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These are a bit more complicated than basic cinnamon rolls, but with toasty pecans and thick maple caramel, they are completely worth it.
There is nothing better in the cold months than warm cinnamon rolls straight from the oven. These caramel sticky rolls top that experience, with toasty pecans and thick, maple-bourbon flavored caramel. Though they have a lot more embelishment than your basic cinnamon roll, and may seem a little daunting, they are quite easy to make if you break them down into a series of steps.

Posted by Tiffany L. Published See Tiffany L.'s 7 projects »

  • Step 1

    First, make the bread dough: heat the milk until it reaches somewhere between 150 and 112° F (40-45° C.) Stir in one teaspoon of sugar until it dissovles, then stir in the yeast. Let this sit for about 10 minutes, until the yeast begins to rise and bubble on top.

  • Step 2

    In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and the 1/4 cup sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well combined. Add the milk and yeast mixture, mixing until it is fully combined, and then begin adding the flour about 1 cup at a time. You may need to mix the last of the flour in by hand.

  • Step 3

    Add the salt last, and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to knead. Knead for about 2-3 minutes. Cover the dough loosely with oiled plastic wrap or paper, and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it is doubled in size.

  • Step 4

    Next, make the caramel immediately after making the bread dough, so that it has time to set up. First, line a 9x13-inch (~23x33-cm) baking pan with parchment paper. Chop the pecans and layer them evenly on the bottom of the pan. In a 2-qt saucepan, add the cubed butter, sugar, salt, and maple syrup. Cook on medium-low heat, whisking occasionally to make sure there is no undisolved sugar stuck to the bottom edges of the pan. Once the sugar dissovles and the butter is completely melted, stop whisking and allow the caramel to boil for about 2 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Remove the caramel from the heat and slowly stir in the cream, whisking constanly. Add the bourbon 1 tbsp at a time, continuing to whisk. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan, making sure that it coats the bottom of the pan evenly, and rearranging the pecans as necessary. Allow the caramel to continue cooling at room temperature while the bread is rising.

  • Step 6

    Next, make the cinnamon filling: mix the softened butter and brown sugar until they are well combined, then mix in the cinnamon and pinch of salt. Stir until all the ingredients are fully incorporated, then keep at room temperature until you are ready to assemble the rolls.

  • Step 7

    Finally, assemble and bake the rolls: turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead a little to work out any bubbles. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12x18-inch (30x46-cm) rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling over the dough, leaving 1 inch of bare dough on the long edges.

  • Step 8

    Roll the dough into a log, starting on the long edge so that the log measures 18 inches (46-cm) long. Slice the log into 12 slices, each measuring 1 1/2-inch (about 3.8 cm.) Place these in the pan, on top of the caramel, and cover with a dish towel. Let the rolls rise again for about 30-45 minutes, until they are almost touching each other.

  • Step 9

    Preheat the oven to 375° F (190°C.) When the rolls are done rising, cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook for 8-10 minutes more, or until the tops of the rolls are well browned. Remove the rolls from the oven. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning them over and unmolding them from the pan. Store for 2-3 days at room temperature, or for longer in the refrigerator.

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