“I’m never going to be skinny.”
That was my very first thought when I bit into my first fork full of these delicious sticky buns.
And that is because I am unapologetic about the fact that sometimes I make sticky buns on a Thursday afternoon for absolutely no occasion whatsoever.
An Imagineer for Disney, named Bruce Gordon once famously said “The reason Walt built Disneyland is because he wanted one.” How great is that? It’s one of my favorite quotes about Walt Disney, and incidentally, the same reason I make cinnamon rolls.
This is a new recipe, and a play on my favorite cinnamon roll recipe, Clone of a Cinnabon. I make that recipe a few times a year. Always for Christmas and Easter mornings, and then once or twice a year for my husband’s employees at work. On Christmas eve morning, I make massive amounts- pans for my family, my in-laws, my parents, and each of my siblings to be put into the refrigerator and baked off for Christmas morning.
My Dad, however, is not a big fan of cinnamon rolls with frosting. He’s always telling me about the rolls his grandmother made. The sticky buns without the frosting. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish here, and I can’t wait to take one over to him to see what he thinks.
Instead of icing these with cream cheese and sugar, I made a caramel sauce out of brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream and slathered it all over the bottom of the pan. I sprinkled that with pecans, and also added some pecans into the rolls themselves.
I think they turned out amazing. This coming Christmas, I might have to give everyone a choice about which kind they want. The classic, or the pecan sticky buns.
Although actually, that sounds kind of complicated and I can be kind of lazy. We’ll see.
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup of pecan halves, crushed
Gooey Caramel Sauce for bottom of pan:
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup pecan halves, rough chopped
Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and line with a parchment paper sling.
Place warm milk and yeast into your mixing bowl and let it sit until the mixture becomes frothy. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt, and white sugar into your mixer or bowl. Mix together. Add milk, eggs, and butter to mixture and mix until combined. If you are using a kitchenaid mixer, you can knead the dough on the dough hook for 5 minutes. If you are using a regular bowl, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Place dough under a large bowl and let it rise for about 20 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
While dough is rising, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Make your gooey caramel sauce for the bottom. Place the brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter into a saucepan over low heat. Mix until the sugar has melted and you have a smooth sauce, about 5 minutes. Spread over the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan and sprinkle with the pecan halves, roughly chopped.
On a floured surface, roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle with crushed pecans. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place each roll in the prepared pan on top of the gooey caramel sauce and pecans.
Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Invert pan onto a tray and serve warm. Enjoy!