Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

pecan stickies

Recipe by
Linda Mericle
Dadeville, AL

When I was doing the bake sale at church, people lined up, craning their necks to make sure all the sticky buns wouldn't be sold before it was their turn. This recipe won best of division at the OC fair a few years back. There are 3 parts of the sticky bun structure. The dough which needs to be soft and pliable. The slurry which needs to be caramel-y, not too hard to bite into. And the filling, which you don't want all running out. While I never met a sticky bun I didn't like, these have a special place in mine and my families heart. Feel free to make the dough up to 3-4 days ahead of time.

prep time 1 Hr
cook time 30 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For pecan stickies

  • 3
  • 3/4 c
  • 1/4 c
  • 1 pkg
    yeast, any kind
  • 2 tsp
  • 4-4 1/2 c
    flour, all purpose
  • 6 Tbsp
    butter, melted
  • 6 Tbsp
    butter, melted
  • 3/4 c
    brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp
    corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 c
    pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp
    butter, soft
  • 1/2 c
    brown sugar
  • 1/4 c
    powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp
  • pinch
  • 1 pinch
    xanthan gum, optional
  • dried cranberries, also optional

How To Make pecan stickies

  • Rough, shaggy dough.
    First you need to make the sweet dough. This can be made days ahead or just when needed. Using the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the melted butter and some of the flour. Add enough flour to make a shaggy dough. You can add more later. Let sit for 10 minutes to hydrate.
  • Smooth Kneaded Dough
    Now using the dough hook of your mixer, start kneading the dough. Add flour until it is tacky. Not sticky, not dry and smooth.Tacky-tacky-tacky. This is one time when tacky is good. Ifs its too dry, spritz water on it. If its still too sticky, add flour about a tablespoon at a time. Knead about 5 minutes. It might not clear the bowl and thats okay.
  • 3
    Turn out onto a floured counter and knead a couple of times just for good measure. Then place back in the bowl, spritz with oil and cover with a damp towel. It takes longer for sweet dough to raise, so give it 2 hours. It does not have to double in size.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, lets made the glaze, the stuff, the slurry that goes in the bottom of the 9x13 pan. Put the glaze ingredients except the vanilla, in a small saucepan and heat until all melted and syrupy. Now add the vanilla. Pour into the pan and spread around. Add the pecans or walnuts.
  • 5
    Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and set aside. (that was easy right?)
  • Rolling out dough
    Now, has the dough risen a bit? Puffed? Remember, it doesn't have to be doubled. I usually make it the night before and put it in a big loaf bag (from Smart and Final) to rest in the fridge. It saves me time in the morning. Now its time to roll it out. So flour a counter and begin to roll the dough out into a rectangle. If it resists, let it rest a few minutes and try again. Sometimes the gluten just gets its panties in a twist and doesn't want to play nice. But be patient. If its chilled, it rolls out even easier. You want it about 12 x 16".
  • Filling ready to go.
    Remember the filling? Once the dough is rolled out, spread the soft butter all over it. Then sprinkle the spiced up sugar all over it as evenly as possible. Once thats done, spritz with a little water to help set it. Don't saturate it, just sprinkle. It will activate the corn starch in the powdered sugar which helps it hold together and not leak out as much. (you could also use a pinch of xanthan gum with this for extra gooeyness.) Another option is to add dried cranberries at this point. I do for special occasions. But not this time.
  • Rolled up dough
    Once its ready, begin rolling it up from the long side. Give a gentle tug as you roll. You want it tight enough for the filling not to just fall out, but not too tight or it will do wonky things in the oven. Push the ends in and roll it a couple of times. There, a nice cylinder.
  • 9
    Cut into 12 nice fat slices. I tend to cut the whole tube in half, then in half again. Then each quarter into thirds. Lay them in rows of three by four in the prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warmish place.
  • Swirly Buns, cover and let raise.
    They will probably be bumping into each other by now. It might take 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 350. Now, Cooks Illustrated suggests putting a baking stone on the lower rack of your oven while it preheats. This is to make sure the bottoms of the buns get good and proper baked. Since it has the syrup, it could come out pale and underdone. I don't use the stone, but its a good suggestion. I do put it on the bottom rack though.
  • 11
    Set the time for 15 minutes. Then rotate the pan, back to front. Not set again for 10 minutes. Keep an eye. It takes 25-30 minutes to bake. Once done, remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes-ish. Get a platter or something ready to invert the buns onto. Ready? Set? Go! Put the baking sheet or platter over the buns and invert the whole thing. Use a spatula to scrape out any stubborn slurry that stayed in the pan. It should be a nice soft caramel now.
  • 12
    Sometimes it comes out perfect as is. Other times it comes out needing more slurry. I've made it a zillion times and couldn't tell you why. Probably because I make it so early in the morning. Anyway, Here is an extra slurry you can make to pour over the tops once they are done. In a saucepan put 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons of butter, 3 Tablespoons of corn syrup and a pinch of salt. Heat, stirring, until simmery. Take off heat and add 1/4 tsp.vanilla. Pour this over any buns that just need a little something.