Wholesome Wednesday: Samoas Sticky Buns

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I have always loved Samoas.  You know, those girl scout cookies with the coconut, chocolate and caramel.  They’ve been my favorite ever since I was a girl scout selling them.  We never lived in the same state as our relatives so when it came time to sell cookies, my grandparents would always send a check and tell us to keep them.  So we’d order samoas.  :)  Or if I had my way I’d be in my room with a closet full of them.

Earlier this week, I woke up to the idea of a samoas sticky bun.  I’ve been thinking about it for days now.  How to incorporate the caramel, coconut and chocolate into a scrumptious sticky bun.

Tom Douglas’s recipe for schnecken with its gooey caramel topping gave me the idea to make these.  The sticky bun topping is perfect for the caramel flavor I want in my buns.

I decided to use the recipe from my maple coconut rolls as the base.  Another thing I do with yeast breads is to let my bread machine do all the dough work for me.  This way I always get a consistent dough that has gone through its first rise.  It also takes an hour and a half, whereas if you made the dough by hand, typically it would take twice that amount of time to make a dough that has risen once.

The only thing I’ve changed in the dough is to decrease the amount of butter and substitute Greek yogurt.  Lately I’ve been trying to swap out fats for yogurt in most of my recipes.  This also adds more protein so its a win-win.  Using yogurt also makes a more chewy roll, which to me has a better texture.

Samoas Sticky Buns

Dough
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast

I layered everything in the bread machine in this order and put it to work.  An hour and a half later I had gorgeous elastic, perfectly risen sweet dough.  This recipe makes enough to make a dozen buns or rolls.  If you want to make the dough by hand, leave me a comment and I’ll include the entire recipe.

Gooey Caramel Topping
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine all ingredients except vanilla.  Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (be careful, mixture will bubble up).  Pour into bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan and set aside.

Filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Assembly:  Take your freshly risen dough and on a floured surface; stretch, pat and pull it till you reach a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.  With the 16 inch side being horizontal to you.  Brush entire surface with melted butter.  Spread brown sugar all over surface of dough, leaving a 3/4 inch area all along the top topping free.  You’ll need this edge to be able to seal your rolls when you roll them up.  Then top with brown sugar, coconut and finally chocolate chips spreading evenly

Tightly roll dough up.  When finished pinch all along long side to form a seam and seal rolls.  When sealed, gently stretch dough to 18 inches in length.  Place seam side down and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife.  Place these in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan, cut side down.  (I sprinkled any escaping coconut on to the top of the rolls).  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place till doubled in size.  (Mine took about 40 minutes to double, but it was warm out)

When doubled in size, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake till puffy and golden brown 20-35 minutes.  Mine took 26 minutes to cook.  Don’t be scared if they seem to bulge up in the middle of the pan.  This is due to the caramel underneath, they’ll settle down after cooling a bit.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Invert onto serving platter and serve.

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