Peel and dice apples and place into a large oven safe skillet (I used my 10 inch cast iron skillet). Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, heavy cream and butter.
In a separate bowl, add the brown sugar, flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, mix to combine and sprinkle over the apple mixture. Lightly stir until all the ingredients are blended together.
Bring the apple mixture to a boil, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside (the apple mixture will thicken more as it bakes in the oven).
cooks note :You can certainly prepare the apple filling in a skillet, pour the filling into a 13 x 9 inch pan and then add the dumplings and bake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine the sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside. Cut each thawed roll into fours and roll each of the dough pieces into a ball.
Roll each dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Add half of the dough balls into the apple mixture and lightly mix. Arrange the remaining dough balls on top.
Place the skillet in a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the dumplings are cooked through and lightly browned.
Cool slightly and serve.
Cook's Note: 4 small apples can be substituted for large apples. Serve these apple dumpling bites with or without vanilla ice cream.