13 November 2011

Holiday Season Kick Off Post: Pumpkin Roll

This week is my official start of the holiday party season. I have no less than 3 Thanksgivings to celebrate this month, then Hanukkah, Christmas, my birthday, New Years, and my company holiday party... all in the next 8 weeks! I'm sure your holidays will be just as full of parties... and you can't show up to many of them empty handed! Through the end of the year, I'll be posting (no seriously, I'll post!) treats you can bring to all the upcoming potlucks or give as food gifts.

Of course I'm going to start with dessert :-)
They say the holidays are not a time to try a new recipe because of risk of stress or things not working out. Pshaw, this is the perfect time to play. Case in point... I wanted to make something pumpkin, but I didn't want to make the same cheesecake I do every year. Thus: I made a pumpkin roll. At midnight. The midnight before my first Thanksgiving meal. I made the icing in the morning after it cooled and assembled it while the turkey was in the oven. It can even be made ahead up to a couple days before an event, so it's both good as a pre-planned or sort of last minute treat!

First things first, though, you need a jelly roll pan - 10"x17". I always wondered about that slightly smaller than normal baking sheet I had... turns out it wasn't a rejected half sheet pan after all, lol. You'll also need a clean dishcloth (not a thick or terry cloth one, just a thin one) because you'll use it to roll the cake while it's hot - if you cool it flat and attempt to roll, there's a much higher chance of it cracking, so best to do it while it's hot/pliable.

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Libby's

3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 C minus 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar*
2/3 C canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 10x17 jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper, and then lightly butter and flour the paper.

Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thick - it should be light yellow and almost fluffy looking. Add pumpkin and beat until combined. Fold in the dry ingredient mixture. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 13-15 minutes or until the middle springs back up when you gently press on it.

While it's baking, lay out a clean dish cloth and sprinkle or sift some powdered sugar on it. When the cake is done, immediately loosen edges and turn directly on to the sugared dish cloth. Carefully peel off the parchment. While it's hot, roll (with the towel) into a tight log.

* Note about the sugar: I love vanilla, and I had vanilla sugar on hand, so I used it. You can sub plain sugar.

1 8oz bar cream cheese, room temp
4 tbsp butter, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C powdered sugar

Blend the cream cheese and butter. Add in vanilla. Slowly blend or stir in the powdered sugar and beat until well combined.

To assemble the pumpkin roll:
Unroll the cooled roll. Spread the icing evenly. Reroll. Chill for an hour or so to firm up the icing to make it easier to cut later. Enjoy!

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