I may be un-American for saying this, but I really don't love cinnamon rolls that are covered in goopy frosting. I know, I know – quick shooting me those dirty looks. It's just one of those things I don't prefer. Now that doesn't keep me from enjoying one on occasion, but if I'm making them myself, I like to choose recipes that don't include an inch of icing on top.
Please don't stop reading my blog because of this. I swear, I'm a nice person in spite of my cinnamon roll tastes.
That being said, I've had some incredible cravings with this pregnancy – most recently, my homemade PEANUT BRITTLE and now cinnamon rolls. Once I got that cinnamon goodness in my head, I had no power against it. I just had to have some. And I just didn't want some cheap-o nasty store bought cinnamon rolls either. I wanted gooood ones. Rearry good ones. It's not the ‘healthiest' of my recipes, but when in Rome.
And just for the record, even without frosting, these cinnamon rolls aren't dry at all. The apples keep them nice and moist.
Caramelized Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe Adapted from ECurry.
You will need:
For the Dough:
– 1 cup milk
– 1/6 cup rapadura or cane sugar
– 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
– 2 1/4 cups flour (I used an all-purpose, sprouted flour mix)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– A pinch of baking soda
– A generous pinch of baking powder
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the caramelized apples:
– 4 cups of finely chopped Golden Delicious apples (or another tart variety)
– 1/2 cup Rapadura or cane sugar
– 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon grated ginger
– 2 tablespoons cinnamon
– Freshly ground nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon)
For the filling:
– Caramelized apples (recipe above)
– 5 tablespoons butter
– 1 cup of walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped (optional)
Step One: Let's get the dough rising, shall we? This isn't a quick process – but it is a delicious one. In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk, butter (or coconut oil) and Rapadura until just warm. Then, add in the yeast and allow the mixture to sit and froth for a few minutes. Gently mix in 2 cups of the flour. Then, gather it into a ball, transfer to a mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and allow it to rise for 1-1.5 hours. Unless your house is 85 degrees like mine – then, it won't take that long at all!
Not having AC has it's benefits on occasion.
While the dough rises, let's caramelize the apples, yes?
Step Two: Caramelize the apples by melting the butter in a pan. Toss in the diced apples and stir them until they're swimmin' in that butter. Allow them to mingle with the butter until it stops bubbling. Then, mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and Rapadura. Cook on low for about 20 minutes, allowing the apples to slowly release their juices and really bubble down to an incredibly thick and brown deliciousness. When it's nice and sticky and caramelized, remove from heat.
Step Three: Okay – attention back on the dough now. After it's nice and risen, add the cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Punch down, divide the dough into half, and place on a floured counter top. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
Step Four: Once the dough has rested, gently roll each section out into a rectangle one at a time. Smear the rectangle of dough generously with 2.5 tablespoons of butter each.
Then, divide the caramelized apples in half, and smear over the buttered dough. Sprinkle on the walnuts, if you're using them. Roll the dough up from the short side and seal the edges by pinching them together with your fingers.
Repeat this step with the second ball of dough.
Step Five: Slice each roll into four or five or six pieces, depending on how thick you like your cinnamon rolls…
…and place in a generously buttered pan (you have caught on this recipe involves a lot of butter, no?). Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled.
Alas, I tend to get a little greedy when I really want something, and didn't quite wait as long as I should have. They were still delicious, though.
By the way, my husband photographed while I was slaving away. And I apologize for the offensive yellow lighting. Such is life in the dark jungle that is our home. And I'm sorry I didn't get an incredibly fabulous and staged “finished” shot of them – but I wanted to eat them so bad, it surpassed my desire for a fantastic photo.
Step Six: Lastly, bake the cinnamon rolls in a preheated 370 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. My oven has two temperatures: hot and burn-your-face-off hot. I know these rolls weren't cooked at the proper temperature because my temperature dial barely even works. Alas, we survived, and so did the rolls. I'm sure your attempt will be successful as well.
The only thing that would've kicked these cinnamon rolls out of the park is if they'd been drizzled with a tablespoon or so of real maple syrup. But y'all know that mean Dave and his budgets. He doesn't allow for real maple syrup at the moment – dang Dave.
Speaking of maple syrup, I was reading Little House In The Big Woods a few weeks ago when they went to their grandparents for the maple syrup harvest and I secretly coveted all that maple syrup.
I'd swim in a pool of it, if I could.
I'd also swim in a pool of these cinnamon rolls, if I could, nibbling on their goodness as I stroked along. Truly, I wished I made a quadruple batch of these to keep in the freezer for those moments.
The moments when a cinnamon roll would be really wonderful.
You know what I'm sayin.'
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.