Tuesday, October 26, 2010


APPLE CINNAMON ROLLS - a recipe for kids

Johnny Who? The only Johnny we are well acquainted with in my home these days is a Gentleman that goes by the name of Walker; Johnnie Walker that is, and preferably the Black Label of sorts. That is until . . . my daughter brought home her kindergarten project referencing a Johnny Appleseed. I had long since forgotten the tales of this enchanting legend. It is said that he pioneered his way west, resourcefully acquiring the unwanted apple seeds from cider houses and planting nurseries along his many travels.

Johnny Appleseed was an American folkloric hero in the truest sense. It is said his love blossomed beyond the fruit and reached down to the very roots of humanity. While he could have been a notorious entrepreneur, he chose rather to live a simple life, providing the bounties of nature to even those without means of payment. He wore rags, often bartering his better clothing, and even shoes, with ones that he suspected were in deeper need than himself.

I was pleased to hear that the exceptional efforts of this extraordinary man are still being taught. In honor of Johnny, we baked these very tasty, commemorative Apple Cinnamon Rolls and presented them to my daughter's kindergarten class on their "Apple Day" celebration.

4 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tbs Granulated Sugar
1 tbs Honey
1 pkg. Dry Active Yeast
2 tbs. Butter
3/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Egg
1/2 cup Milk

2 cups Peeled & Diced Granny Smith Apples
3 tbs. Butter
3 tbs. Granulated Sugar
2 tbs. Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tbs. Cinnamon
1/8 cup Quick Oats

Our young chef begins the dish by adding 1-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour to a large mixing bowl and sprinkling in the Yeast. To a small (cold) sauce pan, she adds the Unsweetened Apple Sauce, Milk, 2 tbs. Butter, 2 tbs. Granulated Sugar and Salt. The pan is stirred and warmed over medium heat until the butter is almost melted (about 120º F). This mixture is then added to the Flour & Yeast along with 1 Beaten Egg.

Using an electric mixer, our chef beats the ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds. After scraping down the edges of the bowl, she beats the mixture on high speed for about 3 minutes. An additional 2-1/4 cups Flour are spooned into the mixture and stirred with a wooden spoon.

The dough is then turned out onto a lightly floured work surface where it is kneaded by hand for approximately 3-5 minutes. The remaining 1/4 flour is added as needed to keep the dough from sticking. The end result should be a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic.

Our chef shapes the dough into a ball and places it in a large lightly greased bowl. The bowl is covered and set to rest in a warm area while the dough doubles in volume (about 1 hour). Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover the dough once again and allow it to rest while the filling is prepared.

Our chef begins the filling by peeling and dicing 2 cups of Granny Smith Apples. The 3 tbs. of Butter is melted in a sauce pan over medium heat and the Apples, 3 tbs. Granulated Sugar, 2 tbs. Maple Syrup, 1/2 tsp. Vanilla and 1 tbs. Cinnamon are added. This is stirred and cooked over medium-low heat until the apples are soft. The 1/8 cup Quick Oats are added and the mixture is taken off the heat to cool.

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 375º F

Our chef divides the dough into 2 halves and forms a 12" rectangle out of each section. She spreads the apple filling evenly over both rectangles and rolls them up, sealing the edge with a gentle pinch closed. The roll is sliced into 12 pieces. Our chef places each piece, cut side down, into lightly buttered individual cups of a muffin tin. The tins are covered and placed in a warm area while the rolls double in size (about 30 minutes).

The rolls are baked in a 375º F oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

I do hope this recipe inspires you not only indulge in the sweetness of the apple, but to return the favor to Mother Nature by opening a small hole in the soil and returning the seed to whence it comes. As always, if you have a recipe or cooking project that was a winner with your child, please email it to me at: info@chefsemporium.net, and we hope to see you again soon at The Chef's Emporium.