Easy Peasy Cinnamon Rolls + Leftover Pumpkin Puree

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's a well known fact that no single recipe uses precisely one can of pumpkin. And because I can't bear to toss it down the drain, I inevitably put it in a container that gets pushed to the back of the fridge until The Great Clean Out, where I find it covered in fuzz. It's a ritual I've become quite acquainted with.

Occasionally, in a fit of waste not want not, I seek to find a home for that superfluous pumpkin. (I believe in moderate year-round pumpkin consumption, you see.)

First, there's Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, a perennial favorite:

Then, there was the discovery of these delicious nuggets:

Occasionally I get a hankering to master a new baking skill. Most recently, it was the overwhelming desire to make cinnamon rolls from scratch on Thanksgiving morning. As if there isn't enough to be done on the biggest food day of the year. The boys would wake up to the smell of cinnamon, pecans and pumpkin warming in the oven and sing my praises throughout the land. Naturally.

Cinnamon rolls are a notoriously time-consuming venture, says everyone. Until I laid my eyes on the words cinnamon roll + one bowl and simultaneously thought genius! and too good to be true!. The Minimalist Baker's One Bowl Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls recipe is genuinely one bowl and as easy as it looks. (Aside from a little freakout over whether I bloomed the yeast properly, things went off without a hitch.)

I followed the recipe exactly, save for two tweaks: I used 1/2 cup canned pumpkin in place of the mashed bananas and spread a thin layer of pumpkin puree in lieu of sliced banana. (I'm not a fan of bananas, so this spared me the cringe-worthy process of peeling, mashing and slicing them.)

I completed the steps, up to the point of baking, before covering with plastic wrap and popping them in the fridge overnight. While the oven preheated the next morning, I let them warm to room temperature and puff up a bit more.

The glaze was simply 1 cup of powdered sugar whisked with two tablespoons of coconut milk drizzled over the top.

These gems earned rave reviews and a permanent spot in my recipe binder. I think applesauce + diced apples + walnuts would be another tasty variation. Yum.

(P.S. Dental floss is the best when it comes to cutting symmetrical cinnamon rolls, says me. First I used a ruler and created indents in the dough every 1.5" to use as a guide. Then I circled the roll with floss and pinch off the slices. Easy peasy. Try it.)

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