When your holiday company is staying for a few days, you want to serve memorable meals that no one will notice are gluten free. You might have to wake up before your guests to prepare these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls, but they will be worth answering that early alarm.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or regular milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or non-dairy butter plus ½ teaspoon, divided
- 2 ¼-ounce packages rapid-rise instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus a pinch, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, plus more for rolling out
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup softened unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
- ½ cup caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade
Place the milk and 6 tablespoons butter in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool until mixture reaches 110° F. Once cooled, add the yeast and let activate for 10 minutes. Next add the sugar, salt and vanilla, and let sit another minute.
Add the flour to the milk mixture ½ cup at a time. Stir between each addition and stop when the dough is no longer sticky. You may not need the entire 4 cups or you may need an extra tablespoon or two of flour depending on how sticky your dough is. Form dough into a ball, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
While dough is rising, heat a large pan over medium heat and add the ½ teaspoon butter. Add the diced apples and pinch of salt and cook until apples are softened, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix until combined; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cover a large flat surface with plastic wrap. You will need to overlap 2 or 3 pieces to make sure you have a large enough space. Sprinkle plastic wrap with a small amount of flour and turn dough onto the plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle shape, until dough is about ¼-inch thick and approximately
20 x 12 inches wide.
Spread the softened butter onto the dough and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar mixture. Top with the cooked apples and chopped walnuts. Use the plastic wrap to lift the dough and tightly roll it up, removing the wrap as you do. Carefully wrap the cinnamon log in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to make it easier to cut the cinnamon rolls.
Cut the cinnamon log into 1-inch thick slices and place each slice in a 12-inch oven-safe pan. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with caramel sauce. Best when served warm.
Nutrition Analysis: 390 cal, 16 g fat, 25 mg chol, 95 mg sodium, 60 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 25 g sugar, 6 g protein.
Isadora Lassance lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband and their orange cat, Cheeto. A regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living, she also blogs about whole food and seasonal ingredients at shelikesfood.com.