Monday, March 4, 2013

Apricot Maple Cinnamon Rolls

I feel like I could post a picture and present without comment (but I'm a chatterbox so that would be impossible to do). However, I essentially did just that on my Facebook page and boy-oh-boy did the offers start rolling in! I had one friend beg me to come back to Seattle, another started plotting a road trip over to Madison and all the while, "A" is gloating in the glory that is homemade apricot maple cinnamon rolls. Freshly baked on a Sunday morning. All to himself. Even though I did offer up the leftovers, no one seemed willing to make the journey. Oh well, "A's" gain.

While I was ambitious enough to make cinnamon rolls for our weekly Sunday brunch, I was just lazy enough to do the prep work the night before. Make the rolls according the directions but instead of having them do the final rise on the counter, plop them in the fridge overnight for a slow rise. The next morning, bring them to room temperature on the counter before baking.

The thing is, friends, these rolls are shockingly uncomplicated to make. Granted, I do have a KitchenAid stand mixer to do most of the dirty work for me. Even if you don't have a mixer, the dough is so soft and pliable that it would be too difficult to work with by hand.

Apricot Maple Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook

  • for the dough:
  • 2¼ tsp. (1 pkg) active-dry yeast
  • ½ tsp. + ¼ scant cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water, lukewarm (~115° F)
  • ½ cup almond milk milk, at room temp.
  • 2 TBSP. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour + more for kneading
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. (½ cup) goat butter, softened

for the filling:
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 TBSP. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 3 TBS. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup goat butter butter, melted

for the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ⅛ cup almond milk

  1. Combine yeast, ½ tsp. of sugar, and water in the bowl of a mixer. Stir and let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining sugar, almond milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat until well combined. Using a dough hook, add flour and salt to bowl and mix at medium speed until dough just begins to come together. Turn mixer to medium-high and knead for ~4 minutes.
  3. Add the softened butter and continue to knead for ~6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Knead in another ⅓-½ cup of flour into the dough. Dough should be just slightly tacky and very soft, but it should not stick to your hands.
  4. Place in a large, greased boil. Cover with plastic or clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

  1. While dough is rising, combine sugar, walnuts, apricots, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a medium bowl. Stir in the maple syrup and set aside.

Dough (again):
  1. When dough has doubled in bulk, tip it out of the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding ~3 Tbs of flour as needed for ~2 minutes. At this point, the dough is soft, silky, supple, and totally sexy. Let rest on counter for 5 minutes.
  2. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into roughly a 10"x20" rectangle. Position dough so that the long sides are parallel to you (you'll be rolling from the long side). Brush about half of the melted butter over the top of the dough, enough to coat it well.
  3. Dump all of the filling onto the buttered dough and spread evenly, leaving a 1" border at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed. Lightly press the filling into the dough.
  4. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch all along the edge to seal. Place dough, seam side down, on a cutting board. Cut into equal slices.
  5. Arrange slices, cut side up, in a greased pan (I used a large pie pan). Each roll will have a bit of space on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 ½-2 hours, until they've puffed up nice and big and are touching. (NOTE: is you would like to refrigerate overnight, place the covered unbaked rolls into the fridge at this point. Bring to room temperature before baking.) Place oven rack in upper ⅓ of oven and preheat oven to 375° F during last 15 minutes of rise time.
  6. Slide into preheated oven and bake for ~30 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Rub some goat butter on the rolls just after you've pulled them from the oven.

  1. While the rolls are cooling slightly, whisk together the powdered sugar and almond milk until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls.
  2. Share with friends. Make people happy. Smile.

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