My great-grandmother would make sticky buns whenever she came from Pennsylvania to visit. A normal batch would be 8 rolls and she would make a sextuple batch. She was making them for 10 people but they would disappear in a day or 2.
She passed away when I was in high school but my mother continues to make a quintuple batch every year for Christmas and hand out a batch to all my dad’s siblings (it was his grandmother that made them).
This year I saw a recipe for cinnamon rolls in Savuer with cream cheese in the filling. I was intrigued and decided to try a hybrid of the recipes.
I think the most important part is to make sticky buns with caramelized sugar on top. I wanted to keep that and I wanted to avoid the maple syrup, and raisins. I don’t like either of those.
So I took the dough from the saveur recipe, I mostly followed the recipe for the filling-adding more nuts and skipping a few things, and putting butter in the bottom of the pan with brown sugar.
My sister Laura, who generally doesn’t like nuts, liked these although she wasn’t too into the cream cheese.
They were quite a hit at work. Personally I found they brightened the first Monday meeting of the New Year.
Hybrid Cinnamon Buns
adapted from Saveur and my great-grandmother
0.5 oz dried yeast
1 tsp plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk at room temperature
4 tbsp plus 6-8 tbsp brown sugar
5 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
16 tbsp plus 4-6 tbsp butter
Combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 cup water at 115F into bowl of stand mixer with dough hook. Stir to combine and let it sit while prepping the other ingredients.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, milk, brown sugar, eggs, and yolks in bowl. Measure flour and salt into a separate bowl.
Start mixer at medium speed and add first bowl of wet ingredients. After they are incoporated, add dry ingredients. (My dough was a little wet so I needed additional flour, I’ve found yeast doughs really depend on the humidity of the day.) Add the butter in pieces until they incorporated; I still had little pieces of butter but things seem to have turned out well.
Place the ball of dough in a floured bowl, turning it over once. Cover with tea towel and let it rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.
Make the filling, see below. Heavily butter the pans and spread brown sugar across them.
Punch it down and roll the dough out in sheets. Spread the cream cheese on the sheets of dough, add a few handfuls of filling, roll the sheets up, and cut into 2-3 inch sections. Place rolls in pans leaving room for them to rise.
Let rolls rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.
Pre-heat oven at 375F and bake for 30 min. Rotate the pans half way through. Flip pan onto plate to release rolls.
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown suagr
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp cinnamon
Beat cream cheese so it is easily spread.
Mix dry ingredients separately.