Sunday, October 9, 2011

{Recipe} Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Drizzle

It was a gorgeous fall morning.  You know that perfect fall day where it's incredibly sunny out, but the crisp air makes you grab your favorite (yet seasonably abandoned) hoody?!  Ahhhhh...the best feeling!  My little nephew, Anthony, had a sleepover at Aunt SarahBeth and Uncle Tommy's house the night before, and we were all set to make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (a recipe I stumbled on, which I'll get to in a minute).  So, little man and I ran to the store to pick up a few ingredients...but to my dismay...
...the store clerk informed me that there was a pumpkin shortage and there was NO PUMPKIN PUREE ANYWHERE.  Seriously?  This is a joke, right?!  What were we going to do?!  But, before I could panic, I frantically grabbed these ingredients off the shelf...
I guess if a girl can't have pumpkin, the next best fall ingredient?  Apples!  Somewhere between the grocery store check out and the drive home, this recipe was dreamed up and soon materialized in my kitchen.  Here's little man ready to bake...
So, we preheated, kneaded, whisked, stirred, baked, drizzled, and ate...and how delicious the outcome was.  Check our recipe below...and let us know what you think!

SB (and Anthony, hehe)

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Drizzle
Cinnamon Rolls
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons Mott's Hot Apple Cider Mix (save the rest for the caramel drizzle)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups bread flour (and being gluten-free, I substituted with rice flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Macintosh apple, peeled, cored, and very finely chopped
2 tablespoons melted butter

Caramel Drizzle
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
remainder of the apple cider mix
1 dash salt
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar (add a bit more if you'd like a thicker consistency)

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and milk in a saucepan, just until melted, being careful not to let boil.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple cider mix, and salt.  Add the milk mixture using an electric mixer.  Beat in the egg and yeast.

2. Add half the amount of flour to the mixture.  Beat continuously with an electric mixer for 5 minutes (scrape down those sides!).  Add the remaining flour and mix until well combined...the dough will be fluffy.  Transfer to a greased mixing bowl.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

3.  Transfer the dough to greased and floured cookie sheet and roll out (pop the dough into the freezer for a few minutes if it's too soft).  Brush the dough with melted butter, and sprinkle liberally with brown sugar and chopped apples.  Slice lengthwise into thin strips and roll jelly-roll style.  Place onto a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise, approximately 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden brown. 

5.  For the caramel drizzle, heat butter until melted, stirring in the brown sugar and milk.  Cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute.

6. Transfer into a mixing bowl.  Whisk in hot apple cider mix, vanilla, salt, and confectioner's sugar.  Drizzle over cinnamon buns and serve warm.

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