Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting!

It's finally fall and you can keep on pretending that it's still summer but there's no denying it here in Pittsburgh anymore. The leaves are changing, it's getting cooler, and pumpkin everything has been on the menu since probably the middle of August. I swear it gets earlier every year but hey you'll never hear me complain!

This weekend I finally had some time to test out some recipes and of course a pumpkin one! I roped my mom into helping me for some "occupational therapy" but seriously it does her a world of good just to get more involved and do little every day tasks even if it is just helping me bake. She was more than willing especially since I bribed her with letting her lick the spatula once we were done :)

Again, don't pretend you don't do it! We're all friends here.

My friend and I (you know who you are ;) have a secret board on Pinterest that is dedicated solely to pumpkin (the rules are very rigid!) and awhile back I pinned something about pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I wanted to do my own twist on it so I used it for pinspiration. The inspiration came from Two Peas & Their Pod when I saw something about pumpkin butter from Trader Joe's. Well you know me, anything from Trader Joe's and I'm on board!

It gave me an idea, though, why not make cinnamon rolls with a pumpkin pie like filling?! Quite frankly it sounded amazing to me so I went with it! I decided to try out my own filling using the pumpkin butter and while I was at it a cream cheese frosting.

I'm happy to say that the results came out pretty good! At least the taste testers gave their approval. For the base of the cinnamon roll dough I used Pioneer Woman's recipe because Amanda makes them all the time and they always come out delicious! I used almond milk instead of whole milk since I don't even remember the last time we had regular milk in the house but it worked just as well! I also added in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to the dough before letting it rise.

For your convenience so that you don't have to flip back and forth between her recipe and mine, here are the ingredients and instructions to make Pioneer Woman's dough:
*To avoid any confusion, I halved her recipe so this is the halved version below

1. Combine 2 cups whole milk (or almond), 1/2 cup oil, and 1/2 cup sugar. Scald the mixture (just below boiling) and let it cool for about 45 minutes until it's luke warm.
2. Then add one pack of active dry yeast and let it sit for a minute. Add 4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Mix, cover it and let it rise for about an hour.
3. After about an hour, add another 1/2 cup flour, heaping 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, scant 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and heaping 1/2 tablespoon of salt.

So after following Pioneer Woman's recipe, this is what my dough looked like after letting it rise. I originally didn't have any cream cheese in the house when I started making these so I ran out and got some while the dough was rising! So, if like me you didn't think to actually check for all the ingredients before starting the recipe, this is the perfect time to go and get them!

After heavily flouring the counter top, I put my mom to work rolling it out :)

This would also be a great and fun recipe to do with your kids! There's plenty of them to help out with and my mom and I had fun together making these. 

While my mom was rolling out the dough, I got to work on the filling! 

Time to crack open that pumpkin, pumpkin! 

For the filling you'll need: 

heaping 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
1/2 cup organic pumpkin
2 packets of stevia

Just mix it all together and you're set! 

I also had some help while I was mixing up the filling. She decided the best place for her to lay was riiiiight between my feet. If you're wondering, yes, those are my furry boot slippers. They're amazingly comfy, soft, warm, and I've had them for about four years but refuse to get rid of them! 

Once the filling is mixed and the dough is rolled out, spread the filling on top of the dough. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (or brown sugar) over it and then add generous amounts of cinnamon. I probably used a couple tablespoons of cinnamon and a couple teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. 

Then, roll up the dough! Apparently my dough-rolling skills were less than satisfactory because Amanda took over and gave me a tutorial. Go easy on me, I've never made cinnamon rolls before! Unless you count taking the Pillsbury ones out of the container and putting them in a pan...

This recipe made about 28 rolls. Cover the rolls and let them rise again for another 20 minutes before baking them. 

Once the 20 minutes are up, bake them for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Mine took about 20 minutes and you probably don't want them to go much longer than that or else the filling might burn. 

While the rolls are baking it's the perfect time to whip up the cream cheese frosting! You certainly don't have to make any frosting for these but I absolutely love the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese. 

For the frosting you'll need: 
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond milk

To make it first beat the cream cheese until it's softened and fluffy then mix in the vanilla extract. Add in half of the powdered sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat it until it's incorporated. Then add the remaining sugar and milk and mix until all combined. You can always add more or less milk to get it to the consistency you like. I wanted mine on the thicker side so I used 2 tablespoons. 

Also, a lot of recipes that I looked at suggested using butter or much more powdered sugar but I decided to go on the lighter side. For me personally one cup of powdered sugar was more than enough but feel free to add more if you like! 

Go ahead, this is where you get to lick the spoon! 

This recipe might've been a little time intensive but it was so worth it in the end! I was really pleased with how the rolls turned out and both my mom and sister liked them. My mom was especially happy since she gets to have these for breakfast for the next few days!

Even with the swaps, I knew it wouldn't be completely healthy with some of the ingredients but like I always say, balance! I calculated the macros for you guys, though, just in case you were wondering.

Per roll (without icing): 147 calories, 4g fat, 24g carb, and 3 g protein.

Per roll (with icing): 174 calories 5g fat, 29g carb, and 3g protein

You can either immediately ice all of the rolls or save the icing for a later time. What we do is we keep the rolls and icing separate since we make them throughout the week for my mom. So we only iced the ones we would be eating right away (quite a few, ha), and froze the rest of the rolls and kept the icing in the fridge. 

Enjoy and happy pumpkin-eating!

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