A tempting combination of silky caramel and tart apples all rolled up in a flaky and delicate cinnamon roll guaranteed to make any breakfast amazing.
When Kim and I first started living together, we always made it a point to spend our weekend mornings cooking breakfast for each other. On Saturdays, I would cook and on Sundays Kim would cook, and this tradition has continued, more or less, for the last fourteen years. Needless to say, a lot of meals have graced our table over the years. Unfortunately, not every dish has been homecooked.
In the beginning, we used a lot of canned products. You know the one’s I am talking about; biscuits, cinnamon rolls, crescent rolls, etc. While, when in a time crunch, there is nothing wrong with these processed pastries. However, I have always seen cooking as more than just preparing food. You are making something for a person you care about; so, I feel you should put effort, love, and time into creating a meal that he or she deserves.
That is how these cinnamon rolls can to be a staple in our home. Kim has always known I love apples; they are my favorite fruit. I will eat them just about any way they are served. Kim, on the other hand, is not a huge fan of apples. But, remember in our home, cooking is a labor of love. She took her original cinnamon roll recipe, then modified into something she knew I would enjoy. These flaky, sweet, and tart pastries are the result of her effort and a reflection of her love.
Cinnamon rolls can be a tricky breakfast to make if you are new to cooking. Fortunately, this recipe and its instructions are easy to follow. Just be sure you already have the apples peeled, cored and diced before you get started. The first thing you will want to start is the dough. Mainly because it has to rise giving you time to move on to a different step in the process while you wait.
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 ½ cups of flour, with the sugar, salt, and yeast. Whisk the ingredients together. Afterward, in a small pan, heat the water, milk, and butter to around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Then add the warm mixture to the dry concoction. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and using a dough hook, beat for on low while adding the rest of the flour a tablespoon at a time. Once the flour has been added, continue to mix the dough for another 5 to 7 minutes. While it rests, you can make the filling.
The filling is relatively easy to put together. All you need to do is combine the apples, brown and white sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg in mixing bowl. Ensure they are all incorporated evenly, try to avoid huge clumps of sugar if possible. Afterward, take the dough and using a rolling pin, flatten it out into a rectangle. Spread the softened butter first and then spread the filling equally on the dough; otherwise, you will have cinnamon rolls with no cinnamon. When you have completely spread the filling, roll the dough up into a log and cut it into 10 to 12 rolls.
One way to equally slice the log is to start in the very center and cut it in half. Then continue that same process on each half, and then again on those halves. If executed properly, you should have perfectly even cut cinnamon rolls. Now that you have the individual rolls place them into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover the pan with foil or a kitchen towel and put it in a warm place for the dough to rise until the cinnamon rolls double in size. After that, bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. While the pastries bake, the caramel sauce can be prepared.
In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over low heat and add the caramel and butter. Do not let the cream boil or it may break. Slowly whisk the mixture until it smooth and creamy. By that point, the cinnamon rolls should be done. Now, you are supposed to let them cool for a little while before slowly drizzling the sauce over the rolls. But hey, who are we kidding, we both know that’s not going to happen. So, whenever you are ready, pour the sauce over the apple cinnamon roll and dig in!
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups All Purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 Tablespoons softened butter
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- 5 Tablespoon softened butter
- 4 - 5 Tablespoons cinnamon (to taste)
- ½ Cup of white sugar
- ½ Cup brown sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of nutmeg
- 2 Large apples (peeled, cored, and diced)
- 1 16 ounce package of caramel squares
- ½ Cup of heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until well combined. Set aside.
- Heat water, milk, and butter to about 115 degrees.
- Add water, milk, and butter mixture to dry ingredients and add egg.
- Using a dough hook on a stand mixer, mix on a low setting.
- Add remaining flour a Tablespoon at a time to form a smooth dough.
- Continue to mix for 5-6 minutes.
- Allow dough to rest for 3-5 minutes.
- Next, use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangular shape.
- Spread the softened butter on the rectangle of dough.
- Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
- Sprinkle apples evenly on dough.
- Beginning with the long side of the rectangle, tightly roll the dough, so the cinnamon and sugar are on the inside.
- Cut the rolled dough into 10-12 even pieces.
- Place the cut dough into a greased 9 x 13-inch rectangle pan.
- Place rolls in a warm, draft-free place and allow to rise until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place rolls in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool completely before saucing.
- In medium sauce pan on low heat, melt butter, caramel and heat heavy cream together.
- Pour over cooled cinnamon rolls.
- Finally, store cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.