Apple Cinnamon Rolls

We went apple picking with a group of friends a few weeks ago, and we came home with a 15-pound bag of apples. I had so many ideas of what I wanted to do with all of the apples (crisps, cobblers, pies, loaf cakes, bundt cakes, fritters, etc.), but alas we ate most of the apples as is, in all of their juicy, crisp, and sweet glory 🙂

While I’ve set aside a few apples for a pie (a must in Autumn!), I decided to make a batch of cinnamon rolls studded with diced apples. The combination of apples and cinnamon is one that I cannot resist, and it’s one of the reasons I look forward to the harvest of the fall season.

(Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.)

 

AppleCinnamonRollsPic

 

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 16 Rolls

Ingredients:

For Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced into ½-inch chunks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Dough:

  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ½ – 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For Glaze:

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Make Filling:

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples and salt and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon, and stir to thoroughly combine. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the apples are cooked through and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Remove apple mixture from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside and cool completely before using.

(Note: Filling can be made beforehand and kept in the refrigerator.)

Make Dough:

Scald milk in a saucepan over medium heat (when milk is warm and small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Do not boil.). Pour milk into a large bowl, and add butter, sugar, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Allow milk mixture to cool until lukewarm.

Add eggs and yeast, and mix until combined.

Add 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, and knead on low speed for several minutes. Add additional flour, up to 1 cup, in increments, until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead for an addition 2 minutes.

Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover, and set aside until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

Line two 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Punch dough down and divide into two portions. Roll each portion out, on a lightly floured surface, into a large rectangle, about 12” x 15”. Spread apple filling evenly over each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. Begin rolling at the long end, trying to keep as much of the filling inside the roll. Once rolled, the edges can be pinched together to form a seal.

Using a sharp knife, cut off and dispose of the ends of the roll. Divide each log into 8 portions, and slice.   Place the rolls in the pans, spaced no more than 1-inch apart, cut side up. Any leaked filling can be spooned over the tops of the rolls. Cover lightly, and set aside to rise until doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Once rolls have risen, uncover and bake until golden around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make Glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla, until smooth. Drizzle over slightly cooled rolls.

Apple and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

Since discovering the amazing taste and texture of Steel Cut Oats versus regular old-fashioned rolled oats, I’ve been trying new combinations of flavors regularly.  One combination that I keep coming back to is the classic cinnamon and apple combo.  I just cannot resist the aroma of apples simmering in cinnamon!  I used the base of my basic Steel Cut Oats recipe and tweaked this recipe from Taste of Home to create a delicious, healthy, and hearty breakfast.

Enjoy! 🙂

AppleCinnamonSteelCutOatmealPic

 

 

Apple And Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

Yield:  4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup raisins (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Chopped nuts, for garnish (optional)
  • Maple syrup, for serving (optional)

Directions:

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add oats and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add apple, raisins (if using), brown sugar, cinnamon, and boiling water.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.  Do not stir.

Add milk and salt, stir, cover, and cook for an additional 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the oatmeal to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with nuts and maple syrup, if desired.

Apple and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

I cannot resist the heavenly combination of apples and cinnamon.  There is just something so divine about the pairing of both that I just can’t help myself.  This oatmeal is a combination of my obsession with apple+cinnamon and my newfound obsession with oatmeal.  It’s almost like having dessert for breakfast, minus the guilt 😉

AppleAndCinnamonBakedOatmealPic

Apple and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Yield:  4 Servings

Ingredients:

For cooked apples:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

For oatmeal:

  • 1 ½ cup steel cut oats
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Make cooked apples:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add sliced apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar and stir to coat evenly.  Cook until the apples are golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes, and stir occasionally.  Remove from heat.

Make Oatmeal:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased baking dish.

Place steel cut oats and butter in a large bowl.  Pour hot water over the oats and cover.  Allow it to stand for 20 minutes.

After the oats have finished soaking, stir in the old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, maple syrup (or honey), and vanilla.  Add liquid to oats and stir to combine.

Spread cooked apples over the bottom of the baking dish.  Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the apples.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.

(Adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Daring Bakers: Pies- Apple Pie

It’s that time of the month again!  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who are assigned a “secret” challenge at the beginning of each month.  The 27th of each month is the “reveal” date, in which those who blog can write about their experiences and recipes for the challenge.

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie!  I was so excited when I found out what this month’s challenge was, because I’ve been waiting for an excuse to make apple pie at home for what seems like an eternity!

The recipe that I always go back to whenever I make apple pie is one that a good friend shared (Muni, haaaaay girl!).  The piecrust is an Ina Garten creation, but has been adapted to replace the shortening with additional butter and a few other changes that my friend suggested.  The resulting piecrust is buttery, flakey, and perfectly browned when baked.  The apple filling is pretty basic, and more spices can be added for an even more flavorful pie.  I personally love the combination of apples and cinnamon, so I leave other spices out and let these two work their magic 😉 but feel free to add or subtract whatever your heart desires!

That's my little boy trying to steal a bite while I was trying to take pictures!

That’s my little boy trying to steal a bite while I was taking pictures!

Apple Pie (Double Crust)

Yield:  1- 9”Pie

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, very cold, diced
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup water, very cold
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

For Filling:

  • 5 – 6 baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Make Crust:

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add diced butter and pulse 8 to 10 times, until the butter is pea-sized.  With the machine running, slowly add water and vinegar, pulsing until the dough begins to form a ball.  Transfer dough to plastic wrap, form into a ball, wrap completely and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into two portions.  Roll each portion on a lightly floured surface into a large circle, big enough to fit inside the pie plate.  Transfer and fit one crust to the pie plate, lightly brush with egg white, and freeze for ten minutes.

Remove from freezer, brush once again with egg white, add filling, and add top crust.

Make Filling:

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Combine all ingredients for filling, making sure to mix well so that all of the apple slices are coated.

Pour filling over prepared piecrust, add top crust, and lightly brush the top with remaining egg white.  Sprinkle additional sugar over the top crust.  Cut a few slits into the top to allow steam to escape during baking.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 375˚ and continue baking for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top of the pie is golden brown.

Cool completely, and refrigerate any leftovers.

Apple Crisp

It’s been quite a while since I last posted.  The past several weeks have been quite mentally exhausting.  We’ve been dealing with death, family health problems, and travelling.  Like a fool, I looked up stuff relating to the health problems my family is facing on Wikipedia and sunk into a deeper depression.  Quite honestly, I just haven’t had the energy or motivation to blog lately.

This past weekend, however, was uplifting.  My dear childhood friend, Aiysha, came to visit us with her husband.  We’ve known each other since Junior High and we grew up near each other in California.  Sometimes we talk about how crazy it is that even though we both are from California, we’re hanging out together in the Midwest 🙂

So Aiysha is an amazing photographer and I asked her to bring her fancy camera with her to take pictures of the food.  The photo below is of her amazing technique.  It’s a humble apple crisp (apple crumble anyone?).  I found the recipe here and adapted it based on the reviews.  Let’s just say that this, and my dear friend’s company, was the perfect way to lift my spirits.

Apple Crisp

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Apple Filling:

  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine all of the apple filling ingredients and place at the bottom of a greased casserole dish.

Combine all of the dry ingredients for the crumb topping together.  Add the melted butter and mix well.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.