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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Some people have a favorite local bakery where just the thought of shelves lined with freshly baked treats can get them out of bed on a chilly Saturday morning. My husband, on the other hand, lounges in bed, whispers three little words in my ear, rolls over, pulls the covers over his head, and waits. What were the three words? Pumpkin. Cinnamon. Rolls.

Yes, I am highly predictable and easily swayed by the mere mention of food. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. The words reverberate in my head until I manage to slide out of bed. And by the time my bare feet hit the chilly wood floor, I've figured out how to give those words life.

An hour later, we're all sitting in the dining room. And as my pumpkin spiced espresso begins to bubble, I get up from the table. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch Jake giving the boys a wink that says, "And that's how it's done, boys."

1 T active yeast
2 t organic granulated sugar
1 1/2 C pumpkin puree
2 C white whole wheat flour
pinch salt
1 T olive oil
1/2 stick butter
2 T pumpkin puree
3/4 C organic turbinado sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour a baking pan and set aside.

Combine yeast, 1/2 C warm water and granulated sugar together in a mixing bowl. Stir gently and let stand till the yeast blooms, about 3 minutes. Stir in canned pumpkin, flour and salt until a sticky dough forms.

Knead dough on a floured surface for 4-5 minutes or until very elastic. Pour the olive oil into a mixing bowl and transfer dough to the bowl. Turn dough over to make sure the oil coats it completely. Cover bowl with a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

While dough rises, combine the butter, pumpkin puree, turbinado sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well until a creamy paste forms.

Once dough has risen, punch dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle. Use a rubber spatula or butter knife to spread the pumpkin-butter-turbinado sugar mixture all over the dough. Roll up tightly, pinching to seal, so you have a 12” long cylinder. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the cylinder into 8-10 disks. Arrange disks in the buttered, floured pan.

Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until edges have turned golden-brown. Let cool slightly and serve warm. Makes 8-10 cinnamon rolls. Oh, if you want a glaze...1/2 C powdered sugar, 2 T heavy cream or milk. Whisk till smooth.

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