Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Cider Salted Caramel Sauce

We got a car!!!!!

More specifically, my husband picked out a certified pre-owned mini-van. He got it Friday night and now I’m in love with it.

I loved our Rav 4, but it wasn’t going to work out for us long term with 2 kids and 2 dogs. We are active with friends and family so then we can’t travel with any of them. Sure, someone could squeeze between 2 car seats but that’s not too fun. And, what do we do if we want to bring one of the kids friends with us for something? We certainly wouldn’t be able to get 3 carseats/booster seats in the back.

So now we have a Honda Odyssey that has more cup holders in it than I know what to do with. Seriously, that is what I snapped to Amanda when I first got into it. And, of course, my husband is like, enough with the cup holders! Do you actually like it?!?!?” Yes, I love it. It’s so great.

Now I need to find the perfect political bumper stickers to slap on there. And I need a Vineyard Vines’ pink whale on it. Isn’t that just perfect? The preppiest bumper sticker ever with a “Pod Loves America” sticker?! HAHAHA

Anyway… cinnamon rolls!!!!

 

Guys, I learned something very valuable the first time that I made these… don’t put cinnamon in the dough. At least not the quantity that I put in. Cinnamon is acidic and can retard the yeast from getting its bubble on. It rose well-ish over night, but didn’t do another successful rise when rolled out the dough and made the cinnamon rolls. I baked them up anyway just to taste the flavor, which was good,but the texture was horrible.

So, repeat after me, do not put a lot of cinnamon in the dough.

Okay, so now we that all learned something from my fail, let’s make great Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls!!!

Secondly, in my adventures in making a crap ton of cinnamon rolls this year, do not over work the dough, or roll it out too thinly. It breaks up the bubbles in the dough, so keep that in mind when you are making them. You really want to keep the dough to be at least 1/4″ thick.

The apple cider salt caramel sauce is everything on these cinnamon rolls. EVERYTHING.

If nothing else, just make the caramel sauce and put it on everything. But you really need to take the time to follow the instructions. I make this sauce all the time in the fall and once I was rushing and didn’t make the sauce syrupy enough at first and when I added the rest of the ingredients it was a mess. I was sorta able to  salvage it, but just follow the directions and take your time. It’s soooo worth the time babying it.

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Cider Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 12 cinnamon rolls*

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • 2 large baking apples- cored and then sliced into 1/8″ thick slices
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 2 Cups apple cider
  • 1 Cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into a smooth ball. Add the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a 9x 13 baking pan.
  6. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″ x 1/4″ thick
  7. Evenly arrange the apple slices on the dough in rows along the entire length of the dough. Keep the apple slices 1″ back from the edge where the cinnamon rolls are sealed, when rolled. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon.
  8. Roll the long edge towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange the cinnamon rolls in the baking pan.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare your caramel sauce. Using a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, bring the apple cider to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and slowly cook until cider has reduced from 2 cups to 1/4 Cup. It will be fairly thick and syrupy at this point. Stir occasionally.
  11. Add the sugar, cream, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring continuously. You’ll want it to be syrupy at this point.
  12. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Add 1/2 teaspoon  the sea salt, mix well. Add more to desired taste. Transfer to a heat-proof container and let cool.
  13. Serve your warm cinnamon rolls with a healthy drizzling of caramel. (You will likely have to reheat the caramel sauce for drizzling consistency if it cools or you store it for a few days as the caramel thicken as it cools.)

Caramel adapted from Bashful Bao

*I purposefully rolled out my cinnamon rolls to be smaller and more than 12 so that I could share at work. Typically, I would just make 12 cinnamon rolls, as the recipe states.

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Peach Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have to go back to work tomorrow and let’s just say that I am less than thrilled.

‘Maternity Leave’ in the United States blows. It really does. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) just mandates that your job is held for 12 weeks, but really that is just not enough. And I know that I am lucky that I could take that as I know some people that take less for various (mostly financial) reasons. It’s really not fair that it’s just 12 weeks, nor guaranteed to be paid.

On the other hand, so super ‘thankful’ that I had a repeat C-section, which means that… drum roll please… I got 8 weeks of short term disability, instead of 6 weeks, which is standard for a vaginal delivery. Umm, what?!?!? That is the stupidest thing ever. Sure, I’m glad I got an extra 2 weeks of 60% of my standard pay, but what?! The surgery and the recovery suck, but to say that I deserve more than someone that pushed a baby out of her V is stupid. There are plenty of complications related to that as well. Again, the US is stupid.

So back to work I go tomorrow. Hunter is going to the same daycare as Autumn, which at least makes things easier. Not so easy on the wallet, but that’s life, I guess.

I have a sign in our office that is a great Mindy Kaling quote. It says “Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched.” It’s become a life motto of mine at this point. I bought this years ago and it has been what gets me through crappy days. And what inspires me to buy so many lipglosses and lip sticks. (Sign by YellowHeartArt)

So I will be wearing some fun lip gloss tomorrow. And waterproof mascara.

Now, on to more enjoyable things… peaches!!!

I had to sneak in 1 more peach recipe for ya before everyone is like ‘OMG! APPLES!!!! PUMPKINS!!!” Oh wait, they already are. Let’s calm down people and enjoy the last of the stone fruit before we get assaulted with apple this and pumpkin spice that.

So here is one last summery recipe for you to enjoy with your juicy peaches. You won’t be able to resist these Peach Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting. The cinnamon rolls are awesome, but the added peaches make them so much better. The natural sweetness of the peaches is heightened from the sugary filling. And the cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch!

I brought these to our friend’s house this past weekend as there was a group of us hanging out for the ‘big fight’. They all disappeared in the course of the night.

Be sure to savor the last of summer with these delightful rolls!

Peach Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • 2 large peaches
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/1 – 1 teaspoon milk

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into a smooth ball. Add the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  6. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″.
  7. Thinly slice the peaches, set aside.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Starting 1″ from the edge along the far end of the long side, evenly arrange the peaches from end to end.
  9. Roll the long edge towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese until there are no lumps, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Then add in the 1/2 teaspoon of milk, beat until smooth. Only add in more milk to reach desired consistency. Spread all over the warm cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Nutty Cinnamon Rolls

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So we bought our house on Friday!!!!

And now we can’t move.

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I mean, we are actually moving out of my dad’s house, but physically, I am walking like an old woman who needs a cane. I didn’t do heavy lifting since I’m 6 months preggo, but I was still on my feet most of the weekend unpacking stuff. And that is a big change from my M-F, 9-5 routine of sitting on my ass all day.

But I am just so excited about the house being finally done. There are a few things they need to fix, but they are minor so no big. I am looking forward to bringing back up a kitchen filler panel millwork issue that I brought up with them weeks ago to which I got the lovely “well, that’s how we do it” response to which I said “just because you do it that way, doesn’t mean it’s right.” And now I have a legit argument for why they should have done it the way I told them to do it. Yo, mofo’s I do this for a living too, and I’m right…

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Other than that things are going smoothly and I figure I will be walking like a normal person again in like 2 weeks. ha!

I will share pictures really soon of the house and then in the coming weeks I will show how we have decorated each room. Our dining room is already in good shape so it just needs some decor up, which I have most of. yay!! So I think I will start with that.

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In the mean time, enjoy these Nutty Cinnamon Rolls. They are a subtle twist on the classic with the addition of nuts. Take the time to finely chop them and toast them and you’ll love what they add to your cinnamon rolls.

If you haven’t yet tried vanilla bean paste then I urge you to get some ASAP and give it a try. If you can’t get it then I really suggest that you use a vanilla bean for the glaze. It gives it great flavor and it’s super pretty to see all those specks. Just so fancy!

My dad hates nuts in baked goods (as well as ricotta in lasagna! what?!) but he happily gobbled one of these up. So I bet you will like them too!

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Nutty Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup finely chopped toasted walnuts/pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 vanilla bean paste/vanilla bean caviar

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into a smooth ball. Add the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  6. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″. Evenly spread out the melted butter on the dough. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon, brown sugar, and nuts.
  7. Roll the long edge towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Make the glaze by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Drizzle all over the cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

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This weekend was all sorts of perfect.

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My brother and his family came in on Friday night for vacation. It’s been a year+ since we have seen each other so it was great getting to hang out and catch up. Best of all was the girls playing really well together, like they had just seen each other the weekend before. And the age different (3 & 6) even worked out well.

On Saturday we went Strawberry picking. So fun with the girls. And delicious. I made biscuits for shortcake for dessert that night. It was great with the grilled veggies, burgers, and hot dogs that we enjoyed for dinner. So yummy.

Besides that they also had a blast putting on tons of make up from my big makeup kit. Shoot, as long as you are not fighting, yelling, or destroying something… do whatever. They were so proud of themselves as well. But, let’s be real, they need to work on their eye liner application skills. ha!

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And then Sunday was all about hanging by the pool. We had a leisurely morning enjoying breakfast before we headed out to the pool. The weather was great and the pool was warm so we had a blast lounging around and playing with the girls in the pool. Autumn was so worn out that she napped on me for 2.5 hours as we sat by the pool. I even napped. The best kind of day ever.

More family came over later on and we made homemade pizza (of course the girls wanted boxed mac and cheese…). The night wrapped up with baths and girls cuddled up to me while I read to them.

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I am loving this year’s weekly recipe theme. I love working with dough and perfuming our house with cinnamon and sugar is just so fun. Plus, it’s fun as hell to come up with different flavors and combinations for the cinnamon rolls, monkey breads, and pull apart breads. And since we can’t possibly eat them all, I love getting to share with with our neighbors when they are fresh out of the oven.

Rock on Monkey Bread Mondays!

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If you love peanut butter then you will looooooove these cinnamon rolls. There is just the right amount of peanut butter in them where you can taste it, and smell it, but it’s balanced out so nicely with the typical cinnamon and sugar in cinnamon rolls. Plus, the jam glaze on top rocks.

I always make PBJ’s with strawberry jelly so it just felt right to use that for the glaze, but if you like grape or something else then just give that a try. I bet a blueberry jam would be awesome on it too. No matter what, you can’t go wrong.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1/2 Cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 Tablespoons orange juice

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into an even ball. Add the dough to a large oiled bowl. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is rising, cut the bacon into very small pieces and cook. Drain well and set aside.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  7. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″.
  8. Mix the peanut butter into the melt butter and then evenly spread out on the dough.
  9. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  10. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While the rolls are baking, warm the strawberry preserves and orange juice together; mix well. Drizzle all over the baked cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

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We had our first big boo boo with Autumn this weekend. Poor thing!

After a busy Saturday, I was wrapping things up with a trip to the grocery store. I had just gotten back when the princess requested some water. I brought her up a cup which was not acceptable, she wanted a bottle. Umm no, you’re 3. You can drink it out of the cup. She threw herself on the floor in a fit because I said I wasn’t going back down to bring her back up a bottle.

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Now, she doesn’t normally throw herself into such fits, but she threw up on Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday morning so she wasn’t feeling 100% like herself. So maybe I should have cut her some slack but I still had groceries to unpack and water is water in any cup, so chill.

Price went to comfort her but his hands were full with the carpet cleaner since he had just shampooed the rugs (I mentioned the throw up, right?). So we ended up with one of those moments when 2 people lean in at the same time and collide. She made contact with the carpet cleaner and BAM! tooth through the lip and lots of blood.

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Thankfully, it stopped bleeding in just a few minutes and didn’t do any real damage that some kids Advil, ice, and cuddles couldn’t fix. And it’s just about completely healed at this point. She still has this (cute) puffy lip and puffy cheek. It makes me want to kiss it 1,000x times a day.

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Anyway, these Cinnamon rolls are a diet buster. And I’m not sorry about it.

I think that if you are going to treat yourself then you should treat yourself. These are not a daily thing, or even weekly thing. Trust me. Don’t totally up the calories!!! Dear lord…

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But it’s fun for a treat since they are nice soft cinnamon rolls that are stuffed full of chocolate and bacon. The finishing touch is the brown sugar glaze.

I suggest cutting up the bacon with a scissor prior to cooking it. I find that produces evenly cooked bacon that is sized nicely.

If you don’t have mini chocolate chips on hand then finely chop up some chocolate bars instead.

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All that matters is that there is bacon and chocolate in them. That is all that matters in life. For real. This is fact.

Shoot, enjoy them. You only live once.

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 Cup (6 ounces) mini chocolate chips
  • 8 ounce of bacon

For the glaze

  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup milk

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into an even ball. Add the dough to a large oiled bowl. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is rising, cut the bacon into very small pieces and cook. Drain well and set aside.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  7. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″. Evenly spread out the melted butter on the dough. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon, brown sugar, chocolate chips, and the bacon.
  8. Roll towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. When the rolls are done, make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small pot over medium-high heat. Mix often while you bring it to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Drizzle all over the cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!