There is nothing better than these gooey caramel cinnamon rolls laden with fresh walnuts. I have made some variety of these rolls since my kids were little. The kids were always very excited because I love them so much I wouldn’t bake them very often or I would end up eating most of them.
I have a friend who’s grandmother cracks walnuts and pulls the meat. I feel fortunate that I am able to buy a couple of bags each year. The walnuts are so fresh, so beautiful, the first thing I think of making when I get my hands on the walnuts are these gooey cinnamony walnuty rolls.
1 cup milk
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter- cut into pieces
1 tbsp vanilla paste-optional
3 – 3 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 – 2 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
more chopped walnuts
cinnamon, nutmeg, more cinnamon, more cinnamon
Warm up the milk in the microwave to about 115 degrees, add 1/4 cup sugar and the yeast- set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg, add the chopped butter. After the 5 minutes and the yeast has activated add to the egg and butter. Mix 3 cups flour with the salt. Add to the yeast mixture 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl, if not add another 1/2 cup flour.
Prepare a separate bowl with drizzling 1 tbsp of canola oil. Set aside.
Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour onto the kneading board and them pull the dough out of bowl. Knead for 2-4 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy. I keep wanting to take a picture of this but my hands are in the dough and not camera worthy.
Take the dough and toss into the prepared bowl that has the canola oil. Swish it around to coat and then flip so the oily part is on the top. I normally cover with a towel, but you can also use plastic wrap. Put bowl into a warm place to rise for about an hour.
While the dough is rising- get a saucepan and add the half cup butter and the brown sugar- turn the stove onto medium. Add the corn syrup and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is all the way melted and then I will usually simmer until it thickens. Set aside for it to cool down.
Chop the walnuts, set aside.
When the dough had risen to double the size, take out half and roll out into a rectangle mine is never rectangle. Smear the soften butter over the whole thing. Sprinkle the white sugar, then the brown sugar, then add the cinnamon, and or other spices. I don’t think you can put too much cinnamon. Sprinkle part of the chopped walnuts(these I chop finer than the ones that go into the caramel.
Start at the wide side and start rolling.
I use a piece of thread to cut the rolls, but a very sharp knife will work as well.
Get your pan (make sure pan has handles or a lip that you will be able to hold as you flip the pan after baking) out and pour the caramel onto the bottom, sprinkle the rest of the walnuts over the caramel.
As you cut the rolls, place on top of the caramel.
Leave some space between the rolls- these are a little too close, I actually had to take some of them out and put into a different pan. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes. To check to see if they are done, select one of the center rolls and pull gently away from the roll next to it. Does it look flaky or still gooey? If still gooey , put back into the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
After rolls are done, let cool in the pan until you can touch the pan without burning yourself.
Get a plate at least a big as the pan with the rolls. Put the plate upside down on top of pan of rolls, grab both sides and flip.
Get a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy.
You can do these the night before and when you get to the bake stage- put into the refrigerator.
The next morning let the chill where off and throw into the oven. You may need to bake a little longer.