New England Sticky Buns {Cookbook Review and Giveaway!}

It's Thanksgiving week, my friends! Are you as ready for a break as I am? I know I can't wait to spend a few days with my family where the biggest worry on my mind will be whether eating too many appetizers will mean less room for pie later on...

If you're still looking for a decadent breakfast treat to feed your guests this weekend, this sticky bun recipe is definitely one that you are going to want to try. I recently made them for my dad's birthday and everyone went ca-ray-zay for them. This recipe comes from the cookbook I Love Cinnamon Rolls! by Judith Fertig (Andrews McMeel Publishing) - yes, that's right, an entire cookbook dedicated just to cinnamon rolls! I know, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, too, when I realized this was a real thing.

And it's not just a real thing - it's a great thing! Guys, this cookbook is a real winner. Not only are the recipes great - in addition to the sticky bun recipe I am sharing with you today, I also tried the Cinnamon Rugelach - but the cookbook is set up to help even beginner bakers achieve cinnamon roll success. The book starts with an introduction which spells out the exact kinds of ingredients you will need for the recipes and explains all of the steps - from measuring to kneading to baking and storing - in easy-to-understand language. But the best part? The author includes eight different dough recipes (each with accompanying filling suggestions), with varying degrees of difficulty and perfect for different dietary needs. That means that vegan, gluten-free and beginning (or advanced!) bakers all have amazing options that are sure to impress family and friends.

And so, because this week is Thanksgiving...

...and because next week is my birthday...

...and because I think this cookbook would be a great addition to your personal library...

...the kind folks at Andrews McMeel Publishing are providing one copy of I Love Cinnamon Rolls! for me to give away to one lucky reader!

To enter, comment below and tell me your favorite Thanksgiving memory.

By leaving a comment below you are agreeing to the Official Rules, outlined here.

  • Only U.S. residents over the age of 18 are eligible to enter.
  • Duration: Tuesday, November 20 through Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10 PM central time.
  • Leave a comment answering the question to enter. You can receive up to 4 additional entries by doing the following and leaving one separate comment for each additional item. (If you are already a follower, simply let me know that you are.)

For additional entries, do the following and leave me separate comments for each telling me that you did (or that you already follow!):

  • Become a fan of Eat Your Heart Out on Facebook.
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The winner will be randomly selected and announced at 10 pm (central time) on Tuesday, November 27. I will email you (so be sure to enter a valid email address) and you will have 48 hours to respond.

While Andrews McMeel Publishing provided review and giveaway copies of I Love Cinnamon Rolls!, I was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

New England Sticky Buns
Sticky buns, beloved in New England, feature a gooey, caramelized pan sauce that forms the topping when a pan of rolls is inverted. Inspired by Joanne Chang’s fabulous sticky buns at Flour Bakery and Café in Boston, these buns bake to a dark brown, glossy finish and are best served warm. To toast whole pecans, place them on a baking sheet at 350°F for 15 minutes, then chop.
Yield: 12 large buns
Traditional Cinnamon Roll Dough:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast
Pan Sauce:
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup clover honey
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans
Cinnamon-Pecan Filling:
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans
Make the dough:
  1. In a 4-cup measuring cup, combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Microwave on High for 1 minute or until warm. Whisk in the eggs.
  2. Place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the liquid ingredients. Mix on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time, until the dough forms a soft mass and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook. With the mixer on low, knead the dough with the dough hook. Sprinkle the dough with a tablespoon of flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the sides of the bowl. When the dough is smooth, not sticky, and springs back when you press it with your finger, you’ve kneaded enough (4 to 6 minutes). Place the dough in a large, oiled mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place (about 85ºF) for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it has almost doubled.
  4. Proceed with a cinnamon roll recipe.
Make the rolls:
  1. For the pan sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk in the brown sugar until well combined but not smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the honey, cream, and salt until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, then pour and spread into\ a 9 by 13-inch pan. Scatter the pecans over the pan sauce.
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll to a 16 by 20-inch rectangle.
  3. For the filling, combine the sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the dough with the butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then the pecans. Starting with a short end, roll up and form into a tight 16-inch cylinder. Cut the cylinder into 12 slices. Place each slice, spiral side up, in the prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until medium brown in the creases. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out each roll, one by one, onto a serving platter and top with pan sauce.
In order to avoid lots of work in the morning, I made these the night before and allowed them to do their second rise (after being filled and cut) overnight in the refrigerator. I then just allowed them to come to room temperature before baking the next morning.



  1. says

    Hmmm…favorite Thanksgiving memory? Besides laughing around the table with everyone after dinner and eating pecan raisin pie? Maybe the one from 24 years ago when I sat like a beached whale waiting for a precious baby to come. :) I love you.

  2. says

    Oooh these look so yummy! And I LOVE that there’s a whole cinnamon roll cookbook! And yay almost your birthday!!! And hmmmm favorite Thanksgiving memory…you know I never had the most amazing Thanksgivings, but I really loved last year: it was just me and Michael in our new apartment and I made a big dinner. I sort of loved that <3

  3. says

    Thanksgiving Memories:::1972…We were living in a German village (with no military services since Clif was attached to a German unit) and I decided to bake a turkey after I found one at the commissary which was at the NATO services facilities in Holland. My kitchen supplies consisted of two cookie sheets, a cake pan, two pots, one skillet, three Tupperware bowls which doubled as mixing bowls and storage, and table service for four. I had heard about baking a turkey in a paper bag, so I did just that. Cookie sheet beneath it, slid it into the paper bag and calibrated the oven to not go over 450 degrees at which point the bag would burn.
    It actually worked! We had friends over, and single guys dropped in all day to eat. I had made a couple of pies and only had Dream Whip to put on top…and only a small whisk to whip it into what wasn’t even close to peaks. But, they didn’t care.
    Then our German landlord and some of his relatives dropped over in the evening, so I whipped up the last packet of Dream Whip for the slivers of pie that were left–and didn’t have enough milk to use, so I substituted with water. (not camera worthy!) They had never had pumpkin pie and said it was delicious.
    A month later, our landlord invited us over for their traditional Christmas dinner (evening meal) of lox and bagels!

  4. Elin says

    Favorite Thanksgiving memory is getting together every year and watching Jurassic Park. It’s just our thing. I’m not sure why that movie, but it just isn’t a proper Thanksgiving without dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum.

  5. says

    You should make one giant cinnamon roll for your birthday cake. I would love to see that!!! Hmmm… Fave Thanksgiving memory? A few years ago my brothers and I enjoyed a 6hr car trip to our cousins house in Ohio. That was filled with lots of memories and a few choice curse words!

  6. says

    An ENTIRE cookbook on cinnamon rolls?? Glorious day! Your sticky buns look perfect, dearest! Just in time for a wonderful Thanksgiving treat! Happy early birthday, lady and have a wonderful holiday with your family!!

  7. says

    And for the question – My Favorite Thanksgiving Memory….
    every year my family plays Euchre all day long.All are proud Euchre players. It was a lot of fun to teach my wife to play during her first Thanksgiving with the fam. and then watching everyone’s pride suffer as she won all her games that day as a newbie.

  8. Colleen says

    One of my favorite things is getting turkey stuufing and cranberry sandwiches the next day. I also adore cinnamon rolls and will be psyched if you pick me!!

  9. Tinker Gray says

    I think my favorite memory of Thanksgiving goes all the way back to when I was in college. There was nothing better than coming home for a long weekend to be spoiled by my mom cooking all the yummy food I liked and basically just to be pampered by her. She was the best!

  10. says

    My favorite Thanksgiving was the first trip home from college my freshman year. I had had it with dorm food, and I was so glad to see my family and enjoy home cooking.

  11. says

    My favorite Thanksgiving memory has to be last year when my daughter (at the time 11) had made a pie and created a homemade pie crust better than I could have ever made!

  12. Lynn says

    My current favorite memory is after attending church my dad would make a turkey and ham (soup made with leftovers), Yorkshire pudding, would get out the meat grinder to make the stuffing. Mom would make pies (mincemeat & pumpkin), real cranberries and than the table was set with the fine china and silver, goblets with water, glasses for wine.

  13. says

    These look divine!! And I can’t pick a favorite memory, last year was pretty funny because my aunt NEVER cooks. ever. and she had to host Thanksgiving last year, and she tried making her grandma’s stuffing recipe…. put it in the oven an hour before dinner…. not realizing it was supposed to cook for 4. So we ate dinner at like 8pm and polished off the wine while we waited :)

  14. says

    For many years, I “shared” Thanksgiving with one of my best friends, and harp teacher. She would gather her students and their families from other countries who had never celebrated Thanksgiving, and, for years, I would gather my family and assorted friends. The meals were always magnificent.

    Then I went through a prolonged, and excruciatingly painful divorce. In all, it took eight years to get through. The children and I were left in massive pain and were very disoriented. So, one thing we did to cope was to do what we always did, so we continued our Thanksgiving “tradition” of a shared Thanksgiving with my harp teacher.

    One year, a few years later, I heard that my ex-husband was having his family drop in on him for Thanksgiving. I didn’t like the sounds of him trying to manage, especially by buying an already-made dinner from a local grocery store. So I invited them to “our” Thanksgiving. And, surprisingly, they all came. He, his family, and even a friend of his from India.

    And after that meal, where everyone got along and enjoyed themselves, life got easier, for me, at least, emotionally, that is.

  15. Jaclynn Sullivan says

    My favorite thanksgiving memory is when my family had a semi-food fight and my 30 year old cousin flung baked beans onto the ceiling while my sister and cousin threw rolls at each other. The beans are still stained on the ceiling just so we can laugh every year.

  16. Amy B. says

    I just love being around family and friends on Thanksgiving! It’s kind of the go-to answer, but that’s what makes each holiday special, that and the wonderful array of desserts.

  17. says

    Favorite Thanksgiving memory: The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t. Thanksgiving 1973 with my spouse stationed at Grissom AFB, Indiana and living in Kokomo, Indiana. I was never much of a Suzie Homemaker but since my spouse was on call for that weekend for the Air Force it was decided that I would cook dinner. Attending this gala of firsts, the above mentioned spouse, my 1 year old and 3 year old sons, my brother and his girlfriend, my mother and father, and my spouse’s grandmother, she who raised him and did not like me because I wasn’t Suzie Homemaker. I was full of big plans, the menu was to be the usual suspects for our family; turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. As I remember the turkey was approximately 20 lbs and I had started thawing him on Sunday. Wednesday came and I make the pumpkin pies (2), which were placed on the top of the refrigerator to cool. Sigh of relief that it went well and the pies appeared to be normal. The day wore on with this frazzled mommy working on prepping the house and making sure that I would impress the grandmother-in-law, if nothing else. In the early evening it was time to remove the giblets from the turkey but searching frantically they were not there. I called my mother in Danville, Indiana crying and swearing that there were no turkey innards. I swore it, I probed the turkey over and over. Mom, of course, swore that this was impossible. I continued to search the turkey cavity again and again, my hands freezing from the cold but to no avail. Meanwhile, cut to the refrigerator. There was my Siamese cat perched atop the refrigerator happily munching on pie. I was freaked and I could not coax him down so I grabbed the broom and gently poked it at him. Sam freaked out then and jumped onto the window sill where he promptly pooped all over the window sill and down the wall, a victim of pie I guess. So now I have a scared cat, a poopy window sill, two partially eaten pies, screaming kids, and no turkey innards. Well there goes any hope of gravy, which I had never been able to make properly anyway, since I was definitely NOT Suzie Homemaker. No pies and the stores were all closed. I went to bed crying and set the alarm for 4 AM so that I could get the turkey into the oven and have it cooked by 1 PM because the grandmother-in-law from hell refused to be away from home after dark and therefore dinner had to be eaten by 2ish so that my mom and dad could get her back to Indy by dark. Morning arrives and guess what, I slept through the alarm and did not awaken until 6 AM. Could this day get any better? Of course it could. I ran downstairs, yanked the turkey out of the refrigerator, shoved the stuffing in and tossed him in the oven. Family arrived with my mom carrying 2 pies which she had thrown together, ahhhh, at least we shall have pie! Turkey cooks, I unstuff him and guess what? As I am spooning out the stuffing here comes a bag of giblets. They were frozen to the inside of the turkey the day before and my hands were so numb that I couldn’t feel them. Believe it or not, it was a good Thanksgiving after all, one that my mom and I laughed and laughed about for years and my prowess as a cook revealed itself. Mom is gone now but still I laugh at that day. By the way, the grandmother-in-law eventually grew to love me, even after that fiasco. Family!!! What more could a girl ask for?

  18. says

    Blast! You probably already chose a winner, huh? I audibly gasped when I saw that there was an entire cookbook devoted to CINNAMON ROLLS. I live for good cinnamon rolls. I think I may just buy this book anyway!

    Looking forward to our link up tomorrow :)

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