1packetactive yeast(2 1/4 teaspoons), dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
4 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
For the filling
3mediumbaking apples(such as Honeycrisp or Jonathan apples), peeled and diced
113.4-ounce canLa Lechera® Dulce de Leche
For the cream cheese frosting
1tinypinch of salt
Make the dough
In a small cup, mix a packet of active yeast with 1/2 a cup of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should start to get foamy, which means the yeast is alive and working. If it doesn’t get foamy, the yeast isn’t activated and you should try again with another packet.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, sugar, salt and hot water. Mix together until sugar has mostly dissolved. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can stir and knead everything by hand.) Add half of the all-purpose flour and mix on low until well combined. Add the yeast mixture and the egg and mix on low until well combined.
Using the dough hook, gradually mix in the remaining flour and knead on low for 6 to 8 minutes, until it becomes super smooth and silky. If dough is sticking to the mixing bowl, add in 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it no longer sticks.
Transfer the smooth dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Place bowl in a warm spot (like the top of your fridge or in the microwave, wherever is warmest) and let rise for 30 minutes until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Make the filling
While the dough is rising, make the apple filling. Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon juice and ground cloves into a small pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are super tender and have soaked up a lot of the sugar and liquid, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Fill and roll the cinnamon rolls
Remove the risen dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a large rectangle with a rolling pin. Lift the dough carefully with your hands and add more flour to your surface to make sure the dough isn’t sticking.
Open the can of dulce de leche and spread 1/2 a cup evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch of bare dough on all sides. Then add the cooked apple filling, the chopped pecans and pieces of butter.
Carefully roll the dough as tightly as possible into one long roll. The process might get messy because of all the delicious ooey-gooey stuff inside. That’s okay! Just do the best you can. Cut into 12 rolls using a piece of dental floss, thread, or a sharp serrated knife.
Place rolls into a greased 3 quart baking dish and cover with a towel. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour. When there’s 5 minutes remaining, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Make the cream cheese frosting
While the rolls are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. In a medium bowl, add softened butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix together using a handheld mixer and mix until smooth. Spread the frosting on rolls and serve!