(adapted by Dawn Earley from recipe by Stephanie Polack, as seen on PaulaDeen.com)
makes 24 cupcakes
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
2 cups 2% or whole milk
1 tablespoon (.5 oz) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup loosely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 cups finely chopped tart apples
Apple Cider Glaze Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon apple cider
Heat the milk in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for one to two and a half minutes, dependent on your microwave. It needs to be hot enough to activate the yeast, but not so hot that it kills it. (100-110 degrees)
Add the yeast followed by the sugar, and stir to dissolve.
Now add two cups of flour and the salt and beat for a full two minutes.
Add the softened butter and eggs and beat until the mixture is well combined.
Add the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Knead the dough for five minutes or beat on high speed with a dough hook, until it has become soft and elastic.
Put the dough in a large bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm area for 40 minutes. It will double in size.
Now turn the dough onto the counter and roll it out 1/2” thick into a rectangular shape. Use a pastry brush to spread half of the butter over the surface.
Now make the filling: Combine the sugars, cinnamon, pecans, and apples in a large bowl.
Spread this mixture over the dough, leaving a 1” border along 2 long sides.
Carefully tuck the dough over the filling and roll into a long log, starting on one of the long ends.
Cut the log into 24 pieces and place each inside one of the cups of a muffin tin lined with paper liners.
Cover the cupcakes with a towel and let them rise in a warm place for an additional 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Brush the remaining butter evenly on the tops of the cupcakes and bake for 20 minutes. The tops will be a light golden brown.
Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir to dissolve the powdered sugar in the apple cider. Drizzle this glaze over the cupcakes.