These caramel apple sticky buns are a perfect cheery breakfast treat for Christmas morning
By Heather Christo’s Generous Table, The Nest
These sticky buns keep the traditional toasted pecans, but add thin layers of sour apples and dark, gooey caramel.
Makes 16 buns
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup plus
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- Two 1/4-ounce packages dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 sweet apples, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups chopped pecans, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Step 1: First make the sweet dough: Heat ½ cup of the milk and 1½ teaspoons of the sugar until the sugar until the sugar has barely dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer and wait until the temperature reads 110°F as measured on a candy thermometer. Add the yeast and let sit for 20 minutes, or until very puffy.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 cup milk, the remaining ½ cup sugar, the salt and the butter. When the butter has melted, whisk everything together and remove from the heat to cool.
Step 3: When the milk mixture is room temperature, add it to the yeast, along with the eggs and beat until well combined. While the mixer is running on low, add the flour, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated. Then mix the dough with a dough hook on medium speed until it forms a smooth ball, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4: Grease a bowl with cooking spray and place the ball of dough in the bowl. Wrap the top tightly with plastic wrap and place the bowl somewhere warm. Let the dough rise for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours.
Step 5: Prepare an 18 x 13-inch sheet pan with baking spray. Set aside.
Step 6: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about ¼ inch thick.
Step 7: Layer the filling: Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter over the surface of the dough rectangle. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar, and then lay the thinly sliced apples in a single layer over the dough. Gently roll the dough, sugar and apples up into a log. Set aside to rest.
Step 8: Meanwhile, make the caramel goo: In a saucepan, over low heat, heat the butter, brown sugar, salt and cream until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Whisk until the caramel is thick, creamy and hot. Pour into the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Slice the log into 16 even rounds and place them in even rows over the caramel-pecan mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a second time for at least 30 minutes.
Step 9: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 10: Brush the last 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top of the buns to keep the dough moist while baking. Bake for 45 minutes. If the tops start to get too brown, tent with tin foil.
Step 11: Let the buns cool for about 10 minutes before flipping upside down onto a platter. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Heather Christo's Generous Table.