cinnamon rolls


At work the other day, we were talking about trying to make our morning coffee a bit more healthy. For anyone not from Minnesota, breakfast is the first meal of the day, dinner is at noon, and supper is in the evening. Coffee is the meal between breakfast and dinner or between dinner and supper. And as Aunt Elsie always said, “you have to have coffee somewhere.”

We had tried summer sausage, fruit, and even bars, but were still looking for something better. If you are not familiar with bars, they are sort of like cookies, only way superior, and you have my sympathy if you are not familiar with them.

How about cinnamon rolls? OK, but maybe a bit healthier. How about apple cinnamon rolls? I’ve never heard of that. Well, I can make up a recipe…

3 to 4 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 stick butter
2 cups chopped apple
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Milk to thin to consistency wanted

Heat milk to the boiling point, remove from heat and add 4 tbsp butter. When butter is melted and milk has cooled to about 110 degrees, mix with 3 cups flour, the sugar, salt and yeast and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to make a soft dough. I like to use my bread maker on the dough setting instead of mixing and kneading by hand.

Let dough rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour. Roll out on a floured surface to about a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. Spread about 1 stick of softened butter over surface, leaving about 1/2 inch along the long side. Evenly spread chopped apple over the butter, sprinkle with a little flour and the cinnamon and brown sugar.

Roll up from the long edge, pinch edge together, and cut into 15 slices. Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and let rise about 35 minutes. Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting or glaze.

After trying these, we decided they do not need any frosting or glaze. I did say healthy. If you have a bit more of a sweet tooth, you may disagree. And you may want to use more brown sugar in the filling. These could also be made without apples, for the pure at heart.