1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup half and half, warmed to 105-100 degrees
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 active dry yeast*
18 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups), plus 1/4 cup divided
3/4 cup brown sugar**
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons half and half or milk (just to make it spreadable)
4 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup*
0-1/4 cup powdered sugar*
(fear not, all will be explained)
To make the dough:
Bloom the yeast in the warm half and half. Be sure the half and half is warm and not hot, or you could kill the yeast. Wait 5 minutes. Should bubble slightly and smell yeasty. If it doesn’t, start again.
Whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, butter, and sugar.
Stir salt into 3 cups flour and set aside.
Slowly stream the yeast mixture into the pumpkin mixture, whisking constantly. Add wet mixture to dry mixture.
Stir until it just comes together.
Knead in the stand mixer on low for about 5 minutes. (or by hand for about 10 minutes), until smooth.
Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to bowl or hands.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat.
Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled. I use my oven with the heat off and the door closed.
Fold dough down and turn over in bowl.
Lightly coat again with cooking spray.
Cover and let rise another 45 minutes or until doubled.
Fold dough down.
Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 16 x 12–inch rectangle.
Spread sugar mixture evenly over dough with spatula, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the top and bottom.
Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion.
Pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 2. Cut each of those rolls into 2. Cut each of those into 4 slices (approximately 1 inch wide).
Arrange slices, cut sides up, in 2 buttered 9″ cake pans about an inch apart to give them room to grow.
Let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover rolls, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cool to room temperature or slighly warm and prepare frosting.
Whip together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Taste. Depending on the quality of your maple syrup or how maple forward you would like it to be, you can add another 1/4 cup or 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Or it might be sweet and maply enough for you with just the 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Up to you. Should be thick enough to cling to the whisk.
Spread on cinnamon rolls with an offset spatula or butter knife.
To freeze, cool to room temperature and seal in an airtight container. Reheat in a toaster oven or oven set to 350 until warmed through.