Sunday, October 6, 2013

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Rolls with a Caramel Sauce

I love the idea of having warm, gooey cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning but who wants to wake up and slave in the kitchen. This recipe is the solution. October is my favorite month of the year so I made a few adjustments to incorporate apples for Fall.

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Rolls with a Caramel Sauce
Makes about 12 rolls

1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups flour (may need a little more see directions)

1/2 stick unsalted butter room temp, separated
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Caramel Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream


Add 1/2 cup of fairly warm water to a glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for about 10 minutes. While the yeast is activating, add apple juice, sugar, salt, egg, vanilla and butter in a medium sized bowl. Add yeast mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well by hand or stand mixer. Add the flour one cup at a time while mixing. You want the dough to come away from the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. If needed, add more flour one Tablespoon at a time until dough forms a soft ball. If mixing by hand, at this point you will want to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it by had for about 5 min. If using a stand mixer, continue to knead using the hook attachment for a few minutes. Place kneaded dough on a greased bowl and cover. Place in a warm area of your home and let it rise for one hour.

While the dough is rising, prep your apples. Once they are peeled, cored and sliced, place them into a microwavable bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons butter (half of your 1/2 stick softened and ready to go) and cover with plastic wrap. Cut a small slit in the plastic wrap to allow steam to escape. Microwave the apples for about 2 minutes. Be careful! They will be very hot and the steam will burn you. Let them rest a minute before opening. Drain the juices once cooled and place in the fridge to chill.

Punch down the dough after an hour. Don't worry if your dough didn't rise too much. It will depend on the temp of your home. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. You can use your 9 x 13 pan to help you estimate the size. Take the rest of your softened 1/2 stick of butter (about 2 tablespoons should be left) and spread it all over the dough. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the buttered dough. Take your softened apples from the fridge and line the apples evenly over the brown sugar mixture. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into even rolls. You can cut 12-15 rolls depending on the size you prefer. Arrange them into your baking dish (see photo below). Cover with plastic wrap and sit on counter over night.

This is what they will look like when you wake up in the morning. YAY! Most of the work is done. Now you just have to preheat your oven to 375F degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and cover them with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I removed the foil with about 5 minutes to go so they would brown nicely. While they are baking, make your caramel sauce by adding the three ingredients together in a sauce pan set to med-high heat on the stove. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and the sauce has bubbled for about 3 minutes.  It will thicken while it cools so you may want to keep it warm until the rolls are ready that way it pours easily over them.

Tip: you can freeze the rolls without the sauce and enjoy later:)

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