Pumpkin Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls but sometimes they're a little dry for me. And, to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by the kneading, rising and rolling out that comes along with them. But guess what? It's pretty easy and not too time consuming. I started these at 7:30 this morning and was eating them by 10 with plenty of time in between to do other stuff (drink coffee, read the newspaper, go for a run).

I came across a recipe at dishingupdelights, and have been playing with it for awhile. The flavor of pumpkin is subtle, but it keeps the rolls nice and moist. Abundant cream cheese frosting helps too. I add walnuts for crunch and a counter-balance to the sweetness.  These are so good.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 9

1 packet quick-rise yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 cup white sugar
3 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)

1/2 cup softened butter 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons cinnamon

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cream or milk
Beat until smooth

1. Pour warm water over yeast in a large mixing bowl, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir just until combined (it will look shaggy).  Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes (it will be nice and smooth). Put back into bowl, cover with a clean towel and let sit for 15 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile combine all filling ingredients and mix until smooth (or as smooth as something with chopped walnuts and sugar can be).

4. Roll dough out into a rectangle to about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling over, leaving a half-inch around the edges. Roll into a long cylinder and cut into about 9 pieces. Place in a 8 x 8 buttered pan, cover with clean towel and let rise for an hour.

5. Preheat oven to 400ยบ and bake for 20 minutes. Frost anytime you like. If you do it before they cool, it will melt into the crevices. If you wait, it will sit on top like a crown of sweet, creamy glory.

Before rising - a little anemic

After rising for an hour - fat and happy

After baking - crisp on the outside but tender and soft inside.

Semi-cooled (who can wait?) and frosted. 


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