Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

I know it sounds strange, but when I saw the recipe for cinnamon rolls made with sweet potatoes I was so excited to make them. I have an interesting love affair with orange vegetables (I'm still getting over my obsession with butternut squash) and sweet potatoes are definitely at the top of my list right now.
I initially started making these cinnamon rolls for my breakfast to accompany my viewing of Kathie Lee and Hoda, but this breakfast treat ended up taking me three hours to make so I ate them for lunch instead.
I have attempted homemade cinnamon rolls before with no success. I am not the most patient person and cinnamon rolls require so much patience! You have to let the yeast sit, then mix the ingredients, then let the dough rise, then roll the dough, cut the dough, let them sit even longer, bake them, let them cool, ice them, and then finally eat them. I don't know anyone that could wait that long when the smells coming from your kitchen are intoxicating. 
The best part about making these cinnamon rolls this morning? (Other than eating them) Using my Kitchen Aid again; it had been way to long.
The original recipe makes 24 cinnamon rolls, and there is never a need for that many decadent treats in a house of just three girls. So although the recipe called for just one egg, I took a big risk and halved the recipe. (My last experience that involved halving an egg was disastrous but it worked out this time!) 
After cutting the recipe in two, I still had enough dough for 17 cinnamon rolls, and after I had my share for lunch there were about 2 left for my roommates... 
Slight exaggeration, but I really like sweet potato cinnamon rolls.

Here is the recipe that I ended up using, after halving the ingredients.

1/2 cup milk, warmed
2 t yeast
1 T maple syrup
1 cup mashed sweet potato (cooked in the microwave for 5 minutes)
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 egg (lightly beat the egg and then poured half into mixture. such a rebel)
1 1/2 t olive oil
1/2 t salt
3 T butter
cinnamon sugar

For the icing
vanilla extract
powered sugar

1. Combine the milk, yeast, and maple syrup in a bowl and let sit until foamy.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato, olive oil, salt, and 1/2 cup of wheat flour. Mix until fluffy.
3. Mix in the yeast paste and slowly start adding the rest of the flour, wheat first and then all-purpose. Mix well, scraping the sides until a ball of dough forms. 
4. Switch to a dough hook and knead for 8 minutes.
5. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let sit for 1 HOUR. Just do it. Patience is a virtue.
6. Roll the dough into a 16x12 inch rectangle on a flour dusted surface.
7. Spread softened butter on one side of the dough and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
8. Starting with the long side, tightly roll and secure the dough's end.
9. Cut rolls into 1-1 1/2 inch segments and place in cupcake tin or other pan.
LET SIT FOR 20 MORE MINUTES IN THE PAN! Patience. Patience. Patience.
10. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes.
11. While cooling, make icing by combining the three ingredients until a thicker paste-like substance forms.
12. Pour over cinnamon rolls and lick fingers.
After two and a half hours of slaving away in the kitchen, well really just me pacing the kitchen with my chai tea waiting for the dough to rise, these were ready to go in the oven.
That's when the smell of cinnamon and sweet potato took over my house. I am a full believer that the smell of something in the oven is a clear indicator of how delicious something will be. 
13. The last step is enjoying for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, or dessert with a glass of milk.

Sorry Mom, but you can half an egg.

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