Spiced Apple Rum Rolls with Caramel Icing Recipe

| 10/9/2014 9:20:00 AM

Apples are like a blank canvas. They can be sweet or tart. They can be crisp or savory. Apples connect us to our heritage—who doesn’t know the Johnny Appleseed story?—yet are a modern trend too (note the increased interest in alcoholic sparkling ciders). Apples are as patriotic as a food can be: they go in apple pie and provide us with close family activities too, like the annual apple pressing.

We tuck apples into sweets like candied apples, apple tarts, and applesauce. We spice them up in recipes like spiced crabapples and apple butter or even rosehip-apple butter. Apples add a little something extra to savory dishes too like the delicious apple-turkey casserole my mother made every year with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Apples sing when combined with cinnamon and other warm spices, rum or brandy, and nuts. So I decided to use them all and update my old cinnamon roll recipe. I used two old-fashioned apple varieties, Golden Delicious and Jonathan, but any apples would work in this recipe. Personally I would avoid extremely sweet apples like Fujis or Honeycrisp, but I that’s because I prefer less sweet cinnamon rolls. That’s also why this recipe avoids the traditional frosting and uses a caramel drizzle instead.

For the Sweet Rolls

• 1 cup lukewarm milk
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tbsp instant dry yeast
• 2 eggs, room temperature
• 3 Tbsp butter, melted
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 1/2 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the Spiced Apple Rum Filling

• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 1  tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground allspice
• 1/2 tsp ground cloves
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1–2 tbsp dark rum or brandy
• 2 large apples, cored and diced
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Caramel Icing

• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 1/2 tbsp milk

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