I was browsing around checking to see what national “food days” might be coming up. Seems like just about every day of each month celebrates some type of food or another. February 21 is National Sticky Bun Day and that really caught my attention. I love things such as monkey bread, cinnamon rolls or any baked good slathered in caramel, butterscotch, cream cheese icing, etc. You get the idea! If you crave treats like that, join me in the kitchen and let’s see what we can cook up.
Apple pecan breakfast buns
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 cup butter, chilled, plus 1/2 cup
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pecan halves
2 Granny Smith apples (about 12 ounces total)
1/3 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon peel. Cut the 1/4 cup butter into 1/4-inch pieces. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in milk all at once; stir just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until cool, about 10 or 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over medium-low heat, melt remaining 1/2 cup butter. Stir in corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over mixture. Peel and core apples and slice as thinly as possible.
3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 15 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch square.
4. Distribute apple slices and raisins over dough, leaving a 1-inch border along top edge. Working from the bottom, roll up dough, squeezing as you go; pinch edge to seal. Cut roll crosswise into 9 slices. Lay slices flat over syrup and pecans in pan.
5. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Invert a platter over pan and, holding tightly together, invert again. Lift off pan and let rolls cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 9 rolls.
Overnight cinnamon buns
20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup butter, melted
1. Lightly grease a 10-inch Bundt cake pan. Place frozen buns into pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, pudding mix, cinnamon and raisins. Pour melted butter over rolls. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature.
2. In the morning, preheat oven to 350. Bake rolls for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and serve warm. Makes 20 rolls.
Pineapple upside-down biscuits
1 can (10-oz.) crushed pineapple
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (half a stick), room temperature
10 maraschino cherries
1 package (12-oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count)
1. Preheat over to temperature recommended on biscuit package. Grease 10 cups of a muffin tin. Strain the can of crushed pineapple, save juice for later.
2. Combine the pineapple, sugar and butter; mix well. Divide pineapple mixture among the muffin cups. Place a cherry in the center of each muffin cup, making sure cherry touches bottom of cup. Place 1 biscuit in each cup on top of sugar and pineapple mixture. Spoon 1 teaspoon reserved pineapple juice over each biscuit.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool 2 minutes. Invert the pan onto a plate to release the biscuits. Serve warm. Makes 10 biscuits.
Special butterscotch buns
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (temperature recommended on yeast package)
1 egg, well beaten
4 cups flour
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 ounces butterscotch bits
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or raisins
1. Scald milk, stir in sugar, salt and 1/2 cup butter. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large, warm bowl. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, egg and half the flour; beat until smooth. Stir in rest of flour to make stiff batter. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate dough at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days).
2. When ready to shape dough, prepare topping in pan. Combine corn syrup, water and 2 tablespoons butter; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butterscotch bits until melted. Spread mixture over bottom of two ungreased 8-by-8-by-2-inch pans. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured board, roll each half into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with melted butter and sprinkle with half the brown sugar and raisins or pecans. Tightly roll each rectangle up, as for a jellyroll. Seal edges. Cut each roll into 1-inch slices; place cut-side up over butterscotch mixture in pans. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, or about 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, or until done.