Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pioneer Woman Inspired Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


1 qt whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 can pumpkin puree
8 cups + 1 cup all purpose flour + extra for rolling dough
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 cups chopped pecans (reserve some for sprinkling on top)

16 oz whipped cream cheese
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted (+ extra for baking pans)
dash of salt
maple flavoring, to taste

Preparing the Dough
In a very large saucepan, combine milk, vegetable oil & sugar.  Heat until just before boiling, then remove pan from burner & allow mixture to cool until it is just warm to the touch (approximately 30-45 minutes).  Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the liquid & allow it to sit for a few minutes.  If liquid has gotten too cold, you can reheat it just a tad at this point.

Combine 8 cups flour with cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger.  Sprinkle it into the saucepan & stir until it just comes together.  Cover the saucepan & set it in a warm, draft-free place for at least 1 hour (until volume of dough has approximately doubled).

When dough has finished rising, combine 1 cup flour with baking soda, baking powder & salt.  Add to dough mixture & stir until totally combined.  Dough can be covered & refrigerated at this time if you're not making the rolls right away.

Making the rolls
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle butter into 9 round aluminum cake pans & smear over the bottom of the pans.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface & press it into a rectangular shape.  If you are using dough that has not been refrigerated, it may seem overly sticky at this point.  Sprinkle it generously with flour & knead it until the consistency is more workable.  Flour a rolling pin & roll the dough into a large rectangle (my rectangle was about 12" deep and took up the whole length of my kitchen island... so if you don't have a large working space, feel free to divide the dough in half and make two rectangles!)

Drizzle 1 1/2 sticks melted butter over the dough and brush all over the surface.

Mix together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger.  Sprinkle mixture all over the surface of the dough, covering the melted butter.  Sprinkle with about 2 cups of chopped pecans.

Starting at the top, use a "typewriter" motion to roll the dough toward you into a large roll.  It's important to roll it tightly so that the pecans will not fall out when you slice the rolls.  When all of the dough is rolled, pinch the seam closed & turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down.  Here is what mine looked like at this stage:

Slice 1/2" to 3/4" slices (I got 54 slices out of mine) using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter.  Place rolls in buttered pans, leaving plenty of room for expansion.  Cover pans & allow rolls to rise for 20 minutes (longer if your dough has been refrigerated), then bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Making the frosting
While rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining all frosting ingredients in a bowl & beating with an electric mixer until combined.  This is a thinner icing, which I prefer, so that it seeps into all of the crevices of the rolls.  If you prefer a more traditional icing, feel free to use less milk, use non-whipped cream cheese, and/or add more sugar.

As soon as rolls come out of the oven, spoon frosting over each roll & spread.  Sprinkle remaining pecans over frosting.

To freeze:
Allow rolls to cool, then flash freeze in pans & cover with plastic wrap & foil.  I found that flash freezing them first helped keep the plastic wrap from sticking to all that delicious frosting!  These rolls can also be frozen unrisen in the pan, or baked & unfrosted, if you prefer.

To serve:
Thaw overnight and warm for just a few minutes in the oven, or remove from pan & microwave.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman's recipe:

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