A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I've surprised myself by really jumping on the pumpkin bandwagon this year. This is especially interesting when I've never been a pumpkin fan. I am, however beginning to see the light and these rolls deserve a lot of credit for that small feat. 
This recipe is very manageable. It makes 12 rolls, the dough is mixed in your stand mixer (no kneading), and it comes together very easily. The hardest part is waiting for your dough to rise - and really, that's not hard, it's just annoying. 
If you like pumpkin and all the spices that go along with baked pumpkin goods, this one is for you. Personally, while I definitely liked these, I still prefer the plain old fashioned cinnamon rolls. The plain white dough version with absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. 

(adapted from Recipe Girl)
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. melted butter
4 ounces of cream cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter in small sauce pan over low heat until just warm and butter is melted.
In bowl of a stand mixer, combine pumpkin, 2 Tbsp. sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add warm milk mixture and beat until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast.  Add half of the flour to pumpkin mixture. Beat on low speed for 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Turn into medium sized bowl sprayed liberally with non-stick spray, turn dough over so that the top of it is greased, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times to form a smooth dough, sprinkling with extra flour if it is too sticky. Roll into a rectangle approximately 12x10 inches.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Brush surface of dough with 2 Tbsp. of melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut roll into twelve 1- inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, into a greased 11x17 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes. 
Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until golden.  Cool 10 to 15 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling, combine the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Spread on slightly cooled buns. Serve. (Yields 12 rolls)

Pumpkin Pie Spice

For those of you who, like me, don't have access to Pumpkin Pie Spice, here's a recipe to make your own. Couldn't be easier, and it makes just enough to stock your spice cabinet long enough to try a few of  those great fall recipes out there calling for this blend of spices.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. ground cloves

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baked Banana Bread Donuts

When I bought my donut pan, I vowed I would use it to do good (you know, as opposed to evil). Sure it's easy to throw together a donut batter (and I've done that a few times) -but I justified the purchase by telling myself that I would eventually make healthy donuts. For my kids, of course. And the fact that they'd be baked in this donut pan would fool them into thinking they were eating real donuts, based on their shape alone, when in actuality it would be a healthy muffin batter, full of nutrition. But it never happened. Partly because I never found a recipe that I thought was adaptable - but mostly because I didn't look that hard. Also, I'm lazy, so that didn't help.
However, I found a recipe a few weeks ago and all my good intentions returned, as well as the inspiration I needed to plough ahead with some degree of certainty that this endeavor could, in fact, be a success. Healthy donuts...who'd of thunk?
This recipe is originally a banana bread modified to include flax seed, and baked in a donut pan. I do believe I have finally justified this purchase. I might even go totally crazy next time and substitute some whole wheat flour for the AP flour. 
The chocolate glaze was totally unnecessary but also totally delicious. I found the recipe here. Skip it if you're into 'healthy' baking. My kids loved these, they were completely fooled. Didn't even detect the flax seeds. This recipe is a definite keeper.
Recipe for Baked Banana Bread Donuts
(source: adapted from Shove It In Your Face)

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons Ground Flax Seeds
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a donut pan with non stick spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, flax seed and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add banana, egg and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour into a piping bag (or ziploc bag) and snip the corner. Fill each donut hole until about half full.  Bake 7 - 9 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a ring. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before gently loosening the donuts with a butter knife, and then remove from pan completely. Place the hot donuts onto a wire rack to cool and repeat process until all the batter has been used. (Yields about 12 donuts)
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