Nothing screams autumn quite like a crisp apple. While apples arrive in masses at the grocery stores each fall, you can usually find them in abundance most times of the year too. And of all the ways to consume apples, one of the best ways includes via baked goods. In particular, the apple cinnamon roll is guaranteed to get you into the fall spirit, and best of all, it's so simple to make.
No matter if your cinnamon roll is made from scratch or with a trusty pre-made dough, it could use a bit of apple love. In addition to a cinnamon roll's standard brown sugar-cinnamon filling, to make it apple-forward, simply add an even layer of chopped apples and roll up the dough. If you're using pre-made rolls, it's no crime to unroll the dough in order to stick the apples in. Alternatively -- or in addition to fresh apples -- spread on some apple jam or apple sauce (the chunkier the better) on the dough before rolling it up. After baking, top the warm rolls with icing, and your comforting apple cinnamon roll will be ready to eat.
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How To Get The Most Apple Flavor
To pay homage to the fall harvest, maximizing the apple flavor in the cinnamon roll is ideal. It has been widely agreed upon that the best type of apple for baking is the Granny Smith. These apples are tart and hold their shape, but ultimately, any apples you have on the counter will do. Really, it all comes down to the creative methods you use to extract every last drop of flavor from the apples.
For instance, to achieve the most apple flavor, you can boil down apple cider to get a flavor-packed syrup that can be mixed into the pastry dough or used in icing to top the freshly baked cinnamon rolls. If you don't want to buy this extra ingredient, look to your apples for their natural juices. Let the chopped apples sit in a bowl with some sugar for about 30 minutes, or until juices are piled up at the bottom of the bowl. Then, take this drained juice and boil it down to incorporate it into the cinnamon roll icing.
Another tip for maintaining optimal flavor is to keep the skins on the apple. However, if you don't like the texture of apple skins in a baked good, an easy hack is to finely grate the skins and sprinkle them onto the cinnamon roll filling. This method eliminates unwanted texture and maxes out on every bit of natural flavor the apple has to offer.
Read the original article on Mashed.