Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns — That’s What I’m Talkin’ About

These are practically too good for words.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “These sure look like cinnamon rolls.”

But don’t let your eyes fool you.

They may look like pillowy, yeasty cinnamon rolls, but they actually have the flakiness of biscuits.

These “Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns” are true butter bombs, too.

For nine rolls, you use 17 tablespoons of butter. (Cough, cough) But let’s not hone in on that, shall we? After all, without the butter, these wouldn’t be so wonderfully fall-apart flaky. And that’s what you want in a great biscuit or else why bother, right?

The recipe is from the new “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook”(W.W. Norton & Company) by Amy Traverso, senior food and home editor of Yankee magazine. The book, which I recently received a review copy of, is full of 150 recipes, both sweet and savory, that make use of fresh apples, apple cider and applesauce. There’s a handy primer, too, on varieties of apples that includes tasting notes, texture descriptions, best uses and origins.

Flaky, buttery and full of apples and cinnamon, it just doesn't get better than that.

These biscuit buns get their name from the fact that the dough is rolled up around a filling of cinnamon-sugar and one diced apple to create a pretty spiral effect when cut into slices.

The dough is fairly shaggy, because you want to keep the bits of butter intact and not thoroughly incorporated, so that when baked, they melt and form the air pockets that create flaky layers. It takes a bit of finesse to work with the dough, but your patience will be rewarded. Use a dough scraper to compress and shape it, and a rolling pin to flatten it. The parchment paper you use to support the dough will help you greatly in rolling it up tightly in much the same was that a bamboo mat does when making nori-wrapped nigiri sushi rolls.

A raggedy dough that comes together with a little work.

The filling goes on before it's all rolled up, then sliced.

The slices are arranged artfully in rows in the pan before baking.

They’re pretty irresistible when still warm from the oven, with a sturdy exterior giving way to a soft, sweet filling surrounded by buttery layers.

My husband, who was suffering from a cold, inhaled two without a blink. After all, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, two apple biscuit buns surely must keep anything that ails you at bay.

That’s my prescription and I’m swearing by it.

“Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns”

(Serves 9)

For the filling:

1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

5 tablespoons salted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for greasing pan

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 large firm-sweet apple (about 8 ounces), such as Jazz, Pink Lady or Pinata; peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

For the buns:

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into small cubes

Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with a little bit of butter; set aside.

Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and the cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter (or fork), cut butter into the sugar, working it in until the mixture looks like wet sand. Put in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the dough.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Sprinkle butter over the flour mixture and use your fingers to work it in (rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Stop when mixture looks like sand studded with little chunks. Add egg mixture and stir with a fork just until dough begins to hold together. It will look quite ragged and not fully blended, but stop there. You want to prevent the butter from melting into the dough — those little chunks will create a flakier texture once baked.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack to the middle position. Dump the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and knead just enough to bring it all together into a ball. Using a rolling pin and bench scraper (or spatula), roll the dough (still on parchment) into a 9-by-15-inch rectangle with straight sides.

Sprinkle dough all over with brown sugar mixture, leaving a 1-inch border across one of the longer edges. Top with apples and gently press down. Working from the long edge opposite the border, roll the dough up tightly, jelly-roll-style, using the parchment as an aid. When you reach the border, give the roll a squeeze and turn seam side down.

Cut roll crosswise into 9 equal buns and arrange in the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm, right from the pan.

From “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook” by Amy Traverso

More Apple Recipes To Try: Stephanie Izard’s Apple-Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

And: Braised Chicken with Apple Cider, Tarragon and Cream

And: Sally Schmitt’s Cranberry and Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce

And: Flo Braker’s Open-Faced Apple Galette with Quince Paste

And: Babette Friedman’s Apple Cake

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Date: Tuesday, 21. February 2012 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Fruit, General, Recipes (Sweet)

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  1. 1

    Oh, those look so irresistible! What a divine treat.



  2. 2

    The rolls look & sound wonderful! I guess you better invite eight friends over when you make them though so that you won’t eat more than one! Plus, I’m sure you’ll make friends for life if you share these! :)

  3. 3

    Each and everything on this page looks better than the one prior. I say we try them all and decide which if these wonderful treats is our favorite. And who better to do the preparation than Carolyn. LOL

  4. 4

    Seriously, that looks like an absolutely wonderful cookbook to have. Apples are my favorite fruit. So versatile.

  5. 5

    These are a must make at our house, so delicious with apple stuffing!

  6. 6

    These are soooooo up my alley. I couldn’t agree more about the butter; that’s what makes everyone better. I’ll be making these over the weekend. ;)

  7. 7

    OMG, 17 tablespoons of butter? I’m wondering if there’s a lower-fat version we can do….

  8. 8

    These look sooo good, but scary at the same time because of the butter.

  9. 9

    Hi Carolyn-

    Amy Traverso here. Thanks for this gorgeous post about the biscuit buns! You make me want to make them again.

    Yes, I admit 17 tablespoons of butter is kind of crazy. These biscuits are so unbelievably good that I decided to just let them be decadent. But you could cut the amount of butter in the filling to 2 or 2 1/2 tablespoons and they’d still be great. That would be 14 tablespoons total, about 1.5 tablespoons per serving—the equivalent of 3 pats of butter on a restaurant roll. Still not health food, for sure. I see these as a once- or twice-a-year treat. And there are plenty of lighter recipes in the book

    Anyway, love this blog and your food styling and photography are really lovely.

  10. 10

    Oh my god. Gasp.

    I’ve been thinking about baking banana biscuit rolled buns, but you’ve changed my mind. I’m stocking up on apples today. Must make this!!!

  11. 11

    Oh, and btw, I was living in San Francisco and working at Sunset when I started working on this book and I read your work in the Mercury News all the time!

  12. 12

    These are scrumptious looking biscuit buns! I say it would cure anything in my family too! And 17 tablespoons of butter for 9 rolls sounds like music to my ears. As you said, the butter keeps the dough flaky! What’s not to love? These sounds soooo good. I just need to grab some buttermilk at the market and I’m all set to make my own Apple Stuffed Biscuit Buns! Can’t wait.

  13. 13

    :O Those look ridiculous. But in a good way. Like ridiculously good.

    I want to go to there.

  14. 14

    Amy Traverso: You are too kind. Thanks for the sweet words. Much appreciated!
    Yes, the biscuits are not light on butter, that’s for sure. But they’re so good, they’re worth every fat gram. Plus, it’s not like we eat these every day. But heck, every once in awhile, you just have to indulge. ;)

  15. 15

    That look so delicious! Sounds amazing & totally decadent too… I would love to make this as a treat for family! Thanks for sharing!

  16. 16

    Wow – these look even better than cinnamon buns! I love apples and will have to check out the cookbook. Thanks!

  17. 17

    Wow 17 tablespoons of butter…but in an odd way that makes me want them even more! I’m clearly a bit stuck on butter! :P

  18. 18

    Looks like a great book worth having, if it yields such excellent recipes as this one!

  19. 19

    Dear Carolyn,

    This looks delicious but that huge amount of butter??!! I’ll have to try a few pieces but only if I’m on my way to the gym :)

  20. 20

    *reads recipe*
    *looks at pound of butter and several apples in fridge*
    Hehe. :)

  21. 21

    Wow! Those look amazing, and better than cinnamon buns. Wait, did I say that?

  22. 22

    that filling is TREMENDOUS! i’m a fan of butter bombs, any time, any place. :)

  23. 23

    What can I say is that nothing better than this in apple recipe :)

  24. 24

    […] Another Recipe from “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook”: Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns […]

  25. 25

    […] Other Amy Traverso recipes: Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns […]

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