I think I discovered the acceptable secret to outsmarting Monday mornings…or Tuesday through Thursday for that matter.
It’s cinnamon rolls.
Kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise is a Sunday afternoon dream. And the thought of a cinnamon roll and coffee breakfast is enough to wake up for even when there is freezing rain on the roof and a serious to-do list at the office come Monday.
I can deal with grown up life when cinnamon sugar is involved.
Another thing…I may have also discovered the secrets to the omgbestcinnamonrollever. (Sorry…sort of.)
Cardamom and nutmeg are combined with the traditional brown sugar and cinnamon filling in these rolls. It’s a simple addition that brings a lot of extra flavor. It tastes a little like fall..when we’re wishing for spring. Whatever.
These cinnamon rolls sit on thinly sliced apple rounds as they bake, infusing the dough with apples and creating a baked apple/cinnamon roll hybrid. I don’t like waking up for much on Monday mornings…but this is definitely worth it.
You should know. I wanted (a lot) to fold these apple rings into the cinnamon roll. It was a disaster. And after the cinnamon rolls baked I realized, it would have added a lot of apple juice to the roll, making it soggy. Some successes are totally accidental. Okay…most.
Example two. I only mixed the icing ingredients in the pot with the (cooled) browned butter because I wanted to eliminate an extra dish to wash. (The fact that I’m (finally) thinking this way is all sorts of impressive.) I know now that this is the only way to do it. All of the little bits of browned butter that otherwise get stuck at the bottom of the pan folded perfectly into the icing. Sometimes…I can’t even deal.
Do you have time for cinnamon rolls in your week?
Please say yes.
Apple Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Icing
adapted from Cooking Light
1 cup warm (100°-110° F) low fat milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 packed (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
3 3/4 cup flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
nonstick cooking spray
3 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Browned Butter Icing:
3 tablespoons butter, browned
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
To make the rolls, stir warm milk, melted butter, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and yeast in the bottom of a large mixing bowl; let stand five minutes. Add egg and granulated sugar to the bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour. Let stand 10 minutes. Add in remaining 2 3/4 cups flour and salt, and knead using the dough hook of a stand mixer, for about 5 minutes. Place dough in a separate bowl coated with cooking spray, turning the top to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm area for 35 minutes. Punch dough down, cover and let rise another 35 minutes.
Roll dough out into an 18×11″ rectangle. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and spices. Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle generously with brown sugar and spices. Starting at a short side, roll dough. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces.
Peel and core apples. Slice into thin rounds and place in the bottom of a greased 9×13″ pan, in 12 stacks. (You should get a few slices in each stack.) Set a cinnamon roll atop each stack of apples. Cover the pan and let it sit in a warm area, allowing the rolls to rise for an additional 35 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 25-28 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the icing by browning butter, and removing from heat to cool entirely. Whisk in heavy cream and vanilla extract, then powdered sugar. Drizzle generously over rolls immediately upon removing from oven. Serve warm, or store overnight in the refrigerator and reheat the next morning.