Awesome Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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Can you feel it? The little nip in the air once the sun starts to go down and the slight disappearance of the southern summer humidity. Do you see it? The leaves starting to finally turn to the slight tinge of orange and yellows? Oh yes hallelujah Jesus. Finally, the hot days of summer are starting to fade away into just the very start of the fall season. At this very moment I am sitting on a deck of a lakeside house at Lake Lure, North Carolina. And yes the fall leaves are starting to turn and the brilliant colors are starting to explode into the trees.

Can I just say I love FALL!!! When at last the southern humidity and the hot steamy days are finally making an exit into cooler days in anticipation for the upcoming holiday season. It means Thanksgiving is just around the corner and apple season is in full peak. Which means lots of recipes loaded with sweet, tangy, crisp apples which includes these Awesome Apple Cinnamon Rolls.

Cinnamon rolls hold a special place in my kitchen, and by that, I really just mean that the entire family loves them some cinnamon rolls. When my children were small I started buying the cinnamon rolls that come in a can and my girls LOVED them. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy them today for the family when I am in a hurry, but on those days when I have a little more time and can stop and smell the roses (in this case the apples), I choose to make my own homemade cinnamon rolls. Homemade rolls of any sort are really the best, and they are really not that difficult to make.

These apple cinnamon rolls are no exception. Everything from the rolls to the icing are pretty close to perfect. They might take a little time to make, because of the rising but they are so worth every minute of preparation time. These apple cinnamon rolls taste just like fresh apple pie, filled with cinnamon-sugared apples, fragrant and perfect to make on a long leisurely Saturday morning served with a steaming cup of coffee

How can you go wrong with APPLE CINNAMON ROLLS drowning in caramel icing. Each bite features the flavors of apple pie with the pure goodness of cinnamon rolls. Once you make these rolls for your family, they will be beg for more. As we are in the mountains this week, we are going to go apple picking. With that in mind, we will be adding these apple cinnamon rolls to our menu. What is it about apples that just make me think of fall?

The dough I use to make apple cinnamon rolls is a rich dough, which means that it’s prepared with fat like milk, butter, and eggs. It’s soft and supple, rises up beautifully, and has this crazy awesome buttery flavor. The dough is the simplest to make. Simply mix the yeast with warm milk and sugar. It’s important to let that mix sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to “activate”.

And to start the rolls begin with the making of the dough:

You need 7 ingredients for apple cinnamon roll dough:

  1. Yeast: You can use active dry yeast or instant yeast. I recommend Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast, which is an instant yeast blended with natural dough improvers.
  2. Milk: Milk activates the yeast. I like to use whole milk as it produces a richer flavor and texture but you can use whatever milk you have in your fridge.
  3. Flour: Flour is the structure of the dough. I like to use King Arthur Bread Flour for my rolls.
  4. Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
  5. Eggs: Eggs provide structure and flavor.
  6. Butter: Butter promises a flavorful dough. My favorite butter to use when baking is Land of Lakes Unsalted Butter. I have noticed when purchasing other brands of butter they have a higher water content.
  7. Salt: Salt is so important in bread You can’t make flavorful cinnamon rolls without salt!

Next, add the butter, eggs, flour, and salt. Mix until smooth and let the dough rest until doubled in size. Then it’s time to shape the rolls. Roll out your dough, load the dough with all the goodness and your are ready to roll and cut into perfect circles of goodness!!

I hope you enjoy these Awesome Apple Cinnamon Rolls. These are a prefect autumn breakfast with the buttery, soft, and fluffy dough swirled with cinnamon sugar and tart Granny Smith apples and the warm caramel icing that melts into every nook and cranny. And the smells coming from the kitchen as they bake? Mmm and oh so good!!!!

Awesome Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe by Cooking with Aunt PamCourse: Breakfast, Brunch, DessertCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Homemade apple cinnamon rolls have warm and gooey centers, golden brown edges, and a generous drizzle of sweet caramel icing on top.

Ingredients

  • DOUGH
  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons yeast (I use Red Star Platinum yeast (2 standard size packets)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 and 1/2 cups of bread flour, (I use King Arthur Bread Flower), plus 1/2 cup for dusting and rolling

  • FILLING
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 4 large apples peeled and chopped apples (I like to use Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)

  • ICING
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

  • 4 tablespoons warmed salted caramel

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Directions

  • Heat milk to lukewarm (about 95 degrees) make sure the milk is not too warm. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR a handheld mixer with dough hook). Add the sugar and yeast into the warm milk. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  • On low speed, beat in the softened butter. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter looks a little clumpy this point, so don’t be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. 
  • Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add an additional 1/2 cup flour, adding more as needed until the dough is smooth to touch. At this point the dough will be coming together into a smooth ball.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. If your cinnamon roll dough is too sticky just add more flour in small increments. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or press and seal and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • When the dough has risen, remove the cover and punch it down then remove it from the bowl. Turn the out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin into a 12×18 inch rectangle.
  • Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough. Spread on the cinnamon sugar as evenly as you can and add apples. Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, keeping it tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12-18 rolls.
  • Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and place the rolls on the paper in the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment for about 1 hour.
  •  Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Bake rolls for about 25 minutes until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk all of the icing ingredients together and drizzle over warm rolls. Serve warm. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

 

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