Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salted Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls Smackdown!

So, one of my readers, Jenn, challenged me to some kinda of smack down.  Here is how it started...

Jenn made my Not Your Mom's Cinnamon Rolls, and loved them but was looking for a substitute for the milk for her child's health issues.  I suggested apple juice.   Hmm, now THAT put an idea in my head and I told her about it.  She said she was considering playing around with that idea as well and we both decided to make our own version!  I am going to share her recipe at the bottom and I already see something I am going to incorporate into MY recipe!  Thanks Jenn, it was fun!!

I have to make hers and she is going to make mine, we will get to that at some point!  As it turns out, we both did nearly the same thing without knowing it!  My husband thought of my twist, so let me thank him for that, because I know he is reading and after all, it was HIS idea! 

These are to die for.  No, I know I say that a lot, I mean DUH, what I am a supposed to say?  My food blows?!  HA!

You will be following my recipe for the above mentioned cinnamon rolls, and we are going to add a twist.  Are you ready?  I am!

For the Cinnamon Roll Dough you will need:
1 pkg dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water at 110-115 degrees
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4-4 1/2 cups flour

In a measuring cup place hot water and 1 tsp sugar.  Put a thermometer in it and if it is to hot, wait for it to cool to 110-115 degrees.  I know some people say they always kill the yeast so better to have it to hot and have to wait for it to cool a bit.  I do it like this and just wait for it to get to the temp I want!  When it gets to the correct temperature add in your packet of yeast, give it a tiny stir and remove thermometer.  Let sit 3-4 minutes.  It should get foamy on the top!
Now in a bowl or stand mixer  (using your dough hook) add in the egg, milk, melted butter, sugar and salt.  Mix until combined.  Now add in the yeast mixture, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla.  I might have slipped and added extra vanilla too!  I always do, you know that! HA!
Now once you get it all combined, by hand or machine, either knead it for 3-4 minutes until smooth, or let it go in the stand mixer the same amount of time, or until smooth. 
Turn the dough out into a buttered, or sprayed with non stick cooking spray, or oiled bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and sit in a warm, draft free place.  Sometimes I turn the oven on to preheat for baking and set the bowl on the stove top.  This could take an hour, or it could take 3 hours.  The warmer the area, the faster it will happen.  It should about double in size!
When it is doubled in size, take it out of the bowl unto a floured surface.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape.  It should be about...hmmm.....14-16 by about 10-12.  Never thought about it, just always did it!  What comes next is the filling and here is what you will need for that....
For the Caramel Apple Filling you will need:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup VERY soft butter (can melt and use a pastry brush as well)
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 can apple pie filling (drain a little bit of the loose liquid off and leave chunks of apple in tact, you want this to have been refrigerated and cold)
Spread the butter over the dough, make sure to get it covered everywhere!  Sprinkle brown sugar evenly, then spread the apple pie filling on top, and then the cinnamon. 
Get your oven preheated to 350 degrees.
Starting at the bottom start rolling the dough, go from the bottom and work your way across so it is eventually all rolled up.  When you get to the end, pinch the seam together.  Now you could get up to about 14-16 out of this, but I get 12.  I like tall, substantial rolls.  So using a serrated knife, gently cut it in half and then go from there.  However many you want out of the roll, make it happen!  If you cut them thinner and get 14-16, make sure to take 5 minutes or so off of your bake time!
When they are cut, put them into a generously buttered 9x13 pan.  I fit 12 perfectly.  Get them situated and then cover them with a clean dish towel and let raise again, for approximately  1 hr.  If you have your oven on, and use my trick, it won't take that long. 
Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

For the Topping you will need:
1 cup caramel topping
1 recipe of cream cheese icing (can be found in above mentioned cinnamon roll recipe)
Course salt

After rolls have cooled, ice with cream cheese frosting.  Drizzle liberally with caramel topping and give each roll a tiny sprinking of salt on top!  Serve and lose yourself in the decadence!!

Your "my cinnamon roll life will never be the same" Chefwannabe

Here is Jenn's version!  I love the idea of cooking your own apples, WHICH I considered, but I was concerned they might not soften enough, I don't know, obviously they will when you cook them and then bake them and they are in small chunks.  So maybe I was lazy.  So what?!? ;)
These looks DIVINE and I am so glad you were able to change this up to meet dietary needs of you and your son!!  Thanks for inviting me to come up with this recipe with you!!

Caramel Praline Apple Sweet Rolls

1 Tbsp yeast
1 cup warmed apple juice (I used Martinellie’s unfiltered apple juice)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, melted
4 – 4 ½ cups flour
In a microwave safe bowl, warm apple juice to 110⁰. Mix sugar into warmed juice, then add yeast and mix gently. Set juice/ yeast mix aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 ½ cups flour, salt, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Once the juice/yeast mix starts to get all foamy on top, add to flour mixture. Stir around until well incorporated. Add more flour, ½ cup at a time until a nice dough forms and starts to clean the sides. Turn out on to a smooth floured surface. Add in flour as need to make the dough not sticky, but don’t add more than needed. Knead dough until it becomes smooth and springy. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until doubled in size.

While dough is rising, make the apple filling.

5 medium granny smith apples, peeled and rough chopped
6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Good squeeze fresh lemon juice
2-4 Tbs softened butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Place first 6 filling ingredients into a medium saucepan. Cook on medium high, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, and then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes, or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Drain apples, reserving the liquid. Let apples come to room temperature.

Once dough has doubled, dump on to lightly floured smooth surface and roll to approximately 12” X 16” rectangle. The dough should be about 1/2” thick. Gently spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, then evenly spread the cooked apples. Carefully and tightly roll the long part of the dough and pinch the edges closed. Here I kind of smash and smush the dough log around to even it out and make sure it is the same length and thickness all along the roll, you want a nice even log. Then divide the log into the number of rolls you want. I cut 12 rolls, but I made them nice and thick. You could probably get 16+ with smaller rolls. Place all the cut rolls into the pan so the cinnamon/apple mixture is facing upwards. Cover and set aside while preparing the praline sauce.

Praline Sauce:
1 cup reserved apple liquid
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter
1/3 cup heavy cream (I used all natural vanilla coffee creamer)
2 tsp vanilla
Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. (It may splatter) Pour over resting rolls in pan. Recover pan and let rise for 1 hour. Place in preheated 350⁰ oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

When rolls are removed from oven to cool, start making the frosting.

4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
2 Tbs butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup VERY good vanilla ice cream
Beat cream cheese and butter on medium until smooth and creamy. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Once cinnamon rolls have cooled to warm, spread or pipe frosting evenly over them and serve.


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