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State of Bliss Sticky Buns

  • Category: Dessert
  • Submitted By:
  • Town/State: Sonora, CA
  • Serves: 12 – 24
  • Preparation Time: 2 hours (mostly proofing, and rising)
  • Total Cooking time: 1 hour

My sister Rachel has a funny method of cooking for friends, you see, she will talk about a certain dish or recipe that she knows about and describe it in the most graphic and glowing of details to the point where her audience is salivating, wide-eyed and nearly chomping at the bit to get a taste of the delicacy she is describing. At that moment she will turn to me and say, “Great, its settled then. Isaac, I’ll buy the ingredients and you can cook this recipe for my friends”. I don’t mind doing this (as long as she never takes the credit for what I do) and this is one of those recipes that came about as the result of her non-traditional cooking methods. I call them: State of Bliss” Sticky buns because when most people take a bite they simply roll their eyes, and make a quiet whimper of approval. They take a long time to prepare but are worth every single second of the time taken to make them.

Amount Measure Ingredients
2 Packets Active Dry yeast (about 3 tbsp)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
5 cups flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups real butter, melted
1 cup lukewarm water or milk

For the filling:

Amount Measure Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Super Sticky Caramel “topping”

Amount Measure Ingredients
8oz real butter
1 lb light brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped (try toasted almonds, brazil nuts, or even filberts)

To prepare:

Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and yeast) in a large bowl until well mixed, combine the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and then press a bowl shaped depression into the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture, warm water or milk, and the melted butter. Mix well until a soft dough begins to form then pour out onto a floured surface and knead 10-15 minutes until the dough is shiny and elastic in texture. Place dough back into a floured bowl. Cover and place in a warm area, proofing box or an oven preheated to “warm” let raise 1 hour or until doubled in size. While the dough is rising, prepare the caramel sauce by melting the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat 15 minutes or until the sugar and butter are completely melted, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove the sauce pan from heat and let cool slightly. Next, whisk in the honey, heavy cream and water till dark and well blended and pour immediately into 2 9x 13 baking dishes, making sure to divide evenly. Top caramel evenly with walnuts and set aside. Next, punch the risen dough down then roll out into a sheet 1/8″ thick by 28 “long and 14” wide. Spread the melted butter over the dough, then add the sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and toasted walnuts taking care to spread evenly over the sheet of dough. Roll this lengthwise into a tight cylinder and pat gently to firm up. Slice into 1 ½-2 thick slices and place into the baking pans with the caramel/walnut mixture and place again in a warm area to rise 20-30 minutes. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and bake rolls on the middle rack approximately 45 minutes or until rolls are golden and sound “hollow” when tapped. Remove from oven and let sit undisturbed 15 minutes. Invert onto a platter and serve warm alone, or with cream cheese icing and a big glass of ice cold milk.