Here’s to the first pumpkin recipe! These cinnamon rolls are quite worth making, especially if you’re a pumpkin fanatic like I am. This is about the second time I’ve ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch. Once in 7th grade cooking class (I have that recipe sitting around here somewhere…I really want to dig out some of the recipes and try them again!) and then this time. Pureed pumpkin definitely gives the rolls a good punch of flavor, especially with the mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger — a great recipe for Fall around Thanksgiving and Christmas. They do take a few hours (I made these a few months ago when I was sick on a lazy Sunday) but they are worth it. Most of the time is spent away from them, actually, just waiting for the dough to rise several times. I’d also take note on making these on a warm(er) day, just so there’s a little sun coming in the kitchen so the dough will actually rise. This is probably why it took me longer than normal, since it was a colder, foggy day and I kept checking my dough and it wasn’t growing. It’s kind of a project, but don’t be intimidated. You won’t be sorry.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast and whisk together with a fork, let stand for 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, milk, melted margarine, and sugar in with the yeast, and lightly mix. Sift in the first two and a half cups of flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Take the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and use it to flour the top of the dough and your surface a tablespoon at a time, as needed to keep the dough from getting sticky as you knead it. Knead the dough for about ten minutes, the dough will be elastic but soft and still a little sticky to the touch without being floured.
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with oil, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
Combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in margarine with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, from the long side, pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place the slices in a 9-inch square or round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add the water and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. It should be thick, but easy to drizzle. If it’s too thick, add another 1/2 teaspoon of water.