I am a (new) member of the KAF Customer Advisory Panel. It’s very fun, and I’m honored, though I can’t help thinking of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, talking about being nominated for membership to the National Geographic Society. I suspect, like him, I am one of a zillion. But that’s totally OK. Along with the other members, I was asked to bake a recipe at home that some folks had had some challenges with. I had been out of town for several days, and my team had been having it rough – nothing like some home-baked goodness to help us through the end of the work week!
Essentially, this is a biscuit version of a caramel bun, so it doesn’t take much time. The challenge some people were having was with the caramel sauce spilling over the top of the pan. The Quick and Easy Sticky Caramel Buns required a 9″ x 2″ pan. My only 2″ or taller regular cake pans are even sized (I used to make wedding cakes!). so I decided to use a springform pan – the only one of those that I could find on hand was a dark-coated one, but the bottom looked like it might stand up to the caramel – but still, I used parchment on a cookie pan underneath just in case. I have these paper single-use pans, thought about using, and then thought better of it.
First, you make a buttery caramel sauce. Brown sugar and melted butter are combined, then syrup added – since this was a last minute thing, I ended up using a combination of maple syrup and corn syrup. I think that Lyle’s golden syrup would be good too. It all gets mixed together, and then poured into the prepared pan, then topped with 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. I decided on walnuts, though pecans would be good. Now that I think of it, macadamias would be good too… maybe with a bit of coconut. Anyway, you get the idea.
Next, the biscuit dough is mixed together. It was supposed to be “rough” or “shaggy” – looking when it came together. True enough. I was worried about over-working it. One thing I liked was the possibility of using powdered buttermilk. It’s a nice option, since it’s just a pantry ingredient. Once the dry ingredients are combined, it’s just a bit of melted butter and warm water to make a dough.
The dough gets kneaded on a floured board for a few turns. It was definitely soft, and needed the flour to finish it off. Also, I noticed that my buttermilk powder had clumped – it worried me, but I pulled out the biggest ones, and hoped for the best. The dough gets patted into about a 9″x12″ rectangle. It gets a bit of water brushed (or in my case, patted) onto it, then topped with 1/2 c brown sugar.
The recipe warns that it can get a bit messy from here, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. The sugar is spread out evenly except about an inch on one side. Then it gets rolled up, and cut into 12 pieces. The slices weren’t particularly the same size, but as it turns out it didn’t matter. I think the thickness was more important (I just cut it in half, then cut those pieces in half, then each of those in thirds – an easy division by 12).
The slices get transferred into the prepared plan on top of the caramel sauce an nuts. They happened to fit perfectly, and in a way, it was nice that they weren’t all the same size – people could choose what size piece they wanted. I baked mine for about 25-27 minutes at 375 degrees because of the dark pan (the recipe calls for 400 degrees). I wanted to make sure the middle rolls were cooked through. You can see that my pan leaked a bit (not unexpectedly), but that there was plenty of room in the pan so it would not have overflowed.
The rolls are to be inverted onto a plate almost immediately (I think they were precise – 5 seconds!) :). I used a plate with a bit of lip in the event that the caramel spread. It does make sense, the caramel quickly thickens, particularly around the edges. Use a spatula to get any caramel and nuts clinging to the pan and add to the top of the rolls.
These were delicious, easy and a big hit with my friends at work. Not yeasty cinnamon rolls, but not everyone has time for that effort. I like quick breads because they are warm and yummy and can be prepared without as much planning. Still a treat.
So, no, they didn’t run over. No, I didn’t have any problems with the recipe (other than my own error about the buttermilk powder – and even that wasn’t really a problem). So, a big hit! and a fun 1st test.