Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting)

You guys, pumpkin season is here and I’m all about it! I’ve made these rolls 5 times in the past month (not all for myself! I’ve been making them and handing them out like halloween candy)!  I’ve been going through cans of pumpkin like no one is watching, and I’ve got no intention of slowing down. There’s something just so irresistible about the combination of cinnamon and warm spices like nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger.  Oh Fall, how I love thee ❤

(Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen <<< you know you can’t go wrong with that!)

 

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 – 18 Rolls

Ingredients:

For Rolls:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 1 egg

For Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For Frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Make Dough:

Brown the butter by cooking it over medium heat in a stainless-steel saucepan. Whisk so that the butter melts evenly. As it cooks, the butter will begin to foam, so be sure to whisk frequently to check underneath the bubbly surface. Soon little browned bits will form at the bottom. As soon as they begin to form, remove from heat and pour the melted butter (with the bits) into a glass or metal container and allow it to cool slightly.

Combine milk and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine all-purpose flour, brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. Mix on low speed until combined. Add browned butter, milk and yeast mixture, pumpkin puree, and egg. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. Reduce speed to low and mix for 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Make Filling:

Brown the butter by cooking it over medium heat in a stainless-steel saucepan. Whisk so that the butter melts evenly. As it cooks, the butter will begin to foam, so be sure to whisk frequently to check underneath the bubbly surface. Soon little browned bits will form at the bottom. As soon as they begin to form, remove from heat and pour the melted butter (with the bits) into a glass or metal container.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Assemble Rolls:

Lightly grease 2 9-inch pans, or one 9”x13” pan. Set aside.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 9”x13”. Spread the browned butter evenly over the surface, followed by the sugar mixture.

Starting with the longer side, gently roll into a log. Lightly pinch the seams together. Using a knife, gently cut the rolls into 6 to 9 even sections. Place them cut-side up in prepared pans. Cover and allow them to rise for an additional 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes.

Make Frosting:

In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until completely combined. Add maple syrup and milk, and mix on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add additional milk if the consistency isn’t thin enough.

Pour or spread on rolls once they are done baking.

 

Note: Unbaked rolls can be prepared in advance. After being cut and placed in baking pans, cover and refrigerate. Remove a few hours before baking to allow them to finish rising.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I fell in love with the flavor of pumpkin a few years ago (here are just a few of the goodies I like to make with the flavorsome squash). I’ve been experimenting with it a bit more this season, and this delicious, moist, and autumn-centric Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread was a result of said testing. It pairs well on its own, or alongside a mug of steaming tea or coffee, and it is Zuni-approved 😉

(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.)

 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, water, and eggs until smooth.

Add all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and all-spice. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow bread to rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

We went apple picking with a group of friends a few weeks ago, and we came home with a 15-pound bag of apples. I had so many ideas of what I wanted to do with all of the apples (crisps, cobblers, pies, loaf cakes, bundt cakes, fritters, etc.), but alas we ate most of the apples as is, in all of their juicy, crisp, and sweet glory 🙂

While I’ve set aside a few apples for a pie (a must in Autumn!), I decided to make a batch of cinnamon rolls studded with diced apples. The combination of apples and cinnamon is one that I cannot resist, and it’s one of the reasons I look forward to the harvest of the fall season.

(Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.)

 

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Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 16 Rolls

Ingredients:

For Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced into ½-inch chunks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Dough:

  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ½ – 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For Glaze:

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Make Filling:

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples and salt and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon, and stir to thoroughly combine. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the apples are cooked through and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Remove apple mixture from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside and cool completely before using.

(Note: Filling can be made beforehand and kept in the refrigerator.)

Make Dough:

Scald milk in a saucepan over medium heat (when milk is warm and small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Do not boil.). Pour milk into a large bowl, and add butter, sugar, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Allow milk mixture to cool until lukewarm.

Add eggs and yeast, and mix until combined.

Add 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, and knead on low speed for several minutes. Add additional flour, up to 1 cup, in increments, until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead for an addition 2 minutes.

Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

Line two 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Punch dough down and divide into two portions. Roll each portion out, on a lightly floured surface, into a large rectangle, about 12” x 15”. Spread apple filling evenly over each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. Begin rolling at the long end, trying to keep as much of the filling inside the roll. Once rolled, the edges can be pinched together to form a seal.

Using a sharp knife, cut off and dispose of the ends of the roll. Divide each log into 8 portions, and slice.   Place the rolls in the pans, spaced no more than 1-inch apart, cut side up. Any leaked filling can be spooned over the tops of the rolls. Cover lightly, and set aside to rise until doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Once rolls have risen, uncover and bake until golden around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make Glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla, until smooth. Drizzle over slightly cooled rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Cake and Eid Eats 2015! (and some life updates)

Knock, knock… Anyone there?

I disappeared, didn’t I? I’m sorry, life just happened and I got caught up in it. To give you an idea of what has kept me, here’s just a short breakdown of everything that’s happened since we last spoke:

  • Some of my closest friends, whom I have met through blogging, threw me a surprise virtual baby shower! I am so humbled by their love and kindness 🙂 Here is a roundup of what everyone shared: Faaiza, Sarah, Asiya, and Amira.
  • We celebrated my son’s birthday with a handful of family, close friends, and classmates. My due date was 10 days from his actual birthday, so we celebrated early because I couldn’t see myself dealing with a room full of energizer bunnies, otherwise known as preschoolers, so close to my due date.
  • My mom flew in from California! She’s still in town, but only until this Saturday.
  • My brother also flew in from California, although his trip was much shorter (he stayed for a little less than one week).
  • And most importantly, we welcomed our newest addition, Ms. Zunaira, on May 28th, at 2:55 p.m. She is 3 weeks old, and she’s already got her older brother and daddy wrapped around her tiny fingers!

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After her birth, days blended into nights, and it’s only now that I am slowly starting to emerge from the fog that is nightly feedings, constant diaper changes, cleaning spit-up, and piles of folded laundry that need to be put away. Alhumdullilah, praise be to God, I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

Speaking of updates, Ramadan Mubarak/Happy Ramadan! We’ve been blessed with the return of this Holy month, and I pray that we all find the peace and rewards that come along with it.

In the spirit of Ramadan, I am joining Asiya (of Chocolate and Chillies) and Sarah (of Flour and Spice) in hosting the very special Eid Eats 2015! What is Eid Eats, you might be wondering? Consider it a virtual potluck in which you “bring” (ie., blog about) a food item which is reminiscent of Eid (the holiday marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan). What you decide to share can be something traditional that’s made in your home/family, or you can get creative and share something completely out of the ordinary. The choice is yours, as long as it screams Eid festivities to you 🙂

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Here are a few guidelines in order to participate:

  • Prepare and blog about your food item on July 15th, 2015.   You can prepare your blog post beforehand, just be sure to have it go live on the above-mentioned date.
  • Link your post to the party hosts blogs (Flour and Spice, Chocolate and Chillies, and My Ninja Naan) and be sure to include the party button/graphic (the one you see above) in your post.
  • Visit the aforementioned blogs on July 15th and be sure to submit your post via the link party (will be set up that day).
  • Check out what our fellow bloggers have submitted, and be sure to head on over to their space and leave them some love in their comments section!

To help usher in some Ramadan festiveness, I decided to whip up a delicious Cinnamon Roll Cake. When Sarah initially shared this, I knew it was something that I just had to make! I finally got the chance this week, as my brother was leaving to go back home to California, and I figured that I needed to make this when someone else was around because otherwise I would be eating the whole thing myself (and we all know that that wouldn’t be very wise). Although it may seem daunting, preparing the cake was very simple, and the only downside to the whole process was waiting for it to come out of the oven to be devoured 🙂

CinnamonRollCakePic

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Yield: One 9-inch Cake

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

For Filling:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

For Frosting:

  • ¼ pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Prepare Dough:

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix and set aside.

In a separate dish, heat water, milk, and butter together until the butter has melted and the mixture is warm to touch. Combine liquid mixture with the flour mixture. Add egg and knead on medium-low speed until a cohesive and pliable dough is formed. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, knead by hand for a few minutes, then place in a lightly greased bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Set aside a greased 9-inch pie plate, cake pan, or springform pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the prepared dough out into a15”x12” rectangle. Spread prepared filling evenly over the surface.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it at the center of the prepared pan. Coil the remaining strips of dough around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous strip. Be sure to leave some space in between the coils, as the dough needs room to rise. Cover the cake and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Make Frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, making sure to scrape down the sides, and beat until thoroughly combined. Add milk and vanilla, and mix until combined.

Generously spread frosting over warm cake.

Churros

 

A few weeks ago my friends and I got together for a fun filled Latin inspired luncheon. I prepared Chicken Enchiladas, one of my friend’s made delicious Spanish Rice and Spiced Black Beans.

After we ate, we set out to make our very own Churros!

Oh.Em.Gee Peopleeee! These are SO EASY AND SO FREAKING DELICIOUS!

You basically whip up a choux pastry batter, fry it to golden deliciousness, and then toss it in the stuff dreams are made of cinnamon sugar.

See? Easy as 1, 2, 3 🙂

 

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Churros

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar

For Churro Batter:

  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Oil, for deep frying

Directions:

Make Coating:

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a large tray and set aside.

Make Batter:

In a medium saucepan, combine salt, sugar, butter, and milk and cook over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the all-purpose flour and whisk to combine. Switch over to a wooden spoon or spatula, and cook until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the dough becomes shiny, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and cool for a few minutes. Using a mixer, add eggs one at time, making sure to beat each one in completely before adding the next.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a open star tip and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat oil for deep-frying over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, pipe batter into oil in desired shapes. Fry for several minutes, turning often to ensure even browning. Once golden brown, remove the churros from the oil and blot them on a paper-towel lined tray for a few seconds, then toss in the prepared coating.

Serve warm.

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container.

 

(Recipe adapted from Anne Burrell)