Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet 16th: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Its that time of year when pumpkin enters the kitchen in full force!  

This is something I've been wanting to try for a few months and I must say they were worth the wait.  While I don't include the recipe here, these would be wicked good with a little cream cheese frosting on the top!

So here we go!  I modified this recipe from a cinnamon roll recipe in this cookbook (everything I've tried from this book has been excellent!).

For the rolls you need:

1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 packets of active yeast
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
8 cups flour

For the filling:

1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon allspice
about 1 cup packed brown sugar

Start with the dough.  Put the milk, yeast, cardamom, melted butter and egg in a mixer with a dough hook attachment and mix.  Add the pumpkin and mix again. 

With the mixer on, add in the flour slowly until it is all incorporated.  It will be stiff.  (I broke a spatula in it...)

Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.


While the dough is proofing,  mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice for the filling and set aside.

After the hour is up,  punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough out to about 12 x 30 inches or so.  It should be about 1/4 inch thick.  This can be tricky as the dough is pretty springy and will want to bounce back in. 

Spread butter on the surface of the dough and then sprinkle the spice mixture and the brown sugar over the entire surface. 

Roll it up starting from one of the longer sides, then cut at angles roughly 2 1/2 inches apart.

Transfer the buns to parchment lined baking sheets with quite a bit of space between the buns.  (They grow a lot more!) 

this is before the second rise

Cover them with a clean towel again and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes to an hour.  They should be almost doubled in size.

after the second rise

Bake the buns at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before frosting or just eat them warm!

These are so very toddler approved but I didn't manage to get any pictures of the little man eating one :(

 So instead here is a different adorable picture! (or two)

Happy baking!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup!

I love butternut squash,  especially as soup. 

Want my super delicious recipe?  

I thought so :)

You need:

1 butternut squash
veggie oil
1 sweet onion
2 or 3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken or veggie broth
cayenne pepper
black pepper
brown sugar

The first step is to peel and chop up the squash.  This is the most challenging part and takes a bit of muscle.  (Don't forget to scoop out the seeds!)

Next, heat up 1 to 2 Tablespoons oil on medium heat.  Chop up the onions and cook for about 3 minutes. 

Mince the garlic and measure out about  1/4 teaspoon each of the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom cayenne and black peppers. 

 Add the garlic and spices to the onions and stir in.  Cook for another minute or so.  Add in all of the squash and the broth.

Bring it to a boil, then lower to a simmer and let cook covered for 20 minutes until the squash is nice and soft.

This next part you could do a couple of ways:  I use a hand-held mixer in the pot to cream everything up until its really smooth.  You could also transfer small batches at a time to a blender to puree everything.

Either way,  add in about 5 Tablespoons of brown sugar and blend it in.

Add more of the other spices to taste if you wish.  I usually end up adding more cayenne since I love the spicyness!

Dish up and eat up!  I like to serve mine with honey wheat toast to dip in the soup.