This recipe could be a little more challenging, depending on the size of your apples. You only need about 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped apples. If your apples are huge, this could be one apple. Luckily, I had a few super small apples, so it worked out perfectly.
Ok, enough about apples already. These biscuits were amazing. They are basically a cinnamon roll in a much quicker form. You still have all the rolling of the dough, but no rise time. I managed to make these in just over an hour. These days I rarely post a recipe without testing it a few times. I don't even think about getting the camera out until I have made the recipe twice. These biscuits were so good I wanted to share them with you immediately. So, after breakfast on Sunday there was some beautiful bright light shining through the window. I decided to grab my camera and go for it. I love everything about these biscuits, their texture, the gooey filling, the little bits of apple. My favorite part is the crackly, hardened bits of sugar along the edges. If I ever had a bakery of my own, there is no question that these would be on the menu. I'm sure they will be making a regular appearance in my kitchen and hopefully we won't have quite so many apples rolling around the counter top.
adapted from The Apple Lover's Cookbook
1¼ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons; unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for greasing pan
1½ teaspoons ground Vietnamese cinnamon (regular will work fine)
1½ cups of diced apples, cut to approx 1/4 inch dice. Use a variety of apples if possible
½ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks, 170 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with a little bit of butter; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, the 5 tablespoons butter, and the cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut the 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 the buttermilk and egg; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender to work it in. The mixture should still have some small pea sized chunks of butter. Add the egg mixture and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to hold together. The dough will appear quite dry and all of the flour will not be completely incorporated. Don't worry, this will make for a nice flaky dough.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and set a rack to the middle position.
Press down on the dough to try and get it to stick together a bit before dumping the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Knead just enough to bring it all together into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough (still on parchment) into a 9- by 15-inch rectangle with straight sides. This doesn't need to be perfect, but the more even you can get it, the less ragged your end piece will be.
Sprinkle the dough all over with the brown sugar mixture, leaving a 1-inch border across one of the longer edges. Top with the apples and gently press down. Working from the long edge opposite the border, roll the dough up tightly, using the parchment as an aid. You can roll the dough up a little and then gently pull the parchment back. The dough will stick a little. When you reach the border, give the roll a squeeze and turn seam side down. Wrap the parchment around the roll and give it one last good squeeze to keep all the filling in place. Not all of your filling will stay inside the biscuit roll. Do your best to keep as much in as you can, but don't worry if it seems like a lot falls out the edge. I sprinkled it on top of the rolls after I placed them in the pan.
Cut the roll crosswise into 12 equal rounds and place one in each cup of the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, if you take them out of the pan right away they will fall apart. Serve warm, right from the pan. If you don't eat all the biscuits in one sitting, make sure you remove them from the pan for storing, otherwise they will stick to the pan and be very difficult to remove.