Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Edit - hey this is my 350th post!!

Back in May for my birthday, my friend bought me a bookstore gift card because she knows I love cookbooks. I’ve been to the bookstore several times but didn’t know what to get. I have a tough time spending full price ($20+) on one book when I have so many. Finally in August as I wandered the store, I stumbled upon the cooking magazines. Bon Appetit, no. Food and Wine, no. Cooking Light, no. I love Taste of Home, so I looked for their selection.

Then it happened.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but how could you not when these gooey, delicious, amazing, apple cinnamon rolls stared at you? As September was approaching, I knew I wanted this fall baking book for its cover recipe (the other recipes looked good too).

I actually made these twice. The first time I subbed peaches because I had a half bushel. Well I didn’t account for peaches being juicier than apples, so the filling failed because it leaked everywhere. I had much better luck with the intended version. I’m still not good at rolling dough up though.

It’s hard to say how hard this recipe is since I’ve been baking for years, but I don’t think the dough is too complicated. The dough came together easily, so it’s a good start for those who want more yeast dough experience. What makes dough a little more advanced is the yeast itself. Always use a thermometer to measure your liquid temperature. If the liquid is too cold, the yeast won’t react. If the liquid is too hot, the yeast will die.

The recipe says to let sit 30 minutes before baking, but you can let them sit a little longer. I made these rolls and sat them on the counter covered with a towel while dinner was in the oven. As soon as I served dinner, I put the rolls in the oven so they’d be ready for dessert. So don’t panic if you can’t bake them right away. I think mine sat for about 45-60 minutes.

Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls

3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
2 cups chopped apples, peeled and cored (I used Golden Delicious)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Grease a 13x9 inch pan. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cider and 1/4 cup butter to 120°-130°. It must be in this range. Too cold means the yeast won't react. Too hot means the yeast will die.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll into a 15x10 inch. rectangle. Spread remaining 2 Tbsp butter to within half inch of edges. Combine the apples, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon in a small bowl then sprinkle over the dough.

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place cut side down in greased pan. Preheat oven to 325F. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Place cider and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick; cool cider.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and reduced cider; beat until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Makes 12 rolls.
Source: Taste of Home Fall Baking 2011


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