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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Overnight Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

This is an adaptation of the Cinnamon Buns recipe I posted here.  For this recipe you will prepare the dough the same way as you would for the Cinnamon Buns but the filling and topping are different.  Prior to rolling out the dough you will toast some pecans and create a caramel sauce for the buns to bake on top of.  The resulting sticky buns are ooey-gooey and sinfully delicious.

You'll Need:

1 Cinnamon Bun dough, risen, punched down and rolled into a 12"x16" rectangle.

Caramel Sauce
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 Tb (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 Tb corn syrup
2 cups whole pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

4 Tb (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

The Night Before

Getting Started:

Mix filling ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

Butter a 9"x13" baking pan (or two 8"x8" baking pans).

Coarsely chop pecans and heat in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant.  Remove from pan immediately as they will quickly burn.

Spread filling evenly over the prepared dough and roll tightly, pinching the seam closed.

Cut dough into 12 even pieces and set aside.

Now You're Cookin':

Combine sugar and water in a 2-quart saucepan.  Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

Once the mixture is boiling, uncover and continue to boil about 7 minutes.  The syrup should be thick, straw-colored and register 300 degrees F on a (reliable) candy thermometer.

Reduce the heat to medium and continue boiling for 1-3 minutes.  The syrup will be thick and golden.  Take off heat immediately.

While the syrup is boiling, combine cream, salt, vanilla, and butter in a small saucepan bring to a simmer over high heat.  Once the cream mixture has reached a simmer take it off heat and set aside.

When both syrup and cream are at the proper stage, pour 1/4 of the cream mixture into the sugar syrup and stir constantly until combined.

Once bubbling has subsided, add the remainder of the cream mixture and whisk together until fully combined.

Pour caramel mixture while still warm into the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle nuts evenly over the caramel mixture.

Arrange dough pieces with the more attractive side down over the caramel/pecan mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours).

The Next Morning

Getting Started:

Remove Caramel Pecan Buns from the refrigerator and let sit on counter for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Now You're Cookin':

Bake buns for 25-30 minutes.  The tops will be golden brown and the buns will have expanded to fill the pan.

Let buns cool for 5 minutes and then invert onto a large serving dish*.  Use a rubber spatula to release the caramel/pecan mixture from the pan if necessary.

*I used two 8"x8" pans for ease of removal.

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