Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sticky Buns for Christmas

I did not grow up with sticky buns; instead, I had rugelah and babka. But when I was married, my husband really liked sticky buns, so I learned how to make them. Sticky buns are time consuming, because you have to make a yeast dough that rises, a simple filling, and then the sticky topping. The kitchen is usually trashed by all these steps, so it's nice to make this treat a day ahead. Although I seldom eat more than one myself, I still make these buns to give as gifts when I know someone likes them.

Recipes abound on the Internet, and these year I tried a new one. I liked the fact that it had a hint of orange in the dough. It worked well, so I'll probably make it again, although I will cut back on the sugar, since I found these extraordinarily sweet. Yesterday, though, I just followed instructions, although I did cook the buns in two round pans instead of one large rectangular one.

If you've ever made a pineapple upside-down cake, this is reminiscent because once you have made the various parts, you start assembling the food upside down; you place the topping in the pan first and then the buns. That way, when the pan is inverted, the topping is actually on top.

you can see a bit of topping on the left
One thing I liked about this recipe is that you make the dough, let it rise, form it, and then let it rise again in the refrigerator. You can have it stay in the fridge overnight and cook the buns up fresh for breakfast, although I let them rise for just a few hours so I could bake them, cool, them, and wrap them as a gift. The family I'm giving them to comes from Pennsylvania, where sticky buns arrived with the German immigrants.

For those of you who like sticky buns but don't really want to go to a lot of trouble, here's a tip I learned years ago. Buy Pillsbury cinammon rolls in a tube (the orange rolls are delicious) in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, but don't follow their directions. They tell you to add the frosting after baking. Instead, smear the frosting on before baking. It will turn into a sticky caramelized topping. You can even add nuts.

Merry Christmas, folks!

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