Hey! I haven’t been here in a while. But I’m here now. How about a nice recipe to get us going again?
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
For the sweet dough:
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp yeast
¼ cup sugar
3-3 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (opt)
Heat milk and butter to about 110°. Add yeast and sugar, stirring to dissolve, and let set for 10 minutes, till yeast is foamy. In a large bowl, stir together 3 cups of the flour, the salt and the cardamom, if using. (Use it! It adds a delicious flavor to all things cinnamon-y and apple-y.)
Add the warmed milk mixture to a well in the center and stir in as much of the flour as possible. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in as much of the remaining flour as required to make a soft, but not sticky, dough. (Alternately, you may use the machine of your choice to make the dough. Follow manufacturer recommendations.)
Place dough into a buttered bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the apple filling:
4 tbsp (½ stick) butter
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tbsp cornstarch
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar, cinnamon and apples, stirring well. Simmer until apples are tender, 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix the cornstarch with a little cool water; stir into the apple mixture to thicken the juices, then remove from the heat.
When the dough is well risen, turn it out onto a clean surface. Roll into a rectangle, about 18” x 12”. Spread apple filling over entire surface, except for about an inch along one long edge. Loosely roll the dough and filling toward that edge. Cut this log into 1 ½” slices. You should get 12 rolls. Place them cut side down in a baking pan, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake rolls for 30 minutes, until lightly golden.
While they’re baking, make the caramel sauce:
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
Bring the butter, sugar and cream to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Don’t taste it; it’s very hot!
When the rolls come out of the oven, drizzle the caramel sauce evenly over all. Make sure it gets into all the swirls. Cool slightly before serving.
These can be made the day before up to the baking step. Just cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, let them warm up for about 30 minutes before baking. Don’t make the caramel sauce ahead of time. It needs to be warm to soak into the rolls!