Piles of orange and red leaves. Beautiful, moody light. Scarves, jackets and boots. Sipping hot, mulled wine on a German sidewalk. The scent of wood-burning fireplaces in the air.
I'm totally missing the change of the seasons. Not that I don't appreciate the warmth that comes with living in a Mediterranean country, I'm SO not complaining about that. But after spending the past three years where the fall was practically perfect I find myself longing for quiet Sunday afternoons kicking my way through the red and orange leaves around the lake in town. There's not much visible change marking the seasons here except the ripening of the oranges and lemons in my yard. Beautiful and tasty in it's own right, but not quite what I picture fall to look like.
But I'm making up for the lack of fall in my life by baking up all of the apples. Like all of them in all of Athens. Every single time I pass the fruit and veggie stand I stop and pick up a half dozen. It's helping a little. This particular recipe definitely makes things feel a bit more autumnal. It's apple pie without all of the fuss of making a pie crust. Oh, and no yeast! This is not a two day, overnight sort of cinnamon roll. But don't let that fool you into thinking that these are inferior in any way. because they're so totally not. They're soft and tender, with a sweet buttery center full of all things fall. The scent will make all your troubles float away on warm spiced cloud. It's really the best.
Apple Pie Quick Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 16 rolls. Recipe only slightly adapted from In Jennie's Kitchen.
For the printable recipe, click here.
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbs butter, melted
2 medium apples, cut into eighths and sliced thinly
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
7 tbs butter, melted and cooled, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbs milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix the filling ingredients, except the apples, in a small bowl and set aside.
Make the dough by whisking together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir the buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of the butter together. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough. Knead the dough with your hands a few times and then divide the dough into two equal portions.
On a lightly floured surface roll or gently press each ball of dough into a rectangle measuring rough 12 x 8 inches. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the two rectangles leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Gently press the filling mixture into the dough. Spread the apple slices over the filling mixture. Roll up each rectangle of dough into a log starting from the 12 inch sides. Pinch the ends closed. Cut each log into 8 equal pieces.
Brush 1 tablespoon of the remaining melted butter on the insides of an 11 x 8 inch baking dish. Place the cinnamon rolls cut side up into the baking dish. Brush the rest of the butter over the rolls and then bake for 20 minutes. The tops will be golden and the filling bubbling up from the insides. Let the cinnamon rolls cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, stir together the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
Drizzle the tops of the cinnamon rolls with the icing. Serve the rolls warm. They will keep for up to three days covered with foil on the counter.