Hands down the BEST dinner roll I have ever eaten in my entire life! Super light and fluffy, caramel pumpkin dinner rolls made with Vanilla Caramel Creams® candies!
This post is being sponsored by Goetze’s Candy Company featuring their Vanilla Caramel Creams® candies (which are seriously one of the best candies on the face of the planet!). All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING candies are mine.
Oh people when I tell you that these rolls are the absolute best dinner rolls I have ever made or eaten in my life, trust me on this! I mean these blow away the ones my Mom made for decades (sorry Mom!). They are so soft and fluffy that they almost melt in your mouth when you eat them! And the flavor! You best sit down when you eat one as they are going to knock you for a loop! We’re talking ‘Lord have mercy’ rolls! Now I know you may be thinking “can’t I just buy those pre-made/frozen ones?” and the answer is no. Seriously while those are good in a pinch, nothing, NOTHING beats the flavor of a homemade roll. ESPECIALLY when they are made with pumpkin and these vanilla caramel cream candies. It seriously is a game changer in the world of breads/rolls/carbs in general.
As you know I’ve been fortunate to have partnered up with such an incredible company as Goetze’s Candy on a few other recipes. They’ve been making candy for almost 120 years people – you know they’ve been doing this candy business thing right! It’s made right here in the USA and for those of you that have nut allergies you don’t have to worry about these candies as they are made in a nut-free facility.
And you know when I take their candies (after I’ve inhaled a few myself because they truly are my favorite candy) I like to push the boundaries with it. If you recall I first introduced you to that Caramel Apple Cheddar Chicken Burger with Caramel sauce. At first I got many questions and looks of “seriously? candy on a burger???” type of reactions but all I kept saying is “Trust me and try it.” Well all it took was a few of you to try it and then spread the word on just how amazing it really is/was. That post went viral and blew up all over social media during the summer.
Then I gave you that Pumpkin Caramel Pork Flatbread pizza which was also made with these delicious candies and folks knew I wasn’t playing around here. What I absolutely love doing with a client and their product is showing how it’s used in a traditional manner (these candies rock in sweet recipes) but then I push the limits and let my creativity shine. And that’s why I did with this recipe.
So where can you find these things? I recommend starting with Caramel Creams website as you can search within miles of your house. Hey.. when the craving hits you, you want them fast! Plus you can see all of the other flavors they offer! Yes.. MORE FLAVORS!!! Now if there are no stores local to you that carry them, you can get them on Amazon.
Now let’s dish about these life-changing rolls. I’ve made and had really great rolls in my life. My Mom’s homemade bread was the best bread I’ve ever tasted. But this recipe, people it’s out of this world. It starts like any normal bread recipe – yeast, liquid, flour, salt, butter but that’s about where the similarity ends. Since I wanted to make it Thanksgiving-themed I just had to add pumpkin. I mean it’s some law that pumpkin must be in at least one dish and while I’m not a super big pumpkin pie fan, I’m a huge fan of bread therefore that won out.
And since the star of the recipe is Vanilla Caramel Creams® those had to be in it. And when you add pumpkin and caramel to dishes I tend to lean to adding cinnamon and brown sugar instead of white sugar. I find the brown sugar lends to the texture as well as that deep molasses flavor. Which, as we all know, compliments both caramel and pumpkin flavors beautifully. Now the trick to melting these candies is that you need to add milk and butter to the pan to aid in the melting process. Plus when you melt these, for this recipe, you want to melt it to where it’s a soft, almost spreadable consistency, not a drizzle type caramel.
In making these, you end up with about 3 dozen rolls. Now if you make them bigger you get less. I consider these maybe a 2-3 bite roll. Plus they are the perfect size for sliders and leftover turkey sandwiches. I mean let’s be real here, the best part of Thanksgiving is not the main dinner, the football games or even decorating for the holidays. No it’s the late night dinner you have at midnight while wearing your fuzzy slippers and pj’s or when you get up for Black Friday shopping.
So true story about these rolls. When I was creating this recipe I fully expected to “have” to eat the entire batch as Mr. Fantabulous is so finicky. He doesn’t like it when I “go and muck with a good thing” like my Mom’s dinner rolls. As I was making the dough he came out to the kitchen, saw me with the dough and then spied the candies. I fully expected him to say “Busted!” but instead he said “Oh, are you making pizza?” as he snagged a handful of the Caramel Creams® . I just smiled and said, “Nope, testing out a new recipe.” I figured if he inquired more about what I was making then I’d tell him but thankfully he did not.
As they baked you could smell those warm holiday spices and that buttery caramel smell. As soon as I took them out of the oven a quick slather of melted butter and to the cooling rack they went. By this time Sniffy McSniff came out to the kitchen (i.e., Mr. Fantabulous) smelling the incredible roll aromas. And to the stool he sat, watching intently. About 5 minutes into him sitting there, the started to happen as I had my back to him prepping for the photo shoot. I couldn’t help but giggle. I so love how enthusiastic he gets about my dishes. 10 minutes into him sitting there and the sighs getting louder I said, “Baby, they aren’t ready yet I need to take pics”. This prompted one more deep sigh and him trotting off to the other room.
I know, I’m such a bad wife.
About 30 minutes later I finished my shoot and pulled the 2nd tray out of the oven. *Sniff sniff sniff* out came the man to the kitchen to which this time I had one set on a plate in front of his stool. He just smiled and took a huge bite. As he was chewing/stuffing the rest of the roll in his mouth he let out one of the loudest moans. He then said “OMG Honey! These are the best rolls you’ve ever made! They are incredible! Can I have another?” As he sat there and ate 3 more I asked if he knew the taste.
He stopped mid-chew, looked up to the left and it was if I could see him thinking by the intense look his eyes got. He said “They kinda taste like caramel and pumpkin pie. Like these would be perfect for Thanksgiving” as he stuffed another roll in his mouth.
YES!!! That’s exactly what I was going for!
Now a few notes about these rolls. Because they have caramel in them they are super soft inside. What this means is you make have ‘pockets’ of caramel still in the dough as it bakes. This is awesome! So when you pull them apart you’ll get that fluffy, chewy texture but you may also have some soft spots of caramel.
To store these I put them in an airtight bag. but let’s be real you probably won’t have leftovers. If I were you, I’d make a double batch – freeze one and then bake one for dinner!
- 2 packages instant-rise yeast (~2 1/4 tsp)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 8 – 8 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 10 Tbl butter, unsalted and softened
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk, divided
- 20 Goetze’s Vanilla Caramel Creams®, unwrapped
- Melted butter for brushing
- In a pan over medium heat add the Goetze’s Vanilla Caramel Creams®, 1/2 cup of milk and 2 Tbl of butter. Slowly stir until the candies have melted and you have a smooth, soft caramel. It will not be liquid but rather super soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until just warm. It still will be soft but you don’t want it hot.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add 1 cup of milk, water and brown sugar, mixing to combine. Next, add in the pumpkin and caramel, mixing to incorporate.
- Switch to the dough hook. Add in the yeast, 4 cups of flour, salt and cinnamon. Slowly start to mix while scraping down the sides. Add 1 cup of flour at a time until 8 cups flour total has been incorporated.
- Add in 8 Tbl of butter, one Tbl at a time while the dough hook is churning. Don’t worry if the butter doesn’t incorporate immediately, it will. You can scrape down the sides to help it out.
- Once all 8 Tbl of butter is added to the bowl, turn the mixer to medium and allow the dough hook to knead the dough for 10 minutes. If necessary, scrape down the sides. The dough will be very soft. If it seems a tad too wet, add a few Tbl of flour. You want a soft, tender dough but not one that will stick to your hands.
- Place the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic place in a warm, dry area and allow to double in size. ~60-90 minutes.
- Once doubled, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a very lightly floured board. Divide the dough into 4-5 ounce balls (this recipes makes about 3 dozen rolls). Butter a large rimmed baking tray (I used a half-sheet pan) and place the balls on to the pan leaving just a bit of room. They can be close to each other (1/2” apart) but try not to let them touch. Cover the rolls with sprayed plastic wrap (to help prevent sticking). Set aside and allow to double in size (or when you press with your finger they indent and the indent stays) ~30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F, rack in the middle.
- Remove the cover from the rolls and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and firm on top. These rolls are super soft inside due to the caramel. To be 100% certain the bread is cooked all the way through, take it’s temperature. The bread should be 190F using a thermometer.
- Brush the tops with melted butter the carefully flip your rolls out of the pan onto a cooling rack. They will be soft but will firm up, upon cooling.
Note about inside texture: Due to there being caramel in the rolls, the rolls may have super soft inside sections that may appear as undone. These are not, it’s just the ribbons of caramel in the dough. To be 100% certain the bread is cooked all the way through, take it’s temperature. The bread should be 190F using a thermometer.