Sunday, December 1, 2013

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Two of my favorite foods combined into one delicious breakfast? Yes please!

Combining delicious cinnamon rolls with caramel and a few pecans is a wonderful start to the month of December and what I expect to be a rather lazy Sunday.

I wish I could take credit for the idea behind this deliciousness. But I can't. On a recent shopping trip I happened to see these while grabbing a can of crescent rolls.

I ALMOST bought them. Then I saw the price attached to getting only 4 rolls. A little too expensive for my limited shopping budget. I checked out the directions though and found that they put on the caramel before baking the rolls. I could do that. And I'm sure my caramel is better than any that contains artificial flavoring.

So this morning I retrieved my new favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls, mixed them up. Pulled some caramel I made a week ago out of the fridge and put a small spoonful on the top of each roll. I ended up eating 5 of them for breakfast. Not my healthiest of choices but they were so good!

Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 8 Rolls
Adapted from Cook's Country November 2013

1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 tsp. rapid-rise or instant yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark, recipe called for light)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon (I used roasted Saigon cinnamon)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Mix all ingredients together. Texture should resemble wet sand.

Grease a dark 9-inch round cake pan (a light colored pan will require longer baking time at a higher temp to produce nicely browned rolls). Line with parchment paper and grease the parchment. (Makes cleanup A LOT quicker).

Pour 1/4 cup milk into a bowl and microwave until it registers 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 20 seconds in my microwave. Stir in yeast and 1 tsp. of the sugar. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Stir in 2 tbsp. melted butter, milk mixture and remaining milk until dough forms. The dough will be sticky. Knead until a smooth ball forms.

Transfer the dough to a well floured surface. Roll dough into 12x9 inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tbsp. melted butter, leaving a 1/2 inch border along one long edge.

Sprinkle with filling, covering evenly, pressing firmly into the dough. Tightly roll dough towards the 1/2-inch border, pinching seam to seal.

Place roll seam side down and cut into 8 equal pieces. Place buns in prepared pan, with seams facing inwards. Brush tops with remaining melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the sugar and water in a large sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until sugar just begins to turn a caramel color. Add in butter and salt. Swirl until melted. Lower the heat, stirring in lemon juice and cream. Stir constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (Can be stored for up to a week.)

Once the buns have risen, uncover and place 1 tbsp. of caramel in the center of each rolls. Sprinkle with pecans.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

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