Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Dreamsicle Frosting

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Dreamsicle Frosting
What’s your favorite part of a cinnamon roll? The frosting, the outside curl? I like the sweet spot, that very inner circle — the cinnamon roll navel, it might be called. It holds a moist, sweet dose of butter, cinnamon and sugar.

To create that sweet spot, spread butter, sugar and cinnamon right to the very edge of the rolled-out dough. The side you roll first is the where the sweet spot begins. Don’t leave a blank margin.
The sweet spot — my favorite part of a cinnamon roll.
To make this recipe, I used dough remaining from the Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Roll recipe. You can see from the photos that the dough bakes to a pretty vivid color.

Most cinnamon roll recipes call for a sweeter dough, but I like the contrast of butter, sugar and spices on bread that isn’t particularly sweet. There’s just 1/3 cup sugar in the entire recipe of Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Rolls, hardly enough to be called even barely sweet.

This post really serves to remind us that you don’t need bona fide cinnamon roll dough to make cinnamon rolls. You just need some yeast dough, risen and ready. And you need butter, sugar and cinnamon. That’s it.

To frost or not to frost, for some there is no question. For me, I’m happy with or without. This go round, my husband thought frosting was a good idea.

I wanted something just a little bit different than a plain sugar glaze. To lend a bright note to the cream cheese flavor, I used pure orange extract along with vanilla bean paste. Had there been an orange in the kitchen, I would have added fresh zest, too. We were very happy with the result.

Hope you enjoy it.

Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Roll dough (or your favorite dough recipe, rolled to a rectangle on a floured surface)
melted butter
pecans or other nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have one or more baking dishes buttered and ready to go.

Liberally brush melted butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans if using. Beginning at one of the long ends, roll the dough evenly to form a log.

From this log, cut slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Place in a buttered pan, lightly touching each other.

When the pan is filled, slide into the oven and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, being careful not to over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. You may frost the rolls while they are still warm, or wait until they’ve cooled.

Dreamsicle Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature ( I used the 1/3 less fat kind)
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (adjust to your taste)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure orange extract (adjust to your taste)
zest from one orange
dash of salt
few drops of heavy cream or half and half

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, work cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, then add vanilla, orange extract, zest and salt. Add a few drops of half and half or heavy cream to get the spreading consistency that you like. Spread over cinnamon rolls. Use leftover frosting as a dip with fruit or cookies.

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