Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
From: Mahna Mahna

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp each ground nutmeg and cardamom
3 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Mixture should be foamy (if not, your yeast is no longer good - toss it out and start again with a fresh packet).
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, pumpkin, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and spices; stir in yeast mixture and continue stirring until evenly mixed. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Turn out onto a floured surface and begin kneading; as you go, add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft and elastic (it should feel a bit tacky, but shouldn't stick to your hands).
Place the dough in a large bowl that has been lightly oiled, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon filling by stirring together the softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the cinnamon mixture in a thin layer over the dough and sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans, if using.
Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to get rid of any air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a lightly buttered 9-inch square pan. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°. Bake rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. If frosting, allow to cool for 15 minutes before drizzling with Caramel Icing.

We ate them unglazed because The Boy prefers his cinnamon buns on the not-so-sweet side... but if you've got a sweet tooth and can manage to wait until the buns are cooled enough to frost, then make a batch of this and drizzle over the buns before serving:

Caramel Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Dash salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk; cook over medium low heat 1 minute. Transfer to small mixer bowl and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, stir in vanilla, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Beat with electric mixer until well blended, adding more confectioner's sugar as needed until desired consistency is reached.

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