If you don't know Anna, well that's a shame, cause she's the greatest. She is the coolest mum, the sweetest friend and a gorgeous wife and teacher!!! She's the whole package. Plus she lets me hang out with her daughter, and we have awesome, silly fun together ;)
Anna did me a huge favour the other day and all she asked for in return was for cinnamon buns. So I went all out & tried to make her the best cinnamon buns in the world!!!
Here were the results:
Found this recipe from AllRecipes.com which might not be the most beautiful looking website but it's one of my favourite sites for recipes!! Their community never fails to provide insightful comments and ideas on the methods which help anyone perfect the finished product. Plus, you can always find what you're looking for in a myriad of variations!! Pecans are hands down my favourite nuts! They're so rich in flavour, and I always try and find a way to sneak them into anything I bake - so this Pecan & Caramel topped cinnamon bun was just the ticket!!!
1 teaspoon white sugar 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup white sugar 1/4 cup butter 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs, beaten 4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup butter 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans, divided 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup melted butter
In a bowl, dissolve one teaspoon sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Warm the milk in a small saucepan(or if you're like me, microwave it for 30 secs) until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and salt; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk mixture, eggs and 1 1/2 cup flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. I set mine on near the window, and the sun always gives it that extra pump of heat to get your dough nice and puffy!
While dough is rising, make the filling and toppings.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans onto baking sheet and toast in oven for six mins or until fragrant. If they're burnt, start again. Nothing is worse than roasted pecans. Toasting your pecans before baking with them will bring out so much more flavour, and you'll always be thankful you did this. Next, melt 3/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar, whisking until smooth - you're making a smooth caramel sauce for the buns to sit on so look for that consistency in the pan. Pour into greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle bottom of the pan with 1/2 cup pecans; set aside. Melt remaining butter; set aside. Combine remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, and cinnamon; set aside.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, roll into an 18x14 inch rectangle. Brush with two tablespoons melted butter, leaving 1/2 inch border uncovered; sprinkle with brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Starting at long side, tightly roll up, pinching seam to seal.
Brush with remaining two tablespoons butter. With a serrated knife, cut into 15 pieces; place cut side down, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto serving platter. Scrape remaining filling from the pan onto the rolls. Don't let that pan steal any of that gooey caramel and pecans away from the rolls!
Then it's time to chow down!!! If your rolls seem a little hard the next day - reheat them in the microwave for 20 secs and they'll be soft and gooey all over again :)