Officially fall.

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September 23, 2012 by kkeerr

Despite what my teacher-friends and friends with kids said at the beginning of the month, summer is now officially over.  The transition between summer and fall is one I both love and hate.  Soon the flip-flops are put away, but the hoodies get to come out.  For me, the flip-flops don’t actually get put away until there is about an inch of snow on the ground.  When I was in high school my dad would ask me to wear shoes and not flip-flops in October and November because he was afraid people would think he and my mother didn’t give me shoes.  Digression…  No more beach and pool, but football and bonfires. Goodbye warm sunny weather and strawberry shortcake and hello holidays and pumpkin pie.
To usher in the changing season this weekend I watched Notre Dame beat Michigan 😀 and I did my first fall baking of the year by making pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  Until now I had never attempted a cinnamon roll.  They just seems more intense and time-consuming than they are worth.  I was wrong.
**warning: terrible cell phone pictures ahead**

I started the process; threw the pumpkin, milk , sugar, 1/2 the butter, and salt into the pot, mixed, and brought it to the desired temperature.  Then I added the yeast, egg, and enough flour to make it “moderately stiff.”  I started kneading on my lightly floured surface only to look over and see my measured amount of salt still sitting there.  “Gods damn it, Bill!”  Start over.  Second time went off without a hitch.

Before and after the dough has risen. It is amazing what can happen when you use good yeast.  Then I just rolled out that dough on a very lightly floured surface, covered with melted butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon, rolled it, and sliced it up.

Pretty proud there is only one that looks more like a butt hole than a cinnamon roll.  After this, you have to let them rise for about 30 minutes or so until they double again.

Right before going into the oven.

After 20 minutes of baking and a drizzling of homemade caramel frosting they are done.    I served Austin one and by the time I got one on my plate he was half done with his.  He ended up having three.  I’m no connoisseur of the cinnamon roll, but these are easily some of the best I have had (if not the best.  Do you hear that?  That’s the honking of my own horn).  Folks, I think we’ve found the Thanksgiving morning and Christmas brunch cinnamon roll.  The recipe says it yields one dozen, but as you can tell from this picture I got 18 (or 17 and one butt hole) out of it.  Even better if you ask me.
I got the recipe from the Taste of Home Fall Baking magazine, but lucky for you there is no reason to spend $12.99 to get this recipe because they have it published right here. The only thing I did even slightly differently was instead of adding a pinch of salt to the caramel frosting I used salted butter – it was what I had left and the frosting tasted great. Oh and if I could send some of these to Manti Te’o I totally would!


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