Fall is creeping in, meaning it's time to throw on another sweater and cozy up to a steaming hot cup of coffee. Of course, no coffee break is complete without a sweet snack, and this month, we urge you to try these delicious Banana-Cranberry Sticky Buns. You can stay true to the recipe, or switch up the ingredients to give these sticky buns your own personal touch. Submit your photo and blurb to be considered for the prize (Food Network Canada swag, autographed by our chefs!).
2 teaspoons quick-acting yeast
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – room temperature
2 egg whites
¼ cup skim milk powder
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose or bread flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon for pan
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl mash the bananas with the butter to form a very soft, ever-so-slightly liquid paste. Combine the yeast with this and let stand at room temperature, allowing the yeast to dissolve (about 5 minutes). Add the egg whites, skim milk powder, brown sugar, salt and flours and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough mass forms.
2. Scrape it all together with a bench scraper and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until it is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary, about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
3. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot (on top of the fridge works really well) until it doubles in size – about 1 ½ hours.
4. Make the filling: in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
5. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a 14- by 9-inch rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar combination and the dried cranberries or raisins. Beginning at the long side, roll jellyroll style. Pinch to seal seam and set aside, covered in a warm spot while you make the sticky bottom.
6. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cut the buns into 12 pieces, about 1 ½ inches wide and arrange, cut side up in the pan with the sugar-butter mixture. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 to 45 minutes (or over night in the fridge) or until doubled in volume.
7. Bake in a preheated, 350 F oven for 25 – 35 minutes, or until caramel is bubbling and tops are slightly browned. Meanwhile, make glaze: in a small bowl, stir together the confectioner’s sugar, cream and vanilla until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. When the rolls come out of the oven, allow them to cool slightly and then drizzle with the glaze while they are still warm. Pull apart and serve warm.
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