Uncle Dan's Overnight Success

Cinnamon Buns to Die For!

Sitting down to write for a bit this morning, I mull over where to start—which blog idea (and I have many!) should make the next post? However, while the babygrands and I were enjoying cinnamon toast yesterday afternoon, I remembered that I had set out, just after Christmas, to post our Christmas tradition recipes.... and I missed the most important one!

So I’ll pick up there.

I've dubbed this Uncle Dan's Overnight Success, since years ago I had included it in a recipe collection for several nieces who were getting married—After all, it is hubby's doing and his name is Dan.

These overnight cinnamon buns have been our little tradition for the last 15-plus years. Hubby's the dough boy and baker, and I the bun maker) While neighbours are waking Christmas morning to the smell of a turkey roasting, we're floating downstairs on the aroma of sugar & cinnamon.

Besides these being homemade—and that with wholewheat flour—soft and sticky and sweet, and loaded with cinnamon, nuts, and raisins. . . . they're oven-ready first thing in the morning. How could I not love that?!

Just set them in pans to rise overnight, and VOILA! An overnight success!

Our kids—adults now, and parents themselves—still prefer to start from the middle :)

So, here's what you need . . .

1-1/3 cups boiling water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/2 Tbsp. salt

1-1/4 tsp instant yeast

4 cups flour (we use half course whole wheat)

And here's what you do . . .

We begin somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. There's a bit of room to make the night-before part fit our schedule.

Combine the boiling water, sugar, butter, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the butter has melted.

Beat in 1 cup of the flour, then the yeast. Work in the remaining flour until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and a nice ball of dough is formed. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise for a couple hours. Punch it down, then let it rise again, until 10:00 p.m.

Now, divide the dough in half; each half will be rolled out, into a rectangle, spread with 1/2 cup soft butter and (at least) 1 cup brown sugar, sprinkled with cinnamon (we like LOTS—although I have been known to leave it out entirely! Very disappointing!!), and of course nuts and raisins, as you prefer.

Roll the dough up from the longer side, slice into 12 pieces, and place cut-side-up in a large greased cake pan (2 pans; mine are glass 9X13's). Cover loosely with plastic; then the tea towel over that. Let them rise on the counter overnight.

In the morning, the Early Bird (that's hubby, around here) cooks up the gooey/syruppy sauce (optional) and pours it over the buns, bakes them at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, turns them out onto the counter or platter, makes the coffee, etc.

Gooey/Syruppy Sauce:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup corn syrup

This amount will be enough for one pan. We often do one with the sauce and one without. Eases the conscience a bit when we break into the second pan!

And now that I've gone ahead and shared our long-time tradition here , I'm going to share another secret: We've recently discovered a similar over-night sensation on Elise Buaer's Simply Recipes that we must try, and soon! (Hubs always likes to try something new, as his if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it philosophy doesn't apply to cooking.)

Will it make tradition status?