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Sweet and sticky describe these breakfast favorites

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All of us know about the classic breakfast treat, the cinnamon roll. Always perfect with a coffee, tea or milk, it fits into a busy morning at breakfast or at a coffee break. And there's not a limit of how you can get them, since many fast-food restaurants sell them, as well as bakeries.

Homemade cinnamon rolls never fail to please! If you have ever made them from scratch, you know that they're fun to make and put many commercially-made ones to shame. But, let's jazz-up the cinnamon roll a bit and make it into its cousin, the sticky bun. The recipe I'm sharing is for "Walnut Sticky Buns" and they are definitely sweet, sticky and full of crunchy walnuts.

This recipe has you making the syrup base or the "sticky" part of the bun. You combine melted butter with brown sugar, corn syrup and a bit of water. This is cooked and placed in the bottom of a layer cake pan and walnut pieces go over it. Then comes the fragrant yeast dough! This is a sweet dough and has the addition of lemon peel and ginger makes this bun very flavorful with the walnuts and syrup. The dough is made, rolled out and filled with cinnamon, sugar more walnuts. This is cut into buns and placed on top of the walnut-syrup mixture. This rises and then it's ready to bake. And when they come out of the oven, have plenty of hot coffee, tea or milk ready to serve with this warm and wonderful treat!

A few tricks to keep in mind when working with yeast: check the expiration date on your package of yeast. If the date shows that it's past it's prime, it would be a good idea to throw it out. Old yeast gives slow rising and even an off taste to whatever you're baking. When dissolving yeast in a recipe, make certain that the water you're dissolving it in isn't too warm. Water that's too warm for the yeast will kill it and no rising will take place at all. You want your water to be just comfortably warm when you place your hands under the tap. If in doubt, after dissolving the yeast, add a teaspoon of sugar to it and stir it in. After about 10 minutes, the yeast should be very foamy on the top, indicating the yeast is active and will perform fine in your recipe. A flat, unfoamy appearance indicates that the yeast is either too old and won't act or that the water was too warm and it was killed. In that case, discard the mixture and start again with fresh yeast and/or comfortably warm water.

A long time ago, I shared a really good recipe for "City School Sweet Rolls", which are cinnamon rolls that are large sized and filled with a cake-crumb filling. To get this recipe, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/sweet-rolls-from-the-school-system

For a nice change from the regular cinnamon roll, this sweet and sticky treat will be most welcome!

WALNUT STICKY BUNS

  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 cup boiling hot milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Walnut Pan Coat (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the hot milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, shortening and salt together. When it cools to lukewarm, add the egg, 1-1/2 cups flour, lemon peel, ginger and dissolved yeast. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup flour to make a moderately stiff dough. On a floured surface, knead just a few turns to smooth and round up the dough. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Meantime, prepare the Walnut Pan Coat:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoon dark corn syrup, such as Karo
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup large walnut pieces

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients except for the walnuts. Stir over medium heat until mixture reaches simmering and sugar dissolves. Turn into a 9-inch layer cake pan and sprinkle with the large walnut pieces.

When dough has risen, turn out onto a floured board and roll out to an 8x12 inch rectangle. Spread with the 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts and remaining 1/4 cup sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Roll tightly, starting from the long side of dough. Cut into 12 1-inch slices and arrange cut-side down in prepared pan, placing three rolls in the center and nine around the edges. Let rise until doubled, about 40-50 minutes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until browned and baked through. Loosen the edges and invert onto a serving plate. Let the pan rest over the rolls for 1 minute to allow the syrup to drain. Serve warm. Yield: 12 rolls.

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