Friday, October 12, 2012

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

There's nothing better than a warm, gooey cinnamon roll fresh from the oven, except maybe this one stuffed with caramelized apples inside and topped with caramel frosting.

I first made these last year when I was a vendor at our local farmer's market. When it got to be fall and apples were in abundance, it just seemed right to mix apples and cinnamon rolls together. They turned out to be a huge hit and every so often I like to make them for my own family.

Last Sunday I made up a double batch so we would have extras for the freezer. I also had a little helper. Can we say, baker-in-training?!

She did a great job helping me roll out the dough. We filled a pan to let rise and serve for breakfast on Monday morning and then I froze the remaining rolls to have at another time. They will be quite the treat to have without all the extra work!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
3 1/2 c bread flour
2 tsp yeast
1 c buttermilk, room temp

For apple filling:
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Plus: small amount of cinnamon/sugar mixture for dough

For frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 c caramel topping
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
2 1/2 c powdered sugar (might need more of less depending on your desired consistency)

In a bowl of electric mixer cream sugar, salt and butter together. Add in egg. Mix in flour, yeast and milk until dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 5 mins. You want the dough to be silky but not sticky, you may have to add more flour or liquid to achieve this consistency. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 2 hours.

To make the filling: melt butter in a skillet, add in apples, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix all ingredients together. Cook on medium heat for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside and let cool.

Lightly flour your work surface, roll out dough into a rectangle with rolling pin. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon and sugar. Evenly distribute the apples over top of dough. Starting with the wide edge, roll up dough into a log. Pinch the edges shut, with seam side down slice log into rolls. Transfer them to a greased baking dish. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

To make frosting: Cream butter, caramel and vanilla together. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Pour in milk and cream until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

* If you'd like to prepare these for the freezer; once rolls are made up (before you let them rise the 2nd time), place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place them in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours or until frozen. Then transfer to a large ziploc bag. Seal and store in freezer until ready to bake. When ready to bake, take out as many as needed and let come to room temp and rise. I usually take mine out the night before, stick them in a pan and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Then before baking, just let set out a room temp for at least 30 mins.

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