Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

So, this is a terrible picture, sorry about that. But I baked these on the morning after my Halloween party, and had to have them ready for later that morning. A friend of mine had a birthday brunch recently, and so I decided to try this recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. The pictures and the recipe sound so promising, but these just didn’t wow me. Just as likely it was my own fault, and not the fault of the recipe. I did make mine miniature, and so maybe the result was that I overbaked them or something. But, whatever it was, I thought they were tough, and not particularly sweet. All and all, I don’t think I would make these again.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls



8 ounces (1 cup) cooked pumpkin or winter squash puree (canned pumpkin)

2 large eggs

1 to 2 ounces (2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup) lukewarm water*

2 ounces (1/4 cup) soft butter

10 1/2 ounces (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

7 ounces (1 3/4 cups) white whole wheat flour

1 ounce (1/4 cup) nonfat dry milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

few grates of fresh nutmeg

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

*Start with smaller amount of water and adjust as needed.


5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar

1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

pinch each of salt, freshly grated nutmeg, and ground cloves

2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) crystallized ginger, minced

2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) dried cranberries

2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) pecans, chopped and toasted


1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together by hand or mixer until you’ve made a soft, fairly smooth dough. You can dump it all into the bowl at once and then mix until the sticky dough holds its shape.

2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, until it’s almost doubled in bulk.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Gently deflate the dough and then roll it into a 14″ × 22″ rectangle. The dough will be thin.

4. Mix the sugars, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves together for the filling. Brush the melted butter over the dough and then evenly sprinkle on the filling, leaving one short edge free of filling (to make it easier to seal when rolled into a log). Gently press the filling into the dough. Sprinkle the crystallized ginger, dried cranberries, and pecans atop the filling.

5. Starting with the short end that’s covered with filling, roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 rolls using a serrated knife or dental floss.

6. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9″ × 13″ pan that’s at least 2″ deep (or 2 round cake pans). Set aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until the rolls look puffy.

7. Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re lightly browned and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and set them on a rack. Turn them out of the pan, and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. Towards the end of the cooling time, make the glaze.

8. To make the glaze, whisk together the sugar and maple syrup. I added a little milk as well to thin it out. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So, it’s only two weeks, past Halloween, so just in time for me to post what I made for my Halloween party. Unfortunately I didn’t really get many pictures of what I made, so instead I’m just going to post links to what I made (it all came from other blogs), along with some brief reviews, although in truth it was all good.

Main: Chicken and Chorizo Sliders

These were great. The chorizo and jalapeno added some nice spice, and the chicken was tasty and moist. I cooked these up on my George Foreman, and I didn’t think they took a full 7 minutes a side. I also made the avocado mayo along side, which went nicely. My only problem was that I couldn’t find slider buns, so I had to use regular hamburger buns, with the result that these were a little bready. Of course, I made a double recipe of these, and by the end of the evening they were all eaten, so no one seemed to complain.

Dessert: Cinnabon Caramel Corn

This stuff was a little like popcorn crack. I made one batch with light brown sugar, and regular corn syrup, and another with dark brown sugar and dark corn syrup (this has much more to do with my having run out of the light stuff after the first batch, and not too much with creativity). The molasses flavor was very nice though, and complemented the other flavors nicely. My only other comment was that this took longer to bake than I was expecting, and letting it bake fully is important. The popcorn gets soggy from the addition of caramel, and the baking really is needed to dry it out. That said, this is super easy to make, and totally worth it.

Other Dessert: Chocolate cupcakes

For these I used one of my own recipes, so I’ve recopied it below. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what exactly was in the buttercreams, because I just threw it together. I made it with a pound of butter, probably about the same amount of powdered sugar, and some vanilla. I then divided it into thirds, left some as vanilla (which I added red food coloring to, so I could make brains), added melted chocolate and cocoa powder to another third (to make the monsters), and added orange extract and orange food coloring to the third, to make, well, orange ones. These were great cupcakes, and people really enjoyed the decorations.

makes about 60 mini cupcakes

1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 + 2 Tbs cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)
½ cup + 1 Tbs warm water
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
3/8 cup well shaken buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in cocoa powder until mixture is smooth. Add the water and mix until smooth.

2. Remove from heat. One at a time, mix in sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Sift it over the liquids and mix to combine.

4. Use a tablespoon measure to fill the mini-muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

5. Make sure to find a way to keep separate the mint and orange cupcakes, so you don’t swap their frostings.