Friday, January 29, 2010

Dulce de Leche Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Wow, I was so amazed and touched by the flood of comments that came in about my last post, the Lamington Debacle! Thank you so much for all your supportive comments- it made me feel ten times better about the whole situation! I really can't express how much your encouragement means to me- it keeps me going and makes me feel like the time and effort I put into this blog is all SO worthwhile. I'm really glad that so many of you are able to benefit from even my failed recipes! As far as future kitchen disasters- I will fear not! hehe. I might even post more of them, seeing as so many of you enjoyed reading about it! =)

One good thing did come out of the whole Lamington mess: my discovery of dulce de leche in the form of sweetened condensed milk! I've been utterly obsessed with it recently and wanted to find different ways to use it...

So here's what I came up with: dulce de leche smeared on top of cinnamon rolls. But not just any cinnamon rolls- we're talking ones with apple pie filling in them! Need I say more?

(1) Dulce de Leche

If you missed my last post about the dulce de leche, here's a quick recap:

Basically, take a can of sweetened condensed milk- all you have to do is rip the wrapper off and then boil the heck out of it for three hours straight. Yes, you're boiling the can itself, unopened. How cool is that?! Wait for it to cool completely (crucial), then when you open it up, it's thick, beautiful, and utterly divine!

Here are a few tips:
  • Run it under cold water if you want it to cool faster, but don't open it until it's completely cooled.
  • You can boil it for up to four hours - the longer you boil it, the thicker it becomes.
  • Vice versa, if you want a more runny version, boil it for only two hours.
  • Have a pot of extra boiling water handy, because as the pot boils, it will evaporate. So you'll need to add extra water every 20-30 minutes, to make sure the can stays immersed the whole time.
It's pretty easy to do. Three hours seems like a long time, but it actually doesn't require a whole lot of maintenance. Just pour more water in it every once in a while. Then three hours later, you've got perfect dulce de leche that soooo good, you'll want to spoon it straight into your mouth, which I have done...on many, many occasions.

In fact, I'm not even ashamed to suggest the following:
Say you have five people coming over for a dinner party and you don't know what to do for dessert. Well, why don't you just boil five cans of sweetened condensed milk?! Serve it up straight from the can! lol. Okok, kidding. But YES, it really IS THAT GOOD. I promise. =)

(2) Apple Cinnamon Rolls

In case you missed the first two pictures, here's another one to refresh your memory. =) Not only does it taste good, it's also a beauty and photographs soo nicely! Tee hee.

Combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.

In a separate bowl, heat up water, milk, and butter until very warm.

Then slowly add it to the dry mixture. Beat for about 2 minutes on medium speed.

Then add eggs and 1 more cup of flour, beat for another 2 minutes or so. Stir enough of the remaining flour to make the dough soft.

Kneed on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. The recipe says to kneed it for about 8 to 10 minutes. But I didn't have the patience. hehe. I did it for like 3 minutes and called it good. Mine still turned out perfect, so I don't think it mattered in the end. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.

(2) The Apple Pie Filling

You'll need 4 large granny smith apples. As large as you can get them! Chop them up into small cubes.

It's super easy to make. Just dump everything into a pot: the apples, some flour, butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Then bring to a boil, cook for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for like 10 minutes, stirring, until it becomes thick. Mix in some cinnamon at the end and you're done!

(3) Putting it all together

Divide your dough in half and roll out two large rectangular slabs. About 15x10 in. Doesn't have to be exact. Divide the apple pie filling in half and evenly spread them over the two rectangular slabs of dough.

Starting from the side that's longer in length, roll up the dough. You'll end up with a long roll (about 15 inches in length). Cut each log evenly into 8 or 9 pieces and place them into a greased 9-inch spring form pan. You'll need two 9-inch pans, one for each log.

After you've fit them all into the pan, cover and allow them to double in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 375.

Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan. The sides should leave the pan nicely.

And now, for the best part: slather on a good thick layer of warm dulce de leche! One can for each batch of cinnamon rolls!

Serve these warm and straight out of the oven for best results!

MMMmmm...SO delish!! Everyone who tried these were so floored by how delicious they were! They certainly aren't your normal run-of-the-mill cinnamon rolls, that's for sure! I sent some home with my friend Karen, who later told me that she loved them so much, she ate two a day, everyday for breakfast!

Give these a try- you can never go wrong with apple pie filling and dulce de leche! YUM!

Click HERE for the recipe

After posting this, a reader emailed me, saying that sometimes boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk can be dangerous. If it isn't completely submerged in water at all times, it can explode. So you have to be really careful about keeping an eye on the water level. You can also make dulce de leche by pouring the sweetened condensed milk into a pie plate, covering it tightly with aluminum foil, and placing it in a water bath to bake for 1-1.5 hours. This method is safer. Here's a great link that she sent me. Thanks Jeana!


  1. oh, for heaven's sake. could these be more decadent? i think not. color me infatuated with this amazing creation!

  2. Your blog is full of great recipes and an enthusiasm for cooking. I haven't cooked for years (my hubby has done it all) but tonight I'm making your crab-artichoke-spinach mac and cheese. And I may have to experiment with dulce de leche, orange-flavored craisins, peppermint bark, and other delights.

  3. These rolls are so voluptuous... dulce de leche is a great idea for them!

  4. these look amazing!! and im starving lol
    ps i feel your pain with your recipe disaster i made petite fours 3 dozen and trying to cover the cakes while the fell over and the poured fondant was hardening not fun

  5. what are the exact measurements of the ingredients?

  6. These cinnamon rolls look simply delightful!

  7. I recently discovered dulce de leche from a can also! It didn't do too well mixed in with a meringue buttercream sadly, but it DID do well straight from the can with a spoon into my mouth! That stuff is DIVINE. Oh, and these cinn rolls look delicious!!

  8. I'm definitely planning to try these. You got to love that Dulce de Leche!! Great application for it:-)

  9. Who would have thought? What a fantastic and creative way to use condensed milk! I've yet to do this "manually" - I cheated and bought some ready made - but will definitely try these! Thanks for thinking of such a delicious way to use it Judy!

  10. I grew up with mum making "caramel" from Sweetened Condensed Milk! I'm a huge fan of eating it with a spoon, not sure if it's "Australian" but we usually serve it by making little sweet shortcrust pastry tart shells... fill with "caramel" and a little whipped cream dolloped on top! Yummy and soo simple.

    Thanks so much for this gorgeous recipe! I can't wait to try it out! I might throwing some walnuts through as well!

  11. Ooh, I love the idea of apple pie cinnamon rolls, especially since apples and cinnamon go so well together. I definitely have to try this out!

  12. I love how you've squished them all together, it looks like a flower. want!

  13. Ooh, those look wonderful! Just stumbled onto your blog from tastespotting, and I'm loving it! :)

  14. Wow, Judy, I gotta say this looks like the best.breakfast.ever! I'm still wrapping up my trial and not totally back yet, but I had to break my silence to tell you how amazing this sounds. Thanks again for the cupcake kit, btw, will get around to using/posting about it soon, I promise.

  15. wowwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!

  16. Could you prep these at all the night before? What if I put them together, and stuck them in the fridge? Would that prevent them from rising? Then let them sit out for an hour or so before baking? These would be great to take to work but don't want to wake up hours early to get them ready.

  17. Hi Jenna. You could actually just bake them the night before and put them in the fridge in an air tight container after it cools. (Make sure not to top them with the dulce de leche though.) Then warm them up the next day before serving - like in the microwave. They'll be just as tasty. You can also warm up the dulce de leche as well and then assemble right before you serve.


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