When you have pancakes for dinner in the middle of the week, it kind of takes the magic out of the Saturday morning pancake ritual.
Solution: Cinnamon Rolls.
I sincerely apologize if you're seeking a healthy vegetarian recipe today, and I do promise I'll return with one tomorrow. But for now, I'm going to spoil our healthy-living lifestyles with hardcore Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns.
I first stumbled upon the Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun notion at Lindsey's blog, Gingerbread Bagels. Stunning, I tell you. Her recipe is adapted from one first published by Cooking Light--I ended up using the Cooking Light rendition, simply to cut down on some of the fat and sugar found in the more fully-loaded version (although I'm sure it's insanely delicious!).
I made the dough and assembled them Friday night (I knew I'd be too impatient to let the dough rise for over an hour on Saturday morning). I woke up, allowed the oven to heat while I walked Dora-Dog, popped those suckers in the oven for 20 minutes, and voila! Ooey, gooey, bakery-fresh goodness for Saturday morning breakfast.
I may never go back to pancakes again.
So today, prep your pumpkin cinnamon buns, and let the good times roll. Tomorrow brings more vege-head dinner recipes (and leftover cinnamon buns, of course).
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
(adapted from this recipe in the October 2001 issue of Cooking Light)
If you've never made "real" Cinnamon Buns with yeast before, now's your chance! Don't be intimidated, it was much easier than I expected. I recommend prepping the dough and rolls the night before; then you can just pop them in the oven the next morning, and make the icing while they bake.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1/4 cup very warm water
- 2 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 TBSP flour
- Smart Balance or butter, softened for spreading (about 2 - 4 TBSP)
Cinnamon Frosting Ingredients:
Note: This isn't a Cooking Light recipe--I made the icing myself, and didn't measure much (as usual!). I started with these base amounts (approximately), and adjusted the amount of sugar, Smart Balance, and milk until I reached a frosting consistency I liked.
- 3 - 4 TBSP butter or Smart Balance
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- a splash of skim milk
1) To prepare the buns, place the warm water in a large bowl. Add yeast and allow it to sit for 5 - 10 minutes to dissolve. Add 2 cups of flour, pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Beat with stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), adding remaining 3/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
(Note: I took the easy way out and used the dough hook on my stand mixer to knead the dough. I know, I'm a cheater).
2) Place the dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray; turn the dough in the bowl until lightly coated with the spray. Cover the bowl, and allow to sit in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes, until it has risen and doubled in size.
3) To prepare the filling, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
4) Once the dough has risen fully, punch down and allow it to rest for 3 - 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle (they indicate 12 by 10 inches, but who really pulls out a ruler to measure?!). Spread butter (or Smart Balance) over the rectangle to coat (about 2 - 4 TBSP), leaving a one inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over top. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with the long edge. Pinch to seal. Cut roll in to 10 to 12 slices. Place slices in a 9 inch square baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for another 25 minutes (Disclosure: I did not cover and let them rise at this point. I stuck them in the fridge for the night, pulled them out the next morning, and continued on to the next step).
5) Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until just lightly browned.
6) While rolls are baking, prepare the icing. Beat icing ingredients together using a hand mixer until desired consistency is reached. Add more sugar or milk to reach the consistency and amounts you like!
7) When buns are done, allow them to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Slather with icing and enjoy with a cup of coffee and the Saturday morning paper.