Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons here in Colorado. We have crisp morning temperatures, but warm sunny days with blue skies, followed by the most gorgeous sunsets you have ever seen. The Rockies feature the perfect backdrop for “the fire in the sky”, like John Denver would say.
Fall always seems like a very busy time to me. Friends gather together for the last enjoyable outdoor events of the year, before the cold winter temperatures hit and we are all back huddled in our warm and cozy houses.
For the dough:
* 1/4 cup warm water
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1/3 cup warm milk
* 1 egg beaten
* 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
* 1 Tablespoon melted butter
* 2 cups flour
* 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
For the filling:
* 1 stick softened butter
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/8 teaspoon cloves
* 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
For the frosting: (Kirsten omitted the frosting, since the rolls were plenty sweet without it)
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup powdered sugar
In a large bowl, stir the water and yeast together. Let it stand for about 5 minutes or until it is foamy. Add the milk, butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, whole pastry wheat flour, salt, and spices. Mix well for 2 minutes. Add the flour (a little at a time, about 1 1/2 cups to start) until the dough comes together.
Knead until the dough pulls away from the side. The dough will become smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place. Let the dough double, about an hour.
In the meantime you can make the filling. Mix together the sugars and spices.
When the dough has doubled, turn it out on a flour surface. Cut the dough in half.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle, approximately 12×16 inches. Spread the butter all over.
Sprinkle with the sugar mixture and hazelnuts. Roll into a 20 inch log. Slice the roll into 15 slices. Place the slices in a greased 9×13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans. Repeat with the other half of dough.
Cover the pans with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Frost the rolls with the frosting and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can put the rolls in the fridge after you place them in the pan. You can take them out of the fridge and let rise and bake.
Adapted from Goodlifeeats.