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Healthy Habits – Sticky Buns

Sticky buns

A Christmas morning favorite!

And now for something completely different, a holiday favorite of mine is delicious sticky buns! After writing so many columns on the healthiest choices in foods, I would be remiss in not mentioning comfort foods like homemade sticky buns, especially for Christmas morning breakfast!

I tried a new recipe this year that I love and just have to share it with you. Let’s face it, during the holidays we all end up compromising our usual diets for some nostalgic holiday foods.

Since wellness isn’t just about physical health but rather a combination of mind, body and spirit health, then it might just be unhealthy not to have a treat once in awhile on special occasions! That’s my story and I’m “sticking” to it.

This sticky bun recipe will require some time and patience but it is SO worth it!  I made them early this year and froze some to thaw and bake on Christmas morning.

There are many substitutions that you can make in this recipe such as: organic unrefined coconut oil instead of butter, plant milk in place of cow’s milk, or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, etc.

This recipe makes around 8-10 sticky buns that easily fit in a glass pie dish. You can double the recipe and bake in a larger baking pan, such as a 9×13”. Just make sure the buns all sit close together in the pan – they should be touching each other and fill the entire pan.

Homemade Sticky Buns Recipe:

First, pour a half cup of warm milk into a small bowl and sprinkle with 1.5 teaspoons of dry yeast (active dry or quick rise yeast). Make sure the milk isn’t too warm, or it will kill the yeast. Around 100 degrees is perfect.

Next, sprinkle in a half a teaspoon of granulated sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and you should see some bubbles and a little foam. If not, start over, because something went wrong and your yeast did not get activated.

Second, in a large mixing bowl, sift 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour and 1.5 cups of bread flour, along with a quarter cup or less of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of fine ground sea salt.

Sift all dry ingredients together a second time, and then mix in: your milk/sugar/yeast mixture, 1 large egg and 8 tablespoons of softened real butter. Mix well and begin kneading the dough. Turn-out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

Place the dough ball in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 2-3 hours on the kitchen counter. It’s best for it to sit in a warm area as opposed to a colder one. The warmth will help with the rising process.

Caramel Sauce

When your dough has approximately doubled in size, go ahead and make your homemade caramel sauce. In a sauce pan, bring a quarter cup of filtered water to a boil and add a half cup of granulated sugar.

Heat over medium high heat until the mixture thickens and is golden brown (Do not stir or it may turn out gritty, and if the caramelization process is occurring unevenly, gently swirl the pan to even it out).

Carefully pour in a half cup of heavy cream and stir vigorously over medium heat. Add a quarter teaspoon of fine ground sea salt or Kosher salt and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Don’t worry if your caramel sauce is a little runny. It will thicken more during the baking process. Pour the caramel into the bottom of your baking pan and sprinkle with one cup of chopped pecans.

Take your dough and roll it out onto a floured surface. Make a one inch thick rectangle-shape and brush with melted butter. Add some extra “dots” of soft butter to the entire surface and sprinkle with a mixture of: half a cup of brown sugar and 2 teaspoons or more of organic cinnamon powder.

Rolling the Dough

Roll the dough from one of the long ends to the other, and then cut your rolls evenly. Place the rolls into the pan, on top of the caramel sauce and pecans and bake at 350 degrees for around 30-35 minutes. Watch the tops and add an aluminum foil “tent” on top if they are getting browned too quickly.

When you take these out of the oven, you’ll want to very carefully turn them out onto a large serving platter so that the caramel and pecans are on top of the buns. Enjoy!

Be Well, God Bless You, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

by Jennifer Wimmer

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