The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
This recipe is anything but quick, but oh boy, is it worth it. You make this out of love, or if you did something bad and need to make up for it.
I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but in my opinion, apple pie is the dessert of fall. Sorry pumpkin pie. And cinnamon rolls are, well cinnamon rolls – the gooey sugary treats that dreams are made of. I’ve been dreaming of combining the two for some time, but life has always gotten in the way. I finally paused life and created these delicious morsels and they will rock your world. The dough boy has nothing on these!
The filling is made from apples grown in the Midwest and abundantly available at Heinen’s. They are incredibly crisp, full of flavor and, many times, grown on small family farms. I always go with honeycrisp, but go ahead and pick whichever variety you like best. Another reason I am such a fan of Heinen’s is their support of family/small businesses in the Midwest area. Every time I browse the aisles, I seem to come across another product produced in the Midwest.
Get ready to fall into the autumn groove!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
For the Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 pack quick rise yeast
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Apple Filling
- 5 apples, diced
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
For the Sugar Filling
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 5 Tbsp. melted butter
For the Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 Tbsp. cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, milk, melted butter and 2 Tbsp. of sugar. Make sure the milk is not too hot, as that will kill the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- While the yeast is coming to life, start on the filling. You can use canned pie filling, but why not go all out and make it all from scratch? Over medium heat, combine all of the filling ingredients and stir often. Let this cook down for 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
- Add the lightly beaten egg to the yeast mixture followed by the flour, salt and remaining sugar. Mix well and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few minutes until the dough comes together.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp, warm towel. Place in a warm area for 30 minutes. The dough should double in size.
- After 30 minutes, transfer the dough back to a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle, about 15×20 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle on the sugar and cinnamon.
- Spread the pie filling all over.
- Roll the dough tightly and pinch close. Cut into 2-inch rolls and place them in a large baking dish or cast iron pan. Cover again with the damp towel and allow the rolls to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, make the icing. Whip together room temperature cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and milk. Slowly whisk in the powdered sugar until there are no lumps. Serve warm
- Remove the cinnamon rolls, top with icing immediately and enjoy!