I've been having a hard time getting the girls out of bed these days; so a couple of weekends ago I made them a huge pan of cinnamon rolls that got them up quicker than I don't know what. There is just something about the smell of baked goods in the morning. Maybe instead of those white noise machines, alarms should come with baked goods smells; I'm on to something here - right!
I got a second request for the cinnamon rolls a couple of days later; instead I thought I'd change them up a bit. I had my daughter's friend Megan over and could you believe she had never had Nutella; I had to fix that. Upon scouring my pantry, I found these dried apricots begging to be used. I think you can see where I am going with this.
Dough2 cups milk (I used 1%, but use what you have on hand)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Heat the milk in the microwave on High power for 2 minutes until the temperature reaches 110 degrees F. If you overheat it, just leave it on the counter to cool for a few minutes. Add the yeast to the top of the milk, let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
I just guessed at the two minutes and looky there, yeah I'm that
Add the 4 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vegetable oil to a mixer with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until the dough starts coming together. If the dough is still very wet, add the other 1/2 cup flour, till the dough is starting to have a little better shape. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes on low speed, cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.
You can do the dough by hand, just knead the dough for a few minutes on a flour covered board and place it back into a bowl that has been oiled.
Apricot Streusel & Nutella Filling
8 ozs. dried apricots
1/2 cup oats - old fashioned
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup Nutella
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Add apricots, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon to a food processor and pulse until the apricots are broken down into small pieces. Set aside. You could also add some nuts here and it would be good, the girls said, "No" to the nuts, but I think I would have liked them in there.
Add the Nutella and heavy cream to a small saucepan and heat on low. Stir until creamy and pourable. Add a little extra cream if needed.
Place risen dough onto large floured surface. I like to cover my counter with freezer paper and use it to roll out large dough, it makes clean up a snap.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/2" thick, I didn't measure it, but it was about 24" by 16". With the widest part of the dough facing you.
On top of the dough sprinkle the apricot streusel and drizzle with the melted Nutella, leaving 1/2" around the edges empty. Roll the dough starting with the longer side, which should be facing you. Make sure and roll the dough as tightly as possible. When you get to the end, pinch the seam.
Be sure and lick the pot clean of any extra Nutella. Come on, who wants to wash extra pots anyways.
Cut the roll into 1/2" to 1" slices and place into a greased casserole dish 13" x 9", may need two dishes depending how small you slice the rolls. I place the rolls leaving a 1/2" gap or so between them. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.
I also like to add a sheet of parchment to the bottom of my pan; it ensures easy removal of the rolls.
Rise in the pan for 30 minutes, remove plastic wrap prior to baking. Bake in 400 degree F oven for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.
When these were hot out of the oven, the girls just put a knife full of Nutella on the top for icing. A powdered sugar icing would work well too. I did both, because I'm wrong like that.