Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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It is already mid-October and I still haven’t gotten myself a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I am not sure exactly what has kept me away, but I suspect it might be the discovery of these cinnamon buns from Smitten Kitchen.  They have all the pumpkin and spice that I need for fall, without costing me $5 plus the time it would take to drive up to Starbucks.  They come together in an afternoon (or the evening before you want them for breakfast) and they make my family so happy I get extra hugs.  All in all, these are the perfect pumpkin spice treat for me. (I will willingly take a latte if anyone offers, however).

Note: I find these cinnamon buns quite amazing on their own, but you can add a glaze or icing if that’s your thing.  Just head over to Smitten Kitchen’s website to get all the details.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (from Smitten Kitchen)

What you need:

Dough
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, to be divided
1/2 cup \whole milk, warmedIMG_2156
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/4 cup (packed) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cups pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1 large egg
Oil for coating rising bowl

Filling
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

What to do:

Make the dough:
1. Melt the butter.  If you like to brown butter, this is a great time to do it!  Melt the butter in a small pan.  Once melted, keep cooking it over medium heat for a few minutes.  It will start to sizzle and foam and then smell nutty as the solids on the bottom of the pan brown.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Combine the warmed milk and yeast in a small bowl and set aside.  It should start to get foamy after a bit.IMG_2157

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, both sugars, salt and spices.

4. Add just 1/4 cup of the browned butter and stir to combine.

5. Add yeast-milk mixture, pumpkin and egg and mix until combined.

6. Switch mixer to a dough hook and run on low for 5 minutes.

7. Scrape mixture into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside of 1 hour or until just about double.

Assemble buns:

1. Spray a 9×13 or 2 8-inch pans with non stick spray.

2. Scoop dough onto a very well floured surface and then sprinkle flour on top of the dough.

3. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 16×11 inch rectangle (mine is never perfect – just make it sort of work).

4. Brush reserved butter over dough.

5. Stir together filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the dough.

6. Starting on a longer side, roll the dough in a tight spiral.  It never works out perfectly, but not to worry! It’ll still taste great!IMG_2159

7. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut one-inch segments of the “log”.  You will get 16 or more segments.

8. Place each little roll in the pan(s).

9. Cover the pan(s) with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes.

*If you’re making these ahead of time, put them in the fridge now.  In the morning, leave them out for about an hour to warm and finish rising.

10. Just before you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350F.

11. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes.

12. Transfer pans to wire cooling racks and then enjoy!

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