Biscuit dough

Whether or not we believe the old adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” we can all agree that apples taste good whether served raw or cooked.

However, since I was little girl, I have not liked apple juice to drink. Perhaps this is because mother would always send a small bottle of apple juice to school with me each day, and that got old and dulled the taste of apples for a youngster.

Another food that comes to mind when I think of apples is apple butter. Perhaps that is because Mauna, my late friend and the best assistant I ever had, loved apple butter. I had never tasted apple butter until Mauna and I were in the Smoky Mountains testing recipes. We were served muffins with apple butter at one of our favorite restaurants, and it wasn’t long until I was looking forward to this tasty treat every morning.

Personally, I prefer homemade apple butter to the commercially-prepared type that you pick up at the grocery store. This is because I prefer a lightly spiced apple butter. I like to be able to taste the apples instead of so much spice.

While doing some recipe research, I found a recipe for apple butter rolls that are great breakfast treats. The following recipe is from my cookbook “A Treasury of Southern Baking.” For this particular recipe, I use my recipe for Southern yeast biscuit dough, which is an easy-to-make yeast dough that can be kept in the refrigerator and used as needed.


  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 packages dry yeast (¼ ounce each)
  • 5 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Combine water and sugar in small bowl. Stir in yeast and set aside until yeast becomes bubbly. In large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda and stir to mix. Cut in shortening using pastry blender, a fork or your fingertips until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk. Stir with a large wooden spoon until well mixed. This will not be a smooth dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. It will keep for about a week.


  • 3 cups Southern yeast biscuit dough
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup apple butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons apple juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan.

Spoon the soft dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth. Roll to a rectangle about 10x16 inches.

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, apple butter and brown sugar. Beat until smooth and spread over dough. Roll jelly-roll-fashion starting with 16-inch side. Cut into 1-inch slices. Place slices in cake pan.

Bake about 20 minutes or until rolls are slightly browned and no longer doughy. Turn out on a plate and then invert onto another plate so rolls will be right side up.

To make glaze, combine confectioners sugar and apple juice. Beat until smooth and drizzle over top of rolls. If drizzle is too thin, simply add more confectioners sugar.

Award-winning chef Prudence Hilburn’s cooking column appears every other week. Contact her at