February 21st is National Sticky Bun Day. I’d always assumed sticky buns and cinnamon rolls were the same thing, but Tara informed me that they are actually different. Both are decadent, both contain cinnamon, and both are pastries made with leavened dough that is topped with sticky, sweet icing. But the similarities end there.
I think. Sticky buns usually include nuts. But otherwise…well, I don’t see much difference myself. Let’s ask Tara!
Cinnamon rolls have a mixture of butter, cinnamon, and sugar spread onto dough that is then rolled up and cut into sections. It’s topped with cream cheese frosting or icing.
Sticky buns are like cinnamon rolls, except they are topped with a caramel sauce and pecans. When I was a baker at JB’s Restaurant in Idaho Falls (holy crap…was that really almost 20 years ago?!?!?) we would use a small round pan, pour in the caramel sauce, add pecans, and then place a section of the cinnamon roll on top. After rising it would be baked and then while still warm, turned out on a plate.
Yum! Sounds delicious, babe. Thanks for the clarification.
Sticky buns originated in Germany, where they were called “schnecken” (German for “snails”). Luckily, this referred to their shape, rather than their flavor or ingredient list. The only country that can get away with actually cooking snails is France, dammit! German settlers immigrating to the United States in the 17th century brought schnecken along with them, and when they settled in and around Germantown, Pennsylvania (homesick much?), sticky buns became a popular local treat.
At Camp Walden, an all-girl’s summer camp in Maine, a longstanding tradition involving schnecken continues to this day. It is served every Sunday morning for breakfast, along with eggs, oatmeal, cereal, and yogurt. The Girl Scouts have their cookies, and Waldenites (as they refer to themselves) have their sticky buns. I’m not sure what Boy Scouts have, other than outdated moral principles.
Tara picked us up a sticky bun from Shari’s last night, which we shared this morning for breakfast before work. It was sweet and decadent, and included a topping of pralines, which – according to my fountain-of-knowledge fiance – are caramelized pecans. Hmm. I had no idea! All I know is, the sticky bun was deliciously satisfying.