Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Ah-Mazing Cream Cheese Frosting

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Scrolling through blogs one night, I ran across a very pretty post about pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  To be perfectly honest, I don't usually gush over pumpkin recipes this time of year (now apple recipes, that is a whole 'nother ball game for me)--but this one looked pretty darn tasty.

I tweaked the recipe a bit, hoping to use the 1-hour bread recipe that my sister-in-law gave me.  It did take me more than an hour, but  the finished rolls were coming out of the oven in under 2 hours.  The rolls are very good, but its the frosting that turned out surprisingly wonderful.  The original recipe called for maple extract, but I didn't have any, so I substituted Vanilla Butter and Nut (from my Smith's grocery)--and WOW, best frosting ever.  Even if you don't make the rolls, try the frosting!

In the KitchenAid bowl:
1/3 c. melted butter
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. scalded milk (heat milk on medium until bubbles start to form around the edges, but not boiled)
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (the instant type is important, because you do NOT proof this type of yeast in water and you only have to rise the dough once)
1 T. dough enhancer or lecithin (I buy powdered dough enhancer at my WalMart)
4-5 cups of flour (I used 4).

1/4 c. brown sugar
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbs. butter, softened

Mix all the wet ingredients in the bowl.  In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time until you get a ball of dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.  Let it mix for 5 minutes.

Spray your counter with non-stick cooking spray and dump out your dough.  Because I used instant yeast, you only have to do one rise, instead of the usual two.  So you can immediately roll dough out to a 9x15 rectangle.  Spread the dough with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough up along the long edge.  I use dental floss to cut the dough, but a serrated knife would work too.  Place the rolls into a greased baking dish (I wish I'd cut mine 1" instead of 1 1/2" and gotten 15 instead of 12 rolls). Let rise for 30-45 minutes or until double in size.



Bake for about 30 minutes at 350.  Frost with the Ah-Mazing cream cheese frosting.


Ah-MAZING Frosting
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 C. butter
1 1/2 C. Powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla butter nut extract-this is the secret ingredient
1/4 tsp. salt

Whip it all together in the KitchenAid for about 3 minutes on high.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


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As a kid, I remember August and September being busy helping my mom and grandma put up fruit.  Our basement was filled with jars of peaches, cherries and pears.  I will admit to just being too lazy to do lots of canning, but I make an exception for homemade applesauce.

As with just about anything homemade (and made with homegrown items)--its going to taste better than anything at the grocery store.  The grocery store varieties are just too sweet or too much like baby food for my taste.  Applesauce is very easy, and pretty fool-proof.  Its even easier if you have a food mill, so that you don't have to peel the apples.

You will need:

Apples (I had 1/2 bushel of Ginger Gold-a sweet and spicy soft apple, terrible for eating, wonderful for sauce--I get them from my favorite vendor at the farmer's market)
Food mill
Jars with lids and bands

Since I use a food mill, I won't be peeling my apples, so I wash them in the sink.  Next, I cut the apples up using one of those apple cutters.  I put all the pieces, including the core into a large stockpot with about 1/2 cup of water.  Cover with a lid and simmer until the apples are soft (about 20 minutes)--you will need a big spoon to try and rotate the apples from the top to the bottom at least once.

Dump the soft apples into the top of the food mill and crank it out.  I use a large cake pan to collect the sauce.  Don't worry if the first bit looks a bit runny, once you have all the pulp through you can stir it up.  I run the "garbage" peels etc...3 or 4 more times to get all the goodness out that I can. I do not add anything to my applesauce--but some folks like sugar or cinnamon.

In my sterilized jars, I add the warm applesauce and leave about 3/4" of space.  Put on the lid and screw on the band.  I used my steam canner, bringing the batch up to full steam then timing it for 25 minutes.

I'm told you can freeze applesauce instead of processing it, but my freezer was kinda full...and I do like seeing the pretty jars in my storage room.  Even if you don't want to make a giant batch, make a small batch and serve it warm in a bowl like you would oatmeal (pour on some half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans)--yeah, good stuff.