Caramel-Hazelnut Sticky Buns

When I was younger, all of my girlfriends and I would love to spend the night at my friend Leslie's house. Not only were her younger twin brothers pretty cute, but her mom always made sticky buns for all of us in the morning. Oh, the joy of plunging your little fingers into the bowl containing all that ooey-gooey stickyness and pulling a round ball of dough out - watching all the sticky tendrils stretch out slowly as you brought it to your mouth and got it all over your face. It was a bit of pure sugar-induced weekend heaven. Of course, at that age I wasn't concerned with keeping my 'girlish figure' and ate as many as I could before the belly-ache set in for the rest of the day.

These days, I am watching my figure, but there's nothing like a sticky bun - so when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light magazine, I had to give it a try. It takes a while, but the results are well worth it. The toughest part is eating just one (or two). They're only 5.3 grams of fat per roll, so if you can limit yourself (which I'm still not very good at doing) you'll be able to keep your figure and eat your sticky buns too! Do eat them while they're warm as they harden up when they've been sitting out, making them extra sticky (so sticky that they stick to your teeth incredibly well). The original recipe is made with pecans, which are the classic nut to use, but I couldn't resist putting a little Northwest flair into them and using hazelnuts. These would make an excellent holiday breakfast with a full house to feed (less leftovers to entice you!), and they look really beautiful set out on a platter.

Caramel-Hazelnut Sticky Buns, adapted from Cooking Light

1/3 cup packed dark brown muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 2/3 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 23 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, softened

To prepare caramel, combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; stir frequently until butter melts. Continue cooking until mixture thickens and becomes smooth (about 1 minute), stirring constantly. Remove from heat; pour into the center of a 9-inch square baking pan; quickly spread caramel onto pan bottom using a spatula coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; cool to room temperature. Lightly coat sides of pan with cooking spray.

To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in salt.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 5 cups flour to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

Roll dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter over dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends). Cut into 16 (1-inch-wide) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in prepared pan (rolls will be crowded). Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until rolls are light golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes on rack. Place a serving platter upside down on top of pan; invert onto platter. Serve warm.

Yields: 16 rolls

5 comments from you:

vlb5757 said...

Lord! I just gained 5 pounds reading your Sticky Buns post. Please post a salad in between those fattening posts! Have mercy. lol!

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Dear Michelle, you are so right! There is nothing like sticky buns! I do not even recall when was the last time I had one of those yummy things, BUT maybe 4-5 years ago :(
P.S. no ants today :)

michelle said...

Vickie - He he he - that's for making me drool over your yummy looking cookie tree right after your candle smores!! I know, I've been baking way too much (well, and not eating very interesting savory dinners!)

Melissa - Yep, nothing like a sticky bun. Sounds like it's time to remedy your lapse in eating them! Yum (remember these are 'low fat' so you won't be cheating on your healthy eating!). Glad to hear the ants are gone for good.

LisaSD said...

Low-fat cinnamon rolls? Hallelujah! Thank you Cooking Light, and Michelle!

michelle said...

Well, now, Low-ER fat! But that's good enough for me! :)