Monday, November 11, 2013

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

My husband LOVES caramel. I know that any time I make anything with caramel, he will pleased. So when I was surfing pinterest the other day and saw Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls, I knew they had to happen. I haven't done much baking lately, and it was time. 

When I go through the trouble to make cinnamon rolls from scratch, I always make a full batch. No reason to make just 2 rolls for us. This recipe makes 12 rolls, I was in a sharing mood with my neighbors, and Randy's co-workers. 

These are divine. Proceed with caution, because your waistline will be affected. If you are ready to indulge... these bad boys are for you.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from gimme some oven

Dough Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/8 cup butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1 envelope instant or ‘rapid rise’ yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
1 egg

Caramel-Apple-Cinnamon-Sugar Filing Ingredients:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. butter, (completely) softened
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought (recipe for caramel sauce below.)
1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought (recipe for caramel sauce below.)

To Make The Dough & Filling:

Melt the butter and add it to your milk. Heat until a little warmer than room temperature. You can do this on the stove top or in the microwave.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add half the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir by hand to combine. Add the egg and milk mixture, and turn the kitchenaid on medium-low speed until combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, you have added enough flour. Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed to knead the dough. 
Remove the dough hook and cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise for at least 30 minutes or until almost double in size.
Meanwhile, begin making your filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. 
 Use a knife or pastry spatula to spread the softened butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. 
Then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Then sprinkle on the finely chopped apples, and drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel sauce.
Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. 
And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. 
I cut off the ends and just cut it up to make a tiny dish of pull apart bread.

Cut into 12 rolls. Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. If you have a sunny windowsill this works great. 
If not, I find a heating pad on low setting works wonderful. 
When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and serve.

Homemade caramel sauce 

1 packed cup brown sugar

1/2 cup half-and-half

4 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. 

Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

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