I know that this is a bit of a design break, but I don't think you'll mind because I am about to share with you my secret weapon.

I usually pull it out in the fall, around Thanksgiving, when I need an extra favor from someone (specifically my 13 year old son). He and all of his friends fall to their knees when I pull this one out of my arsenal.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!!!!!! The pumpkin makes them moist and even a bit nutritious. I guarantee they will have the same effect on your friends and family as well.

This is what you'll need:
  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup slightly warm buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (homemade or canned)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use 3 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 7 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Cinnamon Filling
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cinnamon (I use 4 tablespoons)
Glaze (optional - I do not glaze these luscious things. They don't need it!)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
First proof the yeast in the warm water with the sugar until puffy.


This takes about 5 minutes. Blend together the buttermilk, vanilla, egg, pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and oil in a large bowl.

Stir in the proofed yeast and then the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms and cleans the side of the bowl as you mix. You can use a stand-up mixer for mixing, or just a wooden spoon.

Turn onto a floured board or stone and knead with the rest of the flour until it is springy and smooth. This takes about 5 minutes. Just add a tablespoon of flour at a time to keep the dough from sticking.

Transfer to an oiled mixing bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The rising time is longer than normal due to the heaviness of the pumpkin.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. pat or roll the dough into a thick rectangle, about 8 x 12 inches. Spread each rectangle with 1/2 the melted butter. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon and sprinkle half over each rectangle.

Roll up each rectangle, starting from the long side.

I like to take a little water on my fingertips and seal the edge of the roll.

Cut each log into 9 thick rolls. Place the rolls on buttered or parchment covered baking sheets. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes. Be sure not to overcook! They should start getting a bit tan on the sides.

If you decide to make the glaze (and you do not need to...these are so good without the glaze) warm the butter and milk together in a microwave for 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, stirring to blend. Add the boiling water and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Pour this glaze over barely warm cinnamon rolls.

Voila! Enough cinnamon heaven for plenty of barter opportunities!

Have a great weekend!