I know I’ve divulged some of my mom’s secrets including her turkey soup and braised short ribs with chili biscuits in past blogs, and while those are both really delicious, I’m finally breaking down and giving you my absolute favorite secret… Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. Hands down, these are better than any bakery's or restaurant's I’ve been to!
Now that I live half way across the country, these are at the top of my request list every time we see each other. My mom has gone to the extreme lengths of mailing them to me when we couldn’t be together for a holiday, and my boyfriend now requests his own allotment. My dad swears that my mom made these every weekend when he would visit her in college and my mom adamantly denies this, but that’s probably so I don’t feel gipped! This past Christmas Eve, my mom and I got to spend some quality time together in the kitchen and whipped up a batch of these rolls to enjoy on Christmas morning.
These are so insanely good - do yourself a favor and make a double batch!
Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
¾ cup milk warmed
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For the filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans
For the glaze:
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Karo syrup
½ cups chopped pecans
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water OR 2 tablespoons heavy cream – to brush tops
For the Dough:
- Dissolve yeast in warm milk and let stand until foamy – about 10 minutes.
- Add the granulated sugar, eggs, flour, and salt.
- Using the dough hook of your mixer, knead on low speed, until the ingredients come together.
- Add the butter and knead with the mixed until the dough is smooth and springy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball, put in a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
For the Glaze:
- Melt the butter and brown sugar in a pan and bring to a low boil. Add karo and stir to combine.
- Pour into greased 9x13 pan.
- Immediately sprinkle chopped pecans and let set.
Forming/Filling the Rolls:
- After the dough has doubled, punch it down.
- Turn out onto lightly floured surface.
- Cut dough in half (it helps if you have a bench scraper from The Chopping Block, but any will do!)
- Roll half into 9x14 rectangle - it helps to turn the dough as you roll!
- Spread with half the butter (2 tablespoons) – be gentle, and then half the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans (1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and ¼ cup chopped pecans).
- Gently roll, starting with the long side closest to you, away from you, to form a log.
- Cut the log in half, and then into 5 even slices.
- Repeat above with the second half of the dough and filling ingredients to yield 20 rolls.
- Place them, cut side down, on top of the set glaze (look at my mom, isn’t she adorable?!).
- Let rolls rise in a warm place for one hour, or in the refrigerator overnight (if you chose the overnight option, let them come to room temperature for 30-60 minutes before baking).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush with egg wash or cream.
- Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and turn out onto preferred serving tray – be extremely careful as the glaze will be hot!
Now that you’ve mastered these, you’ll be asked to make them for every foreseeable brunch and special occasion. If you’re lucky enough to have any left, they freeze really well once made. Reheat and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea. Be sure to check out our retail stores if you need any bakeware or tools to get you on your way to making the best cinnamon rolls ever. If you are looking to learn more to add to your baking repertoire, be sure to check out some of our upcoming baking classes including:
Chocolate Boot Camp Saturday, February 10 Merchandise Mart
Paczki Party Saturday, February 10 Lincoln Square
Cupcake Boot Camp Sunday, February 18 Lincoln Square
Pie & Tart Boot Camp Saturday, February 24 Merchandise Mart