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Butterscotch Sticky Buns

Who can resist a sticky bun?

"Over-the-top, sticky goodness — or, as I like to call it, 'love.'" Thats how New York City pastry chef Catherine Schimenti describes the thrilling moment she first dipped a warm bun into a sweet-salty butterscotch sauce she'd flavored with a splash of Scotch. "I adore adding glamor to old-school desserts," she says. — from Desserts by the editors of Food & Wine

Calories Per Serving


For the dough:

  • 3/4 Cups whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (6 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • Canola oil, for greasing
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 Cup pecan halves

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 Cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Scotch whisky
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon baking powder


For the dough:

In a glass measuring cup, heat the milk in the microwave until warm, about 1 minute. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the warm milk and the yeast. Add the granulated sugar and the 6 tablespoons of softened butter and mix at medium speed until the butter is broken up, 1 minute. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the 4 cups of flour and the salt and mix at low speed until incorporated, 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and mix the dough for 2 minutes longer. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 9-by-24-inch rectangle. In a small bowl, mix the light brown sugar with the cinnamon. Brush the 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Beginning at a long edge, roll up the dough as tightly as possible and pinch the seam. Cut the log into twelve 2-inch pieces and set them in the muffin cups cut side up. Cover the pan and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Set the muffin pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.

For the glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring the dark brown sugar, butter, Scotch, condensed milk, crème fraîche, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons of water to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, and baking powder. Unmold the buns. Pour the glaze over the hot buns and sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Let stand until the buns have soaked up some of the glaze and are cool enough to eat, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Excerpted from Desserts by the editors of Food & Wine (Oxmoor House, 2017).
Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.