Food & Swine

Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Rolls


As promised!  The sticky-roll version of pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  These were the favorite of my Dad.  I snuck him a warm roll up into the combine and he took a mini-break to devour it in 7 bites.  Seven bites.  (These rolls are big!)


Snapshot of soybean harvest earlier this year. Waiting for his ride with Grandpa.

Harvest never slows down… for anyone.  Now that it is over I’m glad I stopped to ‘smell the roses’, or in my case ‘take pictures to serve as memories’.  If you have ever been through harvest, or other hectic time, you know things are forgotten.  Here are some of the last pictures of our soybean/corn harvest this year.  (This week I’m working on a ‘harvest hand signal’ post.)  Let’s just say, we use tons of hand signals to communicate in the field because it is easier than calling each other. (Cell phones and machinery don’t mix in my world.) I will confess, I hate hand signals and will explain my feelings in the next post.  Until then, I’ll be doing some photo-shoots if I can convince my sister to join the fun.

This isn’t a hand signal… or maybe it is?


On another side note, to go along with my “Hand Signal Happiness”: as a ‘demonstration/learning tool’ my Dad will be baking cinnamon rolls with me, in my kitchen (while I’m super busy ie: how it is in the combine), using the knowledge derived from the recipe, which will be basic, hand signals from across the house and his cell phone if absolutely necessary.  This should give you some insight on how the next post will play out. The big man’s birthday is coming up and we’re having a Steakhouse Supper to celebrate… at my house!

Here are some photos, then the recipe for these delicious rolls will be at the end of the post.

PS on the recipe: Pumpkin in the dough creates a subtle pumpkin flavor, adding pumpkin pie spice to the filling will enhance the presumed flavors of fall and pumpkin, but this is nothing like taking a bite of pumpkin pie.  Just a heads up.  Every bit as delicious though (and more)… and the orange hue to the dough is so beautiful.

Last pass of #harvest14


Someone made it home in time from school to snag a ride in the tractor and combine.


We like to fool around a bit (when the tractor is stopped).  My Dad has and always has had a mustache.  This year we wore fake mustaches out to the field as a joke. All was well until my sister inhaled part of her fake-stache on the way to ‘catch a load’ (meaning drive the tractor and grain cart alongside the combine while it is picking and the auger is outstretched to unload grain onto the grain cart).  Anyway, this saga ended in my Dad laughing visibly and my sister retching outside of the tractor, trying to get rid of the disgusting black fibers from her broken mustache.  We’re still certain it is in her lung tissue or something. Next up… pirate patches.  Much easier, and we never wore them while operating the machinery (hello, safety first).  Dad had another chuckle, it is fun to see him lighten up from his intensity to give a good belly laugh at us.  After all, what are daughters for?


I’m going to miss working together like we have been…


And the scenery!


Putting the old girl away for the year.  Perfect ending to a gorgeous day.


It doesn’t seem like very long ago we were fixing pieces of the head that combines soybeans…


And getting ready to get in the field.


Beans are up.


Corn is up.


And we’re done.


Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Sticky Rolls
by: Cristen 

Time to make: 3-4 hours



2 pkg active dry yeast

1/2 C warm water (110 degrees)

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 C milk or sour milk (warmed to 110 degrees)

1 C canned pumpkin

6 T Butter, room temperature

3 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1/3 C sugar

1/2 C mashed potato flakes, flakes only 2 tsp salt

7-8 C King Arthur All Purpose Flour

In a large mixing bowl, proof yeast with warm water and sugar in a small bowl until foamy.

To large mixing bowl with yeast mixture add milk, pumpkin, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and potato flakes.  Whisk well until combined. Add flour, mixing with each 1 cup addition. Stir well until mixture comes together to create a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, by hand, until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment for 6-8 minutes of kneading on medium low speed. (This is a big batch of dough, suitable for larger stand mixers.)

Place in greased bowl, flip dough over so both sides are well greased then cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until double. (60-75 minutes) Punch dough down to degas.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

8 TBSP (1 stick) butter, softened

3/4 C brown sugar

2 TBSP quality ground cinnamon (or 1 TBSP Cinnamon + 1 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Spice)

1 T flour

Dash of salt

Mix in a small bowl: brown sugar, sugar, spices of choice, flour and salt. Set aside to use once dough is rolled out.

Caramel Glaze

8 TBSP butter

1 C brown sugar 2 TBSP Karo Corn Syrup 2 TBSP Honey 1 TBSP sour cream or heavy cream 3 C chopped pecans

Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and sour cream/cream in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat, spread evenly amongst buttered pans, a thin layer only.  Toast pecans in a medium skillet over medium low heat until fragrant, sprinkle on top of caramel in pans, evenly.
Assembly :

On a lightly greased surface roll dough into 18×24 inch rectangle.  Spread butter evenly over dough.  Sprinkle filling evenly over butter.  Roll up long end to long end.  Pinch seam at the end of the roll.  Score the dough in 1 1/2 inch increments.  Slide dental floss under roll.  Bring up ends of floss and criss cross at the center and pull quickly, slicing through the dough.  Place 4 slices each, cut side up in 5 well buttered 8” cake pans, or other pan of choice, on top of caramel glaze and nuts. Just make sure that the rolls are not touching at this point, they need room to rise (1-2 inches between).   Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. (60-75 minutes) (I usually don’t make this many rolls, I save some to freeze for later. Will show those instructions at end of recipe.)

Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 24-28 minutes until internal temperature registers 190 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.  Do not let the roll tops overbrown.  Tent with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking if necessary.

Remove rolls from oven. Wait 5 minutes, then invert onto serving platter.  Serve warm.

Yields: 18-20 large rolls.

To freeze: Freeze dough after slicing, individually wrapped (think hockey puck) in plastic wrap and then foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to serve, remove rolls from freezer, place in greased pan (Plain for frosted cinnamon rolls, with caramel and pecans in pan for Caramel Pecan Rolls), spray rolls with nonstick spray too, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 8-10 hours.  Bake as usual.

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  • Reply ceil slings October 30, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Beautiful pictures. I am glad your sister survived!

  • Reply Cindy K. October 30, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I know how you feel. We just got totally done today. Always glad to be done but sad too. At times you’re so tired and it seems like it’s been going on forever but then you’re done and it seems like it all went so fast! You do a good job of explaining farming. I try to do that on my blog and Facebook too.

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