I was determined to have pumpkin cinnamon rolls on New Years morning, so I followed Pink of Perfection's overnight approach and spent a relaxed afternoon on New Years eve preparing the dough, with the addition of roasted pumpkin puree, frozen from the fall. The pan of rolls went into the fridge to wait patiently, while we dressed up and drank champagne and danced and watched fireworks. Come morning, all that remained was to take the pan out, let it warm up a bit and put it in the oven. And it worked! Which makes this an excellent brunch party dish because it can be made ahead. Of course, I forgot that I usually crave savory over sweet on the morning after a night of drinking and dancing, but luckily there was also bacon and eggs to go around and friends to enjoy the rolls.
For some reason, I missed the cinnamon filling step in the recipe and spread glaze inside the rolls instead. When I realized this, I compensated by sprinkling powdered sugar after they came out of the oven. They may not have been as cinnamon-y and gooey as possible, but it still works as good option, say if you want to be cutting down on the butter anyway. They plumped up into pillowy sweet rolls with a hint of pumpkin spice and zingy fresh ginger. Some liked the ginger, but I didn't, so I leave that up to you.
Also, I cut the original recipe in half, and experimented with slicing different sized rolls. I am confident you can still get 12 rolls out of the halved recipe since we had more than enough for three people. I can't ever imagine needing to make the full recipe unless you're having a giant brunch party.
Make Ahead Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
(Adapted from Pink of Perfection. I apologize for basically repeating her same steps here, but I wanted to have a record of my slight adjustments.)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup white sugar
2 1/14 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
Warm the milk until it just bubbles. Remove from heat, stir in butter until melted, and let cool. Once it's lukewarm, add the yeast, sugar, pumpkin and eggs. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and spices. Stir in the liquid mixture. Add more flour a little at a time if necessary until it comes together as a dough. Knead for about five minutes. Let it rise for however long it takes you to combine the filling ingredients.
Roll out dough into a 9×12ish inch rectangle (mine was more like 10x15). Spread filling (or alternately, the glaze) over the dough. Roll up dough from the long end. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in a pan - I used a 10ish inch round greased cast iron pan, or you could use a baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, remove pan from fridge and let sit for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, whisk together glaze ingredients. After rolls are done, pour glaze over top. Alternately, if you already spread the glaze inside, sprinkle powdered sugar on top. If you do not serve them all immediately, they are best toasted.