Apple-filled balls of dough are placed in muffin pans, then baked and drizzled with a glaze to replicate classic apple fritters. Braeburn or pink lady apples are a good substitute for the tangier Granny Smiths. The apple juice in the glaze gives these a double dose of apple flavor.
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm 1% low-fat milk (100° to 110°)
5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon apple juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to Make It
To prepare filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup apple juice, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed. Remove from heat; cool.
To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 1/2 cups flour, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and eggs to yeast mixture, stirring until smooth. Add 1 cup flour; stir until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 3-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon about 2 teaspoons filling into center of dough; gather dough over filling to form a ball, pinching seam to seal. Place, seam side down, in a muffin cup coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions and filling. Cover and let rise 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.
To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients; drizzle over rolls.