Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled to warm
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, add yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar to the lukewarm water and let it sit until it dissolves, about 10 minutes. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, (or a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer) add scalded milk, melted butter, egg, remaining sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Add half of the flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and continue to mix on low. Slowly add the remaining flour (if using an electric mixer you will have to stop when it’s getting hard to mix and use a wooden spoon to incorporate the rest of the four as best you can- the motor of the electric mixer will burn out- then turn dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, folding the dough over onto itself and pushing down repeatedly). For a stand mixer, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough, place in a greased bowl, cover, and set aside on countertop or warm place. Let it rise until it is double in size, about 2 hours.
While dough is rising, make the filling. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter and sugar in a large skillet, then add the apples. Sauté until apples are slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.
When dough has risen, remove cover and, using your fist, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll out on a well-floured surface into a 16x24 inch rectangle and spread the remaining 2 tablespoons butter almost out to the edges, but not quite. Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly across the butter. Spread the apple mixture over the brown sugar as evenly as you can. Roll into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches. Cut 2 inch slices, this will give you 12 cinnamon rolls.
Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment. The cinnamon roll slices close together, but not touching, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is doubled, 1 1/2-2 hours.
While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, being careful not to over-bake them.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt together with an electric or stand mixer on medium speed and set aside. When cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, spread the glaze over the top and serve.