Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Seriously, they’re as good as they look.
Pumpkin and Frosting and Cinnamon? Oh yes.
As part of our Submit Your Pumpkin Recipes series, one of you tipped me off to this recipe from a fabulous food blog called Good Life Eats.

Have you been there before? Katie makes yummy things and takes yummy photos. I immediately fell in love.
So I’ve added Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls to the MUST-make pumpkin list. And….I have 3 more recipes to share with you! Would you rather that I give them to you all before Thanksgiving? Or spread them out over the next month?

Other pumpkin recipes in our series:
* Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
* Pumpkin with Lemon Cream Waffles
Okay, but back to Pumpkins and Cinnamon….

There are many things I love about this recipe:
* the pumpkin is not overpowering. If you have any family members who don’t like pumpkin, don’t even tell them it’s in there. They won’t know the difference but they’ll certainly enjoy the yummy fall spices (and ooey gooey frosting).
* it uses a bit of whole wheat flour.
* the dough rises beautifully. I was skeptical about adding pumpkin to a yeast dough. This is not a quick bread recipe here. This is the real rising stuff!
* the cinnamon and sugar crystallized inside giving it this special crunch with each bite. I’ve never had this with other cinnamon rolls but it was magical.

I followed Katie’s easy steps , starting with the yeast. If you’ve never used yeast before have no fears. It’s not hard! You just have to plan ahead because bread and rolls need time to rise.

So, I let the yeast grow with water and honey (or sugar) in a cup.
I got the rest of the ingredients together, threw in the yeast and mixed everything in my KitchenAid mixer with my paddle attachment. If you have a big mixer, this is the easiest way to mix and knead bread. When the dough is fairly mixed, put on the hook attachment and knead the dough on a level 2 speed for 7-8 minutes. This is the same way I make Braided Bread.
When the dough is kneaded, place it in a bowl (that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray), cover it with dishcloth, and place it in a warm place to rise. I always turn my oven on for about 15 seconds, just to warm it up, then place my dough in there for a couple hours or until the dough has doubled:
This is my kids’ favorite part. I let them “punch down” the dough (hopefully with clean hands). They each take a few turns pounding their 3-year old aggression out on the dough and when I’m not looking they snag a few doughy bites.
Now comes the real recipe fun, rolling out and making the rolls.
You need dough, butter, and a cinnamon mixture (all found in the recipe)
Roll out the dough, spread it with melted butter, shake the cinnamon sugar on top, and watch your kids dab up the crumbs.
Then roll the whole thing up and cut!
There are various methods for cutting cinnamon rolls but this a trick my mom taught me and it works perfectly.
Place a piece of thread under the large roll
Using both hands, pull the strings all the way over, across each other and watch as it cuts the roll for you.
Pull the string out.
and, you have a roll! Repeat for the rest of the rolls.
Place them in a greased 9×13 pan and let them rise for another hour or so (just as you did with the original dough).
And finally, bake them.
You could easily eat them as is. But what are cinnamon rolls without the frosting? Follow the recipe or use leftover frosting from your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and ice the warm rolls . Be liberal; let it drip down.
Serve them to your family and friends.
And save a few for yourself.

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