Whee!! It's September! And as I am typing this, its currently 48 degrees outside! There are crunchy leaves on the ground and acorns are scattered everywhere. Fall is here!!!!!!!!!! This is my favorite time of year, when the grass is still green, but its cool and crisp out and fall colors are just starting to appear. We have been spending every second we can outside. We had a wonderful potluck picnic in the park with a group of friends, and Ladybug and I went for a beautiful walk yesterday and collected fun things we found on the ground and made a September Collage (her first time using glue!).
|Peanut, of course, had to help make the collage.|
These cinnamon rolls are the absolutely perfect way to welcome fall! They are made with a secret ingredient (butternut squash!!) and have the awesome fall spices we all love - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar and maple! Plus, you would never know it, but these aren't actually that bad for you (man I love Cooking Light!), which is a great thing since 3 adults consumed the entire 9x13 pan in less than 24 hours. Whoops. They were just so good we could not help ourselves!
Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze (Cooking Light, November 2011 )
1 cup warm water
1 TBSP sugar
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cup + 3 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
1 cup mashed, cooked winter squash (you can use any winter squash you like, I used butternut)
1 TBSP canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 TBSP butter, melted
2 tsp water
3 TBSP finely chopped walnuts, toasted (toast then chop)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup light brown sugar or maple syrup
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Add the yeast mixture, squash, and oil and stir just until moist.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes), adding enough of the remaining flour 1 TBSP at a time to prevent sticking (the dough should feel tacky but not stick to everything).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, cover, and let sit to rise for 45 minutes.
Punch the dough down, recover, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 20x12" rectangle.
In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling - the cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter and water.
Spread the mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4" border on the edges.
Sprinkle the walnuts evenly over top.
Roll the dough, jelly roll style, starting with the long end.
Cut the roll crosswise into 16 equal slices - I find it helpful to first cut the log in half (so each half is 8 slices) and then cut the halves into halves (so each quarter is worth 4 slices). Its easier to get equal slices that way.
Place the rolls, cut side up, into a 9x13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. (you can also place the pan in the fridge at this point and bake it in the morning!)
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Bake for 33 minutes or until brown. Cool the pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
Prepare the glaze by combining the water and maple syrup (or sugar) in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occassionaly.
Remove from heat, stir in 1 TBSP of butter, the half-and-half and the vanilla.
Cool for 5 minutes.
Drizzle over the rolls.