Last night I was wandering through links upon links and somehow came across a four year old recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. It was posted during 2007’s VeganMoFo, was written clearly enough for me to understand, and contained pumpkin. (Also, the name of the blog that it comes from is Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk. I really like that title, because sometimes I’m temped to eat off the sidewalk, so a reminder is always good.)
I have never made cinnamon rolls, and when I looked around the internet, everyone talked about how long it took. Today is my first day off work for Winter Vacation, so I decided to wake up early and give these pumpkin cinnamon rolls a try.
(It took me until several hours into the process to figure out that my bag of sugar had a tiny little hole, and that is why there were puddles of sugar all over my kitchen. Messy.)
One of the few things I changed from the original recipe is that, instead of 2.5 cups of all purpose flour, I used 1.5 cups of all purpose and 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour.
I mixed the pumpkin, sugar, melted Earth Balance, and soy milk together. It looked kind of gross, but made it easier to pour into the yeasty water when it was time.
After I mixed all the ingredients and kneaded the dough, it was time to rise. I had a problem, though. Although I live in the desert, and it is blisteringly hot during the summer, in the winter the nights are quite cool. My house retains the night’s cool temperatures really well. So, even during the day it is a bit chilly inside. It’s too cold in the kitchen for dough to rise. So, I attempted a new plan:
I set the bowl of dough on the counter directly in front of the space heater. I didn’t want it to get too close so that it would get too hot, but I needed it close enough that it would benefit from the heat. I think it pretty much worked.
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Unfortunately, the space heater came alive with an ominous glow. It demanded that I give it the cinnamon rolls, or pay the price. I refused, and we ended up at a stand-off.
I won the standoff by unplugging the space heater.
* * * * * * * * *
(I apologize for that strange interlude. The photo of the space heater and the bowl of rising dough looked a bit evil at that direction. So, I played with photoshop to make it look even more ominous. Oooooo.)
Okay. So, anyway, I rolled out the dough. The recipe said to roll it out to be 10×12 inches. I used a cookie sheet, and just rolled it out to fill up the tray. I don’t know what the size was. Bigger than 10×12 inches, though.
(I have to say, I love the meta nature of this picture. You can see the website with the recipe on my computer in the background of the photo.)
Then, I poured on the filling, and rolled it up. (Or, I should say, tried to roll it up. I had some issues at first, but eventually figured it out.)
On top of the recipe’s filling, I poured some chopped pecans. I’m not sure how much…maybe 1/4 cup or so?
You can see the escaped filling. Oh well.
I cut it up, and crammed all 13 rolls it into an 8×8 the baking dish. (The recipe called for a 9×9 vessel.) After waiting for the cut rolls to rise some more, I stuck it in the oven. Around half way through the baking, I sprinkled some more pecans on top of the cinnamon rolls. It was about two tablespoons worth, or so.
When they were glowing orange, and the sugar inside the rolls was melted and bubbly, I removed the baking dish from the oven.
Then, I prepared the icing for the top, and poured it on.
Look at them! They look like cinnamon rolls! (Imagine, that.)
You can sort of see in this picture how bright and orange they are. The pumpkin flavor is not very prominent, but it gives the cinnamon rolls a vivid and enticing pumpkin-orange color. I love it!
These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls were a success. Both because they ended up delicious, and because I finally learned how to spell cinnamon. (For the first 3/4 of this post, I spelled cinnamon wrong every time. And wrong in different ways, too! I finally figured it out though.)
If I baked them again, I would increase the percentage of whole wheat pastry flour, and perhaps add a bit more pecans. But, both of those are just superficial changes. These are perfectly amazing as they are. I’m hoping to freeze some of them (if I can stop eating them long enough to wrap and put in the freezer…) That way, I’ll have amazing cinnamon rolls any time I want, without having to go through a three-hour long process.
What pumpkin concoction will I make next? You’ll have to check back to find out…