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Two favorite Autumn treats, rolled into one! I invented this recipe a couple weeks ago, for my cinnamon-loving boyfriend and I think they turned out pretty well :). I noticed that the pumpkin flavor comes out best after the buns have been chilled. Note: this recipe makes a *lot* of cinnamon buns, so would be great to prepare for gifts or a party/potluck. If you plan on making these for yourself, I would consider halving the recipe. I also eyeballed the filling ingredient quantities and didn't precisely measure them, so the spices/brown sugar/apple juice quantities may need adjusting for your personal taste.
For the dough
- 1⁄2 cup skim milk
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup margarine or 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1⁄3 ounces active dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 1⁄4 cups flour (may need adjusting)
- 4 tablespoons canned pumpkin
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling
- 2 (15 ounce) cansplain pumpkin
- 1 1⁄2 cups light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup flour (may need adjusting)
- 2 -4 tablespoons apple juice or 1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2-1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 pinches salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted butter (optional)
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 drops maple extract
- Prepare the dough. Heat the milk and sugar in a pan with the salt and butter, until butter is melted. Cool until lukewarm.
- Meanwhile, dissolve the packet of yeast in ¼ warm water with a pinch of sugar. Stir until dissolved and wait until frothy. Mix the yeast into the lukewarm milk mixture.
- Stir in the beaten eggs and 2-3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth, and then stir in the remaining 2-3 cups of flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic (note: it should be slightly softer/stickier than regular dough bread).
- Roll the dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Brush the dough surface with melted butter. Cover with a cloth and allow to sit and rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour. Punch dough down, and wait 5 more minutes.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine the pumpkin puree and apple or lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the spices, salt, and brown sugar. When it is warm, carefully stir in just enough flour to make the mixture thickened a little (about ¼-1/2 cup). Taste, and adjust the sugar, lemon/apple juice, salt or spices as desired. Remove from the stove and refrigerate until cool.
- Preparing the cinnamon rolls: Roll out half the dough into a large rectangle, about 18x9” and ¼-1/2 inches thick.
- Spread with half the chilled pumpkin filling, leaving a ½ inch border. Sprinkle with the ground walnuts.
- Carefully roll the dough into a cylinder. For larger rolls, roll along the short end. For smaller rolls, roll the dough along the long edge. Moisten and pinch the edges to form a seal.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- With a sharp non-serrated knife, carefully cut the dough into slices approximately 1 ½-2 inches thick. Arrange on a greased baking pan (you may require two pans).
- Again, cover the dough and let sit approximately 15 minutes in a warm draft-free area.
- Bake the rolls in a 350-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant (the cook time will depend upon the size of the rolls- it should be nearly done when your house starts to smell good!).
- To make the maple glaze: In a bowl, mix approximately 2 cups of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of melted butter (optional) and a pinch of salt. Carefully add skim milk, a spoonful at a time while stirring, until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Add a few drops of maple flavor.
- Drizzle the icing over the warm cinnamon buns so it forms a glaze.
- Chill (recommended) and enjoy!