About a week ago a friend of mine posted a link to a cooking blog on facebook. Of course, I had to check it out and was pleased to find these delicious treats. I know what you're thinking... Pumpkin cinnamon rolls?!?! It's not fall anymore! The pumpkin in these is more to make them healthy than to add flavor. Honestly, I don't even really taste it in there. But these are so good. The dough is light and fluffy and, while they don't pack all the decadence (or calories) of normal cinnamon rolls, they taste fantastic.
I loved them the first time I made them but I couldn't help making a few tweaks to the recipe to make it suit my flavor preferences. Namely, I followed my Cinnamon Rule of Thumb: If there's cinnamon in a recipe...Double it! (Okay... Maybe I didn't double it... But I definitely put in way more than the recipe called for.)
So for all you cooks and bakers that want a good but more healthy cinnamon roll... Here you go!
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 F)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (you could just use nutmeg. I never have plain nutmeg on hand though.)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup of raisins, chopped nuts, or dried cranberries (Optional...The cranberries are AWESOME though. They add a nice tart kick.)
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Add the yeast to the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment. Let stand for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast
2. Add 3 cups of the flour and the rest of your dough ingredients -- pumpkin, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix at medium speed until smooth.
3. Turn your mixer to low to knead the dough. Add as much as you need of the remaining 3/4 cup of flour -- dough should be tacky but not sticky in the end. (For me it's taken about 1/2 cup.)
4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
5. Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
6. Once your dough has risen, punch it down then cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface.
7. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough evenly. If desired, add a sprinkling of nuts/raisins/dried cranberries.
8. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough tightly to form a log. Pinch the seam to seal completely. Cut the log into 12 even slices and place the rolls in a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
9. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes or until doubled in size. (You can also just cover and put them in the fridge at this point if you're planning on actually baking them in the morning. You'll just want to take them out and let them rest for about 25 minutes before baking.)
10. Preheat oven to 375 F and bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.
11. For the glaze combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the buns. Serve warm.
These also reheat really well with about 30 seconds in the microwave. That is, if you actually have any leftovers.
I also wanted to note... I found this great recipe analyzer. You put in the number of servings and the ingredients and it spits back the nutritional information. These cinnamon rolls -- including the glaze -- will run you about 260 calories per serving. Not bad, especially when you compare it to other recipes and find that they run 450+ calories.
ETA: Do NOT use whole wheat flour for this recipes. It totally messes with the consistency of the dough and gives it a really weird texture.