Archive for November, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

I am not pregnant.  This may not come as a surprise because I am not 1) trying to get pregnant 2) married or 3) 100% sure I want kids someday.  However, after a year of reading food blogs I have realized that we really like the “bun in the oven” metaphor.  See here and, more recently, here.  Now, whenever I see a recipe for cinnamon buns on a blog, I wait in anticipation for the good news and cute baby pictures to come.

But, like I said, none of that here today.  Today, I have really, really stellar cinnamon buns with a pumpkin spice filling.  These are great for brunch the morning before Thanksgiving.  They say, “I know that traveling on the day before Thanksgiving sucks and I really appreciate that you got up at 4 in the morning so that you could be here in time for brunch.”  Serve with a Kaluhua and Bailey’s spiked coffee to ensure a happy start to the Thanksgiving festivities.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Dough and Glaze adapted from The Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of Molly Wizenberg’s recipe in Bon Appetit, March 2008

Makes 18 buns.


1 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (1 package yeast)

1 teaspoon salt

Nonstick vegetable oil spray



4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough: Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Use a KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process to knead for 8 minutes.  Add more flour if dough is too sticky.   Form into ball.   Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375

Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread filling mixture over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. Cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).   Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.  Don’t skimp on the double-rising time.  Exchange plastic wrap and towel for alumninum foil covering the baking pans.  Bake rolls until cooked through, 20-25 minutes.  Check the center of the pan before removing from the oven.  The pumpkin filling can make it easy to miss a not fully cooked bun.  Let sit for 10 minutes and then glaze

For glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Smitten Kitchen note: These buns were best the day they were baked. However, I would have no idea because although I have made them twice in two weeks, they have never made it to the second day.


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Turkey Bowling

Kelly Williams Brown writes Adulting a blog about how to become an adult in 468 easy(ish).  Her advice is spot on, she never seems like she’s talking down to her readers and she lives in Oregon.  Needless to say, her blog is one of my absolute favorites. Step 248  suggests creating your own traditions.  As we head into the holiday season, creating my own traditions has been on my mind.

This year, I hosted my second annual Turkey Bowling Party.  Turkey bowling is the great art of taking a frozen turkey and chucking it a group of 2 liter bottles arranged like pins.  It is loud and seasonal and awesome.  I spend Thanksgiving with my parents (not the turkey bowling type) so I hosted a pre-Thanksgiving cocktail party.

And what to serve alongside a few rounds of Turkey Bowling?  Turkey meatballs, of course.  These Asian influenced Turkey Meatballs are perfect because they are flavorful, don’t need a drippy sauce, and serve as a lower carb potsticker substitute for the caveman in my life.  Also, they are super easy to make which is so important when I am running around like a turkey with its head cut off before a party.

Turkey Meatballs adapted from Catherine Newman


1 pound ground turkey
1/8 of an onion, very finely chopped
1/2 cup very finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup fine, dry bread
crumbs (unseasoned)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Nonstick spray

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.

Roll into walnut sized balls.

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Place meatballs on the cookie sheet with at least an inch between each.

Cook untill cooked through, about 10 minutes.

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