Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Buns
(Recipe adapted from Will Cook For Friends who adapted their dough recipe from Noshings lol)
4 large eggs.
2 TBSP white sugar
2 TBSP brown sugar*
6 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
4 TBSP cream cheese, softened
6 oz. (3/4 cup) buttermilk, warm (115f.)
2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) instant dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, separated
1 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed*
1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
Optional: 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup (one stick) butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed*
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP brown rice syrup (or corn syrup)
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
*I used dark brown sugar throughout this recipe, but feel free to use light brown for any or all of it.
In a bowl, warm the buttermilk. Not hot or boiling, just warm. Stir in the white sugar and yeast, and set aside 5-10 minutes to let the yeast come alive.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, egg/yolks, and brown sugar.
While mixing, add the buttermilk mixture to the butter.
Add in 2 cups of the flour and all of the salt. Beat until thoroughly combined, then remove the beaters and sprinkle the remaining 1.5 cups of flour over the dough. Begin working the dough with your hands (or switch to the dough hook on your stand mixer), kneading until all of the flour is incorporated. The dough will be extremely soft and supple at first, and will get increasingly more firm as you go.
Once all of the flour is off the sides of the bowl, turn the dough out onto your counter. If it’s too wet to work with at this point, add more flour one TBSP at a time – but don’t add more than two or three TBSP in total. The dough should be very soft and tender, not dry.
Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, then shape into a ball and set in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
At this point the dough can be used immediately, or stored in the fridge for overnight or up to a day or two. The longer the dough rests, the more flavorful it will be.
When you’re ready to make the rolls, if the dough has been chilled, let it warm up at room temperature for 30-40 minutes before using.
With a fork, mash together the butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg if using. Set aside along with the brown sugar.
In a pot on the stove, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, and syrup. Bring to a bubble over medium heat, stirring frequently, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, stir in the cinnamon and vanilla, and pour into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the top, and set aside.
Goo Alternative - Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste)
1. Beat the maple syrup into the cream cheese until it reaches the desired consistency.
Gently sink your fist into the dough to ‘punch’ it down, releasing some of the trapped gasses. Pull it out of the bowl and onto a cutting board or counter top – the dough will be moist, but should not require any extra flour.
With your palms and finger tips, press and stretch the dough to about a 12×18 inch rectangle. You could use a rolling pin if you’d like, but the dough should be soft enough to work by hand, and the warmth will help the dough to relax.
Once you’ve got a big rectangle, spread the softened butter/cinnamon mixture evenly over the surface. A flexible rubber spatula helps. Take the filling right up to the edges, then spread the brown sugar over top.
Preheat the oven to 176C.
Place the buns onto the middle rack, and put a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips.
Bake 12-15 minutes, then rotate the baking dish and cover the buns loosely with aluminum foil. This is very important to keep them from getting to brown/burnt on top. Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges. Wait about 5-10 minutes for the sauce to cool down and stop bubbling, then turn the dish over onto a large platter or baking sheet and marvel at the wondrous mess before you. Be sure not to let the buns cool completely before removing them from the pan, lest the goo become, well… glue.
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