Sticky Apple Caramel Buns . . .

Ooey, gooey caramel buns give plain old cinnamon rolls a serious run for their money. A bit of whole wheat flour lends a hint of wholesomeness to these otherwisenutterly indulgent treats. They are delicious any time and best served warm.

  1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) active dry yeast
  2/3 cup (150 mL) milk
  1 egg
  2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted and cooled
  1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
  1-3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour, (approx)
  1-1/3 cups (325 mL) whole wheat flour
  1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

Apple Filling
  1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
  3 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
  1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) cinnamon
Caramel Sauce
  1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
  1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
  2 tbsp (30 mL) whipping cream, (35%)


In bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in 1/3 cup warm water; sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, butter, vanilla and remaining sugar; stir in yeast mixture.

In large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt. Stir in yeast mixture to form ragged dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead, adding up to 2 tbsp more all-purpose flour if needed, until soft and smooth but not sticky dough forms, about 10 minutes. Transfer to greased bowl and turn to grease all over. Cover and let stand in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.


Apple Filling

Meanwhile, in skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook apples and cinnamon, stirring occasionally, until very tender and light golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl; let cool.


Caramel Sauce

In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar and 1 tbsp water; cook, stirring often, just until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream until smooth. Pour into greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; roll out into 20- x 12-inch (50 x 30 cm) rectangle. Leaving 1 cm border uncovered at 1 long side, spread apple filling over dough. Starting at long side opposite border, tightly roll up; pinch seam to seal.

With sharp knife, cut into 12 pieces; place, cut sides up, in caramel. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake in 375 F (190 C) oven until golden and buns sound hollow when gently tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto serving dish.