
3 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt AND 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. EACH nutmeg AND ground ginger
1/8 t. cardamon
1/3 c. melted butter (you can also take the time to brown it)
2/3 c. pumpkin puree AND 1 egg
Filling – I didn’t quite use it all
1/2 c. really soft or melted butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar (I used dark)
1/4 c. sugar AND 1/8 t. salt AND 2 t. cinnamon
1/2 package (4 oz/125 g) cream cheese AND 2 c. icing sugar AND 1/2 t. vanilla
2 T. milk – maybe more if needed
To make the dough, start by combining the warm milk and yeast in a small bowl and allowing it to sit for a few minutes until there are obvious bubbles/foam. As it’s sitting, combine the flour, sugars, salt and spices in the bowl of your electric mixer, add the melted butter and stir to combine. Add in the yeast/milk mixture when it’s ready and the pumpkin and egg and give it a good stir. Switch to a dough hook and run it for 5 minutes on low. Oil a large bowl and have it ready.
Scrape the dough into the oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place for about an hour (I used the proofing setting on my oven) – the dough should double in size. As it’s rising, prep your pans – butter them, lay a piece of parchment on the bottom, and then butter the parchment. I cut the rolls into 24 equal pieces and fit 15 into a 9 x 13 pan and 9 into an 8 x 8 pan – you can decide what to use, it will depend on how thick you cut them. **I’ve also cut them into 12 fat ones and used my over-sized lasagna pan to bake and serve them in**
To assemble the buns, flour your work surface and bring out the dough. Lift the dough out of the bowl and gently pull and stretch it into a bit of a rectangle, then lay it onto your prepared surface and and use a rolling pin to make a 16 x 11 even rectangle – this was actually super easy to do. Spread the butter evenly over all (use more if you need to) and then evenly sprinkle on the filling and gently pat it down. Starting with the long side, carefully roll the dough into a tight spiral, and then using a serrated knife (so your dough won’t be flattened when you slice!), slice the log into even-sized pieces – as mentioned, I found 24 to be a good number, but you could definitely make them fatter.
Place the rolls into your prepared pans, with a bit a space in between because they’re going to rise some more, and then cover the pan with plastic wrap and put them in a warm place for about 45 minutes. THIS IS WHERE I WRAPPED THEM WELL (I literally used a roll of plastic wrap and wrapped it around the pans), AND PUT THEM INTO THE FREEZER. You could also put them into the fridge to sit overnight if you’re doing them the day before you want to eat them. If frozen, put them into the fridge to thaw overnight the day before you need them, and then put them in a warm place on your counter for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours before you plan to bake them – they need to warm up, and they’ll probably rise a bit more.
Preheat the oven to 350, remove all of the plastic and bake your beautiful buns for 20-30 minutes (again, this will depend on how thick you cut them) – you should be able to tap the tops like a loaf a bread when they’re done, and they’ll be a lovely golden color. To make the glaze, beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy, add in the icing sugar and vanilla, and then drizzle in milk until it’s the consistency that you want (I did this the day before, and then left it on the counter to soften). Transfer the pans to wire racks, slather on the glaze and have a really terrific Christmas (or any other) morning – enjoy!