Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (Photo/Micah Siva)
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (Photo/Micah Siva)

Pumpkin gnocchi and cinnamon rolls add harvest flavor to your Sukkot menu

Sukkot, the agricultural holiday that gives thanks for the harvest, certainly sounds familiar to Americans. But the festival, which starts the evening of Sept. 29, has few traditional foods associated with it.

This might make Sukkot dinners a stressful time for some. I like to think of it as giving me freedom to interpret the meaning and essence of Sukkot in my cooking. Showing gratitude for the harvest, for instance, can mean focusing on seasonal produce. In North America, that often means fruits and vegetables such as apples, gourds and pumpkins. And when pumpkin season starts, there’s no stopping me!

While I keep tins of pumpkin puree in the pantry all year long, I start going through them by the case come October, in everything from smoothies to soups. My Sukkot recipes are no exception.

This year, I’ll be starting my mornings with fluffy, pumpkin-infused cinnamon rolls, a rich dough rolled around a pumpkin filling, baked until golden and then slathered in a cardamom-scented cream cheese frosting. Once dinner rolls around, you’ll find me boiling pumpkin gnocchi for a simple vegetarian dinner. And who knows, maybe I’ll tuck into another cinnamon roll before dreaming of tomorrow’s breakfast.


Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • ¼ tsp. ground sage
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 to 10 fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Add flour to a large bowl or a work surface, use a spoon or your hands to make a well in the center. Add pumpkin, cheese, whisked egg, sage, salt and pepper.

Use a fork to incorporate wet ingredients into the flour, until it forms a dough. If it is too sticky, gradually add more flour, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 4 pieces using a large knife or dough scraper. Generously flour a baking tray. Set aside.

Roll pieces of dough into ropes, the thickness of a finger. Use a knife or dough scraper to cut dough ropes into ½-inch pieces, placing them on a floured baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Store gnocchi in the fridge until ready to cook. Note: You can freeze gnocchi on a sheet pan until hard, then transfer to an airtight bag or container for cooking at a later date, cooking directly from frozen.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi, a handful at a time, and cook until they begin to float: 1 to 2 minutes for fresh gnocchi, or 3 to 4 minutes for frozen. Remove them from water with a slotted spoon, and repeat with remaining gnocchi.

Add olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from heat. Toss cooked gnocchi with olive oil and sage. Serve with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, to taste.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage (Photo/Micah Siva)
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage (Photo/Micah Siva)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Makes: 12

  • ½ cup whole or 2% milk, warm
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2¼ tsp. instant dry yeast (one packet)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Oil, for greasing

Filling:

  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Frosting:

  • 4 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp. cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp. sea salt

In a large bowl, or the base of your stand mixer, combine the milk, sugar, yeast, pumpkin and butter, mixing until well combined using the paddle attachment or a whisk.

Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing until incorporated.

Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt, mixing on low for 5 to 7 minutes, or until a soft dough forms. Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, placing it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.

While the dough is rising, generously grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set aside.

For the filling, mix butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and tip onto a well-floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle, about 12×16-inches. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling over the dough in an even layer.

Starting at the longer end, tightly roll the rectangular dough into a log. Using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss, slice into 12 even rolls, about 1½ inches wide. Arrange rolls in the prepared baking dish. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cinnamon rolls for 24 to 28 minutes or until golden. If they are browning too quickly, place a loose piece of foil over top after 15 minutes of baking. When fully cooked, remove pan from oven and let cool to room temperature on wire rack.

While cooling, make the frosting. Combine butter and cream cheese in a bowl or in base of a stand mixer. Whip until light and fluffy on medium speed, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add icing sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cardamom and salt, mixing on high until smooth.

Spread the icing over the cooled cinnamon rolls. Serve.

Micah Siva
Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a registered dietitian and trained chef in San Francisco. She develops modern Jewish recipes inspired by her grandmother, with a plant-forward twist. See her recipes and photography at Nosh with Micah.